Goat Flats/Tin Can Gap/Three Fingers

Page Type
Trip Report
Washington, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Sep 11, 2010
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Goat Flats/Tin Can Gap/Three Fingers
Created On: Sep 12, 2010
Last Edited On: Sep 21, 2010
Table of Contents

Trail Head

Entrance sign to trail....

The most important thing to remember when hiking in wilderness areas, is to use your senses (eyes, smell & hearing) at all times. Being aware of your surroundings will eliminate any dangerous encounter. Such is the case of my hike.

Rocky Trail

On September 11, 2010, three of us set out to hike the Goat Flats/Tin Can Gap Trail (MT Baker National Forest-Boulder River Wilderness). After driving eighteen miles on a gravel road with mud holes, we arrived at the trail by 10am. It was a late start. The tail is 6.7 miles one way. The elevation gain is 2800 ft. and the highest point is 5800 ft. The weather was mild, low clouds and no rain.

The trail started at 3000 ft. We heard gun shots in the distance. The trail needed work. We plowed through mud holes, over rocks and water most of the way. Before Saddle Lake, we had to cut through the trail. Some fallen trees over the trail. After the lake, it smoothed out a bit, but continued to have roots on the trail. I slipped and fell on my ass in one of the meadows before the Goat Flats.
Rough Rock & Moss

About four miles into the hike, we came across bear prints and bear droppings. We also could 'smell' bear on the Goat Flats trail, which was carried by the wind from the below basin. At this time it was about noon.
Goat Flats Trail sign...

We got to the Goat Flats trail just after 1pm. Exposure on the Goat Flats Trail is east and west. With no technical difficulty, we continued to pace ourselves.

On the way going down, we encountered a black bear more then 200 lbs. We didn't notice him at first. The bear gave a 'grunt' to warn us he was present. We immediately stopped. The three of us stayed calm. After locating him in the dense underbrush to the left of our trail. We began to talk loudly, and I blew my whistle. In seconds, the bear ran up the tree, checked us out. Then several seconds later, jumped down and ran off. This could have gone bad, but by allowing the bear his space and letting him know we were present, gave us the upper hand.
Goat Flats/Tin Gap Trail/Three Fingers

We arrived back at 7pm and hour before night fall. What an amazing day I had...


This hike was the most challenging one I have ever done. It is strenuous, but very impressive. I will never forget the encounter of the bear, the gun shots, and falling on my ass!
Relaxing on Goat Flats TrailMy friends on Goat Flats Trail

Goat Flats Flora

Goat Flats #2 photo

Saddle Lake

Tin Can Gap/Three Fingers/Goat Flats

Just before Tin Can Gap

Goat Flats #3

Roots on trail

Flora Goat Flats


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EricChu - Dec 12, 2010 8:28 pm - Voted 10/10

Very nice trip report as well!

I'm so sorry I took so long to hit upon these contributions of yours, Elizabeth - I find you did a great job these last months!
All the best to you,

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