OverviewThe summit of Goat Mountain via Wildhorse Basin can be reached with less than half the miles required on the standard route, but beware, Wildhorse Basin is Idaho on PCP. Most of the big peaks riding on the basin’s enormous cirque are guarded by a long and rarely broken system of crumbling cliff bands that, for the intrepid climber, requires some steep scrambling, route finding and a little luck. Once on the crest, the climbing usually gentles up considerably. Making it to the crest from Little Wildhorse lake requires a little bit more. This route is dangerous and not recommended. Most of it would be easily protected with rope and some gear but the exit is a veritable toilet bowl that regularly flushes loose rock and dirt, all but invisible to the unsuspecting below.
Getting ThereFrom Mackay: Take US Highway 93 16 miles north of Mackay to the Trail Creek Road. Turn left on the Trail Creek Road. Follow this road 18 miles to the Copper Basin Road. Turn left on the Copper Basin Road. Follow this road 2 miles to the Wildhorse Creek Road. Stay to the right on the Wildhorse Creek Road. Follow the Wildhorse Creek Road 5.5 miles to the campground. The road continues for another 3 miles up the canyon but you'll need a high clearance 4X4 vehicle to negotiate the numerous Idaho obstacles. The road forks near the end, stay on the right fork till it ends at the trailhead.
From Sun Valley/Ketchum: Take Highway 75 (main street) to Sun Valley Road. Turn northeast onto the Sun Valley Road. This road turns into Trail Creek Road. Follow this road to the Copper Basin road. Turn right on the Copper Basin Road. Follow this road 2 miles to the Wildhorse Creek Road. Stay to the right on the Wildhorse Creek Road. Follow the Wildhorse Creek Road 5.5 miles to the campground.
Hike approximately 1.3 miles up the trail toward Howard Peak and then cut right on a very faint forest service trail. It’s been several years since the trail was maintained, keep an eye out for blazes and small rock cairns. Follow the trail until it peters out in a large meadow with 3 small lakes. Climb above the tree line toward the long water slide that spills out of Little Wildhorse lake.
From the lake, ascend easy class two slopes shown in the photo. Hike up the the obvious open throat below the lowest point on the crest between Goat and Florians. Kick steps up the small 40 degree snow field to the base of the cliff. Follow the two inch crack until it ends, cross right onto the small arête and continue till it ends. Then cross back to the left and follow small holds that end below a large dirty shelf with a big loose looking block on the right side of the throat, squeeze between the block and shelf above it to easy ground and then onto the crest. From there, follow the standard route to the south and then true, north summit.