Last weekend promised to be the last weekend without rain this fall, so I organized a scramble up Goat Mountain, off the Mt. Baker Highway. It’s mostly a trail hike with a bit of snow and rock thrown in at the end for fun. (Earlier in the season, the upper slopes would be covered with snow and quite fun, I imagine.) The scramble is so short that Meredith exclaimed, “Is that it?!” when she reached the top.
More pictures after the jump.
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“It’s absolutely my favorite trail.”
“It’s like two rides in one!”
“Go early to avoid the hikers, mostly so you can bomb down the trail with wild abandon and not worry about running into anyone.”
“It’s got a bit of everything – rivers, big alpine bowls, gorgeous views. I think it’s the kind of trail that people from Colorado would love.”
“If you could only ride one trail in the Methow, you should ride this one.”
So we rode it. And it was awesome!
Fall isn’t a just a great time to make the high-alpine traverse from Carne Mountain to LeRoy Basin, it’s the BEST time. Golden larches surround you and frame the neighboring peaks. Throw in five super climbing companions, a solitary campsite at Upper Ice Lake, a summit of Mount Maude (15th highest peak in Washington), and a secret beer stash by a friend who was there a day before you and you’ve got a recipe for a stellar two days in the mountains!
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The sun is remaining low in the sky, the trails are dusty, and the temperatures are cool. It only took a short stroll to Goat Peak Lookout to find the season’s first golden larches and lofty views of the Methow valley and the glaciated side of Silver Star Mountain.
Nick and I stopped at Diablo Dam on our way to the Methow Valley recently. When it was completed back in 1930, it was the tallest dam in the world. Today, it isn’t the tallest dam anymore, but it still generates power for Seattle.