Goat Mountain a summit just outside the small town of Lyman is another great winter snowshoeing summit. The mountain seems to only be known by seasoned hikers and peakbaggers because it requires hiking up a private logging road 4.5 miles one way to access the 0.5 mile bushwhack snowshoe section to the summit of Goat Mountain. The total round-trip distance is 10 miles and the elevation gain somewhere around 4000 feet. In winter reaching the summit can take anywhere from 6-10 hours based on the snow conditions and the person who is climbing the mountain. The gated road which not only gated but under surveillance (private logging firm) will force you to walk up the road all the way up.
This summit is clearly not a summer destination for a couple reasons. First it is very overshadow by many of the larger North Cascade mountains just 50 miles to the east. The second reason is because a person would literally have to take a road slog 4.5 miles only to have a rough bushwhack the rest of the way. The third reason is because during the summer season there is active logging going on the region and hikers would have to compete with logging trucks on the initial road up.
Zephyr2us heading up the mountain.
Zephyr2us breaking through the trees.
But as a winter destination Goat Mountain clearly meets the criteria. The road once snow-covered becomes dramatically prettier and forms as a good open snowshoe trail. The tougher bushwhack finally is now much more scenic because you can snowshoe up to the final summit rocks. Now only is it more scenic but the snow in some ways make much easier to attain the summit.
This would not be nearly as scenic during the summer
Looking at the summit of Goat Mountain
The summit views on Goat Mountain are indeed very good in winter. The true summit is completely treeless and the summit is home to three volcano views (Baker, Glacier Peak, Rainier). The Twin group up to the northwest is in clear view as well as the excellent closeup views of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan. Most of the western sections of the North Cascades can also be seen from Goat Mountain though these mountains tend to be more distant. A good camera can get a good closeup shot of the mountains. Overall the summit views are very worthwhile and really make this mountain worth it in winter.
Above the clouds
Little Billy from Goat Mountain
Map of the Route
Map of Route
VIA THE LOGGING ROAD PARKING AREA: From I-5 take exit 232 for Cook Rd toward Sedro-Woolley. Make a right onto Cook Rd and go roughly 4.3 miles. Turn left onto State Route 20 East and go 17.0 miles (about a half mile past Baker Road Groceries and Gas). Make a left onto Baker Lake Road and go 5.0 miles. The turnout will be on your left.
Sign at the gate
This road is owned by a private logging company therefore the rules can change. As of right now the only rule is that no one is to ride their vehicle up the mountain up the mountain at anytime. There is a parking area at the base of the road just before the gate that is made for three cars. When I was there I saw that someone had a bowel movement in the parking lot. My guess is that this is not a place I want to keep my car overnight.
I did not see anything sign prohibiting camping but due to the fact that you are parking on a private logging road in which I saw a human bowel movement I wouldn't recommend it.