There is nothing I love more than a day in the mountains! Over the weekend I met up with a gal I used to coach to go hiking in Waterton. We originally planned to go paddle boarding but it was so cold and overcast when we first pulled into town that we opted to head up to Red Rock Canyon parkway and do Goat Lake instead.
According to the Parks Canada website, Goat Lake is 12.6km roundtrip. The first half is flat and easy but the second half is pretty steep so take your time going up.
You start off at the Red Rock Canyon Parkway and head up the Snowshoe Trail which is a really nice flat trail that’s open to mountain bikes.
Once we hit the turn to the Goat Lake trail it was up, up, up the entire way!
Samara at the turn offSamara was a really fun hiking companion because she loves being outside and would stop to admire views and colours and snap photos with me.
We finally came out of the woods and onto the open portion of the trail where you walk along a trail cut into a rocky slope. I love this part of the trail because the views are amazing and even though it can look sketchy the trail is absolutely solid.
We were almost to the top when we decided to veer off and climb over for a better view of the waterfall.
After the waterfall stop, we had a short way to go and the clouds opened up and the sun came out for the remainder of our hike. It turned out to be a gorgeous day! Waterton weather is so unpredictable.
The stream that runs down from the lake is next to the trail once you reach the top and we stopped at several spots to climb around the rocks and enjoy the view.
Finally we hit Goat Lake! The sun sparkled off the water and it was so beautiful.
After learning that Bertha Lake had a trail around it, I wanted to take the trails around the back country camp sites and see how big Goat Lake was. We walked around the lake which wasn’t very big but was so clear we could watch the fish swimming.
During our walk we realized that the lake was a small part of a larger valley and there was another trail leading out the other way called Avion Ridge. I keep meaning to look it up and see where it goes.
Samara and I had decided on the way up that we were going to scramble up the mountain face and check out the view from the peak. On the way back down we picked our spot and started climbing up, it didn’t look very far to the top.
Scrambling is exhausting and every time we found a solid place to rest the peak seemed to get higher and higher! Ha!
We were about halfway up when we decided we were too tired and that peak was way higher than anticipated. Ha ha! But going up is always so much easier than going down and it took us awhile to carefully pick our way down. We had to go one at a time and wait awhile to make sure rocks didn’t fall onto another’s head. I had a couple of “oh shit what was I thinking?” moments as I picked my way carefully down but we both made it in one piece.
Looking down at Samara climbing downIt was so much fun though and the day flew by so fast! My boss said her daughter had also tried Goat Lake that day and her companion found the climb too difficult.
It is a steep and steady hike up. I was feeling a little embarrassed because I was huffing so bad and had to stop a lot. But on the way down you realize how steep a grade it actually is. I say do it anyway, just take your time. It’s so worth it!
Have you ever hiked Goat Lake?
Do you find mountains appear smaller than they are until you start scrambling up the side? Ha ha!