Fall in Seattle was at its peak on the last weekend of October. I was so lucky to have ventured out to the east side of the city with a few of my really good friends from Minnesota. We initially planned on driving a few hours up north near the Canadian border to hike Chain Lake. However, the commute was quite long, and we couldn’t have made it back for Din Tai Fung for dinner before they were closed. So we opted for Goat Lake with much shorter drive instead. With little research beforehand, we ended up hiking a lot more to the final destination. It was the longest but well-worth hike I’ve ever done! And not to mention, fall was at its peak here, so the drive was extra-breathtaking. I couldn’t keep my eyes off from the roads, luckily, I wasn’t driving and was able to snap lots of photos with my phone on the way. We drove passed by the trailhead of Lake 22. I had hiked Lake 22 a few weeks ago, blog post: here.
DISTANCE 10.7 miles (about 6 hours moderate speed in and out) | ELEVATION GAIN 1984 feet | ROUTE TYPE Loop | TRAILHEAD: North Cascades – Mountain Loop Highway. Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Darrington Ranger District
Firstly, I want to highlight my outfit, specifically hiking outfit. I don’t know if I have stressed this enough that wearing appropriate outdoor clothing is so important to keep you well-ventilated, warm, and safe. I still need to invest in a good pair of hiking boots. My Nike air shoes aren’t really made for walking on water nor rocks. Plus the tips of my shoes aren’t as padded, so my toes hurt so badly on the way back of this trip.
When hiking, I usually bring along a sweater, either drape it around my shoulders or wear it when it gets chilly in the wood. I bring a backpack, always, for food, snacks and fruits, water, and to put my sweater in whenever I don’t need. My base outfit, as you can see below, always include a pair of good leggings, a sport bra, a tank top, and a thin jacket. I recently bought 2 pairs of Lulu Lemon leggings, and I pretty much live in them these days. They’re made from the softest and silkiest material that I can’t help but feel my legs all day long. Plus the cut and seam design of these leggings are great as they make my butt and legs look so good. It sounds funny, but seriously, invest in one Lulu Lemon piece and it will last you for years to come!
OUTFIT DETAILS: (I will link some alternative items at the end of this post.)
sport bra: Lulu Lemon, Free To Be Serene, here
tank top: Alexander Wang (bought on sale at Nordstrom Rack), similar: here
leggings: Lulu Lemon, similar (with the reflective dot design) here
shoes: Nike Air Presto, here
jacket: Nike, Impossibly Light, here
wool socks: Jcrew, similar here
sweater: American Apparel
Goat Lake is considered moderate, 10.2 mile long hike. After walking for about 10 minutes in, the trail splits in two, called Upper and Lower Elliot. We didn’t expect this prior to the hike, so we ended up choosing the Upper Elliot. After awhile, we got discouraged by the elevation and the boring views, so we decided to get back to take the Lower Elliot instead. That added in another 20 minutes and extra 4-5 miles on top of the 10+ miles Google suggested us. And to our expectation, the views go to much better in the Lower Elliot. There was a huge creek and a pretty cool waterfall 2/3 of the way in. It got a lot tougher, rocky and steeper, towards the end near the lake, so be warned! There were a lot of fallen trees, but overall, it wasn’t too bad. We hiked on a Saturday, but it wasn’t crowded at all. We got a pretty good spot looking out to the lake, had some sandwich and apples for lunch, and took some pictures here. The lake was green and blue, and the water was so calm. It was stunning!!! I’d totally do it again, but definitely in a big group as it is more fun to hike a longer trail that way! Some people I’ve heard couldn’t find the lake, sadly, so definitely stay hydrated and have your Google map opened. We use it to estimate how far we are to the destination while hiking. End destination is usually a lake or an overlook, so your phone will still be able to locate where you are relatively to the location that you want to go without any service.
Happy birthday Jen!!! I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos. Definitely add a hiking trip whenever you have a chance to be out here in Washington.
Want more hiking ideas?