Deer Lodge County High Point Trip Report

West Goat Peak (10,793 ft)

Date: August 22, 2002
Author: Tim Worth

Did the higher of the two Goats. In general, it was long grind but had a very consistent, moderate incline and no risky sections on the easiest route, from the southeast via Fishtrap Creek.

Near Fishtrap, MT on a lonely MT 43, I headed into Forest Service land on a gravel Fishtrap Road late at night. Went 6 miles, then turned right (north) at the first intersection, towards Fishtrap Creek.

Slept in my car at a trailhead that night, awoke to two bulls sniffing around my car. After chasing them off I drove to another couple miles to the head of trail 129. It is just past Middle Fork Fishtrap Creek, and has a small sign and place to pull over.

The trail followed the creek for a while but I immediately got off track and ended up at a 4WD road to the north. At the end of this road, some blazes led back to main path. The trail continued north, was steep and poorly marked in places, and had no switchbacks. Water is plentiful on the route. There is a swampy section at 7940 feet where you'll begin an involuntary bushwhack for some time. After 6 miles overall, I got to a gentle saddle where the trail curves to the east and heads downhill - here I bushwhacked northwest heading for Lost Lakes. The brush is very sparse and travel is easy. The rough, steep east slopes of East Goat Peak tower above. Went up a rocky incline to a broad shelf containing a meadow and the Lost Lakes at 9500 feet.

Headed up to the East Goat/West Goat saddle at about 10,100 feet past some snow fields. Took the ridge 700 feet to the top. Small flat summit, no BM, no register, no cairn, no sign of anyone being up there lately. Pretty sheer drop to the north, and an awesome view of Warren Peak to the west, which I had climbed the day before. Made a small cairn and left a note in a film canister. Thought about doing East Goat but was too tired.

Descent was pleasant, uneventful. Back by 7:45 PM. Drove to Missoula.

Trip statistics: 17 miles round trip with a net elevation gain of 10,793 - 6440 = 4353 feet.