Goat Mountain is the highest point of the central Beaverhead Mountains, that part of the range that sits between Lemhi Pass and Bannock Pass. The Beaverhead Mountains are a long but remote mountain range on the continental divide that form the border of Idaho and Montana. Adding to Goat Mountain's remoteness that the Northern and Southern sections of the range are not only taller, but more impressive (see Scott Peak and Homer Young's Peak); that Goat Mountain barely misses the10,000' mark; and that it doesn't sit directly on the continental divide and you have a peak with over 2k feet of prominence that is almost never visited. Goat's solitude, in addition to its simple route, great views and abundant wildflowers make it a worthwhile stop in the Beaverheads.Goat Mountain is a twin-peaked summit. Although its northern summit is named on the USGS topo map ("East and West Peak"), the southern peak is the true summit.
Because of where it sits between Bannock and Lemhi Passes, the directions to the peak vary greatly on where you're coming from. So to start, find your way to Leadore, Idaho. From the intersection of ID-28 and ID-29, travel north on ID-28 for 7.5miles to Cottom Lane and take a right, crossing the mighty Lemhi River. Cottom Lane dead-ends at Lemhi Road. Turn left onto Lemhi Road. In 1.4 miles a gravel road will come in from the right. Make the hard right onto this road. The road gradually climbs up the valley toward the Beaverheads. There are numerous roads that cross it but it is always obvious which is the correct road. In 1.0 miles the road splits with the left option dropping sharply down into Cedar Gulch. Take this option.**NOTE: The road becomes high-clearance at this point. parking here adds an easy mile to the RT distance**. Follow the road down into Cedar Gulch,then upstream until a 0.3 miles where it branches up and out the west side. Climb out of the gulch and continue along the base of the mountain an additional 0.1 miles to where the road forks again and park. The right fork will be your route up the peak.
Southwest Ridge (Class 2): From the parking spot noted above, take the dirt road that forks to the right. It drops ever-so-slightly down then begins to climb the ridge. The road is easy to follow to its terminus at an old campsite at 8,840'. At this point it is an easy hike across the ridge to the final slope leading to the summit ridge. Continue up this slope, staying to climber's right to avoid the talus and stay in the trees. Once on the summit ridge, walk north a half mile to the true summit. To reach East and West Peak, continue an additional 0.6miles north on the ridge.
The Southwest Ridge route crosses BLM and Salmon-Challis National Forest land. There is no red tape. Carry all the water you need. There is no water on this hike.
When to ClimbGoat Mountain could be climbed at any time of the year. Snowshoes and Trekking poles are recommended if you plan to climb in the winter months. In Idaho, snow could linger on the mountain as late as June.
There are BLM campgrounds on both ID-28 (McFarland CG) and ID-29 (Smokeys Cubs CG). Macfarland is just north of the turnoff and is a fee site. Smokeys Cubs is free and is just north of Leadore on ID-29. There is a nice campsite on the ridge where the road ends but there is no water available at any point on the hike.