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

Goat Mountain closeup
Goat Mountain closeup

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Goat Mountain in Salmon La Sac has been on the back burner for many years. Despite having admired it from other high points, the reason for putting it off had always been the long-drawn approach. 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.

The Lowdown on Goat Mountain 6600

Access: Davis Peak Trailhead
Round Trip: 13.6 miles
Elevation Range: 2600′-6600′
Gear: helmet, snowshoes, microspikes
GPS Track: available

Davis Peak Steep South Ridge

The hike started with a brief descent to the Cle Elum River bridge crossing. After gaining about 600′ of moderate elevation and a leisurely walk through the semi-open forest, the trail then steadily steepened. The path weaved through the old burn in the open and then got back into the dense forest higher up.

The myriad of switchbacks offset the steep terrain and made the ascent 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 scoping us out on the trail. Snow began to appear at around 5000′.

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Davis Peak Southwest to Davis Peak Central

I was still able to hike comfortably in boots while getting through sections of firm snow in the forest. We got out of the trees 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, though snowshoes were optional at this point.

We continued on the ridge crest and slowly made our way through the timbered ridge up to the southwest peak. The partially snow-covered ridgeline to Davis Peak Central didn’t look conducive to cross for the pup. So halfway through, we dropped onto the south face to avoid punching through the snow.

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Getting Around Davis Peak North via Lake Terence Basin

From Davis Peak Central, I was able to determine our next move once I scoped out snow conditions. After getting down to the notch north of the summit, I poked my head into Opal Lake Basin. But there wasn’t enough snow to plunge step yet still 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, and then we got around it to get to the north side. From Davis-Goat, a quick descent on the gentle northeast ridge got us down to the saddle. Then we climbed into the basin above Lake Michael. Maybe because I wasn’t looking, but I don’t remember ever seeing the lake.

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Goat Mountain South Peak to Main Summit

From the pass south of Goat Mountain’s south peak, I checked out the basin below the main summit. I wanted to see the conditions of the connecting ridge, but hard to do so from the pass. So we got up to the south peak. Once again, just enough snow to complicate things. 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 got on it. We took a much-needed food break at 200′ below the summit before the final push up to the top.

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Napping on Goat Mountain Summit

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 having to lose and gain back elevation over three ridges. Although snow conditions were excellent, some parts were sketchy due to the steep incline.

There were trees on this elongated summit, and views to the north were a bit spotty. But we could easily walk around to the north side and get the full 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 exposed rocks on the south end.

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Outro Through Davis Peak

Like Davis Peak, Goat Mountain got the best of both worlds as far as views go. 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.

We reversed our route for the most part and cut through steep terrain wherever we could. Back on the Davis Peak Middle peak, we traveled southeast toward the lookout and then cut down into the forest. Back on the south ridge, we noticed new boot tracks that stopped just short of the basin.

Thanks for another wonderful day
Thanks for another wonderful day

See more trip photos here.

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