Goat Mountain via Davis Peak / 經戴維斯峯上山羊山

Goat Mountain in Salmon La Sac has been on the back burner for many years. But I have put it off for so long because of the distance. This trip marked our third time on the Davis Peak Trail in 10 years. Other than the worn-out trail signs and the old burn, nothing much has changed.

Goat Mountain closeup
Goat Mountain closeup

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Goat Mountain 6600 at a Glance

Access: Davis Peak Trailhead
Round Trip: 13.6 miles
Elevation Range: 2600′-6600′
Gear: helmet, snowshoes, microspikes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: no

Davis Peak South Ridge

The hike started with a brief descent to the Cle Elum River bridge crossing. We first gained 600′ of modest elevation with a leisurely walk through the semi-open forest. Then the trail steadily steepened. It weaved through the old burn in the open. Later, the path went back into the dense forest higher up.

The myriad of switchbacks offset the steep terrain. In turn, it made the climb more enjoyable. Through small openings in the forest, the views mainly comprised Hawkins Mountain and Cle Elum Lake. At one point, we stumbled upon a curious young deer on the trail. Soon, snow began to appear at 5000′.

Going up to Davis Peak Southwest
Going up to Davis Peak Southwest

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Davis Peak Southwest to Davis Peak Central

I was still able to hike comfortably in boots through areas of packed snow. We came out of the trees and went into another part of the old burn. Then we continued on the mostly snow-free switchbacks. We got our first look at the Davis Peak drainage just as the ridge flattened. There was still quite a bit of snow in the south basin. But snowshoes were optional at this point.

We continued on the crest. Then we slowly made our way through the timbered ridge up to the southwest peak. The ridgeline to Davis Peak Central was partly dry. But it didn’t look conducive to cross for the pup. So halfway through, we dropped onto the south slopes to avoid punching through the snow.

Getting to Davis Peak Central
Getting to Davis Peak Central

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Going Around Davis Peak North

From Davis Peak Central, I was able to determine our next move once I checked the snow conditions. After getting down to the north notch, I poked my head into Opal Lake Basin. But there wasn’t enough snow to plunge step. There was also too much snow to scramble on rocks. So, we went with the other option and bypassed the north summit from the west.

We stayed high through Lake Terence Basin while sidestepping on steep slopes. I put on snowshoes before a buttress. Then we went around it to get to the north side. From Davis-Goat, a quick dip on the gentle northeast ridge put us on the saddle. Then we climbed into the basin above Lake Michael. Maybe I wasn’t looking hard. But I don’t remember ever seeing the lake.

Going around Davis Peak North
Going around Davis Peak North

See more trip photos here.

Goat Mountain South Peak to the Main Summit

Soon, we arrived at the pass south of Goat Mountain’s south peak. Then I checked out the basin below the main summit. I wanted to see the conditions of the connecting ridge. But it was hard to do from the pass. So we went up to the south peak. But the ridgeline looked like it had just enough snow to complicate things. So we backtracked down to the saddle.

Since the ridge option was out, we went with our other option of going through the south basin. At first, the southern aspect looked steep from the pass. But it wasn’t the case once we were on it. Then we took a much-needed food break at 200′ below the summit. Afterward, we made the final push up to the top.

The final stretch
The final stretch

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Goat Mountain Summit Nap

On the summit, I made sure we were as far away from the cornices on the eastern edge. Then the pup and I took a long-overdue nap. The most exhausting part of this trip was losing and regaining elevation over three ridges. Snow conditions were mostly excellent. But some areas felt sketchy because of the steep angle.

Trees lined up across this elongated summit. But views to the north were spotty. But we were able to easily walk around to the north side and get the broad scenery. All in all, the summit did provide a 360-degree view if we moved to different spots. But we spent most of our time on dry rocks on the south end.

South view from Goat Peak
South view from Goat Peak

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Outro Through Davis Peak

Like Davis Peak, Goat Mountain had the best of both worlds as far as the views went. With Teanaway Backcountry high points to the east and the dramatic landscape of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness to the west. The Cradle, Mount Stuart, Hawkins Mountain, Bears Breast Mountain, Mount Daniel, Chimney Rock, Hibox Mountain, to name a few.

Getting back down, we followed our tracks for the most part. But we would cut through steep terrain wherever possible. Back on Davis Peak Middle peak, we traveled southeast toward the lookout first. Then we cut down into the forest. Soon, we made it back on the south ridge. There we noticed new tracks that ended just short of the basin.

Thanks for another wonderful day
Thanks for another wonderful day

See more trip photos here.

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