Montana Outdoors

September 27, 2010

Mt Silcox (2)

USFS trail 478 climbs rather steeply from the trail head at ~ 5,400 feet to the first of the two Goat Lakes at ~ 6,100 feet and nearly two miles up the trail. It’s a very good trail, but does not provide the views that will be seen from Goat Lakes to the top of Silcox. I was pleased to see here that I was backtracking a cougar who had come down the trail some time during the night.

Early morning view of Eddy Peak from trail 478The rising sun has already flooded Eddy Mountain across the Clark For River valley in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains.

Along trail 478 to Mt SilcoxFirst glimpse of the high country above into which the trail leads.

Eddy PeakHigher on the trail, scenes of the Coeur d’Alenes become much broader.

Along trail 478 to Mt SilcoxAbout half way to Goat Lakes, the forest opens up a bit along the trail.

Along trail 478 to Mt SilcoxMountainside foliage as the trail approaches Goat Lakes.

Lower Goat LakeAs I reached the lower of the Goat Lakes, the sun was just beginning to touch the water.

Lower Goat LakeEarly morning sun and long shadows still on the lake.

Upper Goat LakeUpper Goat Lake just beginning to awaken with the new day.

And then the trail begins to climb in earnest!

(To be continued…)


  1. Question: The fourth photo shows a trail that looks quite deep. Is this just a critter trail? Or is it an actual designated hiking trail? That Lake is a stunner. I’m afraid I would never leave a place like that.


    Comment by Robin — September 28, 2010 @ 5:53 am

    • The trail has several uses. It was established in the 1930’s as a pack trail for the lookout on Mt Silcox when it was used by horse and mule pack strings. Many of the original pack rails have deep cuts where the ground is softer. It still has horse traffic and some foot traffic, but lots of animal traffic too.

      Both of the lakes are pretty and would certainly make nice places to camp for a few days of solitude. They might even be fishable.


      Comment by montucky — September 28, 2010 @ 8:14 am

  2. Pretty forest, pretty trail, pretty lake, pretty photo’s, pretty lucky hiker to see such grand scenery!

    Have a wonderful day Montucky!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — September 28, 2010 @ 8:18 am

    • Well said, wildlifewatcher! I hope you have a great day too!


      Comment by montucky — September 28, 2010 @ 8:32 am

  3. Oh oh oh so very beautiful! Love that blue blue sky & the lake shots, too!


    Comment by Tricia — September 28, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

    • I really liked this trail because of its scenery, and the day turned out just about right.


      Comment by montucky — September 28, 2010 @ 7:49 pm

  4. Wild, rugged, and gorgeous. I really like the photos with the lake, and especially the last photo. Mother Nature in her finest.


    Comment by Anna — September 28, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

    • In this whole area there are lakes like these. They are at relatively high elevations, yet sit in bowl-like areas below the peaks and high ridges.


      Comment by montucky — September 28, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

  5. That trail looks well used. Probably not by just humans, right?


    Comment by Sandy — September 28, 2010 @ 2:18 pm

    • I’d guess very little use by humans, and partly because of that, there is a lot of animal traffic. Deer, elk and moose can keep a trail looking pretty well used. As I mentioned, there were cougar tracks coming down the trail clear from the top of Silcox to the trail head.


      Comment by montucky — September 28, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

  6. Those deep pines against the water, so pretty, what a gorgeous place Montana is.


    Comment by Candace — September 28, 2010 @ 6:01 pm

    • Montana is very scenic, even when seen only from the highways. I sure hope we will have the wisdom to preserve these wild areas though. It is only in them that we can see the natural state of things as it has been for millenniums.


      Comment by montucky — September 28, 2010 @ 8:00 pm

  7. That Goat Lakes is very wild looking. Here the nature is seen so rugged that it inspires one’s mind to have an adventure. Especially I like the third photo from the bottom.


    Comment by sartenada — September 30, 2010 @ 11:08 pm

    • Yes, it is wild country in that area. There are no roads and no motor vehicles allowed, only hikers and horses. It feels so good to be in a wild and natural area.


      Comment by montucky — October 1, 2010 @ 8:15 pm

  8. I’m there in that lowest one – somewhere on the edge of the lake, with you. That’s how vivid it feels!
    So… are you part mountain goat, then?


    Comment by Val Erde — October 4, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

    • That’s a scene I like very much. It was even more special because I had thought the lakes would be so different from that and I just loved them as soon as I saw them. It’s just incredibly nice to explore new places like that.

      Definitely part mountain goat… there are also several other wild critters somewhere up in the family tree too.


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2010 @ 6:35 pm

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