Distance: 4.5 miles
Trail condition: Excellent
There are several peaks in the Cabinet Mountains of North Idaho named “Goat.” This Goat Mountain is not to be confused with Goat Mountain directly to the west of Scotchman’s Peak.
Drive to Bonners Ferry and proceed north to Threemile Corner (Highway 2) and turn right (east). Pass Moyie Springs and after about 1-2 miles, make the first left off the highway. Follow the road past several homes and some recently logged areas until you reach the trailhead. There is a stream and plenty of parking. The signage at the trailhead is well marked (photo #1).
The trail starts slowly through the forest before crossing the creek less than a mile in. Reach the base of Goat Mountain and take the well-established switchbacks up the northwest ridge until it spills out on an open slope about 500’ below the summit. The views to the west are of the Selkirks. The north into British Columbia and east further into the Cabinet Mountains. The 3,500’ of gain is not insignificant. Our ascent was the first day of March – plenty of snow and directly up after we exited the main forest. Expect 4-6 hours roundtrip. In the winter, bring show shoes or traction devices. The wind whips the summit from all directions so be prepared for it.
Photo #1 – Junction trail sign.
Photo #2 – Genny Hoyle and Jeff Beeman about 300’ before the summit
Photo #3 – Don Otis on the cold summit looking directly east
Photo #4 – Footbridge crosses the creek at about half a mile
Photo #5 – “A Peak” in the distance from the summit of Goat