- Cabinet Mountains
- Nothing ideal
- The first half up to 4800 feet was in good condition; thereafter it was brushy with a fair bit of blowdown. The top was covered in snow, so who knows?
The trail immediately climbs a well-maintained and recently rerouted trail. It is up, up, up, switchbacking steadily. Views of Lightning Creek and the Beetop ridge open up soon and just get better. At around the 2-mile mark, (roughly 4,800 feet), the trail pops onto a knoll with good views of the Lightning Creek valley, then turns southeast and keeps climbing, but the incline is less steep. This section is rougher, though, with lots of brush and deadfall. Snow got deeper and the trail harder to find.
Snowshoes became necessary near 5,000 feet. The snow obliterated the trail, so we just followed the ridge. Just past the 2.5-mile-mark a false peak is reached; afterwards the trail drops and the ascent of Goat Mountain starts. Views from the top are hard to beat. The peak is just across from Scotchman’s massive north wall. You’ll also spot Scotchman 2, as well as enjoy far-reaching views of Lightning Creek, Lake Pend Oreille and the Clark Fork river valley.
- From Goat Mountain bushwhack down to Morris Creek trail #132 (a shuttle car or bike at the trailhead of #132 would be a big plus!)
- Bushwhack to Scotchman Peak
Things to Consider
- Given how steep it is, I would not recommend this on a hot summer day. Winter seems ideal, as the trailhead is accessible. Spring is perhaps even better, when the snow is packed.