Wrangell St. Elias National Park
Backpacking Trip: The Goat Trail
Distance: 26 miles
Approx. hiking time: 6-8 days
Total elevation gain: +2793, -4946
Best season: July - early September
Access: Bush flight from McCarthy to Skolai Pass
Maps: USGS McCarthy C-3, C-4, B-4
Challenges: Difficult stream crossings, steep scree slopes, route finding
The Goat Trail is one of the classic trekking routes in the park, it moves through a variety of terrain. There are several challenging stream crossings on the route. You should be experienced and confident in your ability to cross deep and swift streams. One section of the route includes traversing on steep scree slopes with occasional exposre that will make some uncomfortable. There is a path across the slopes but it is thin and not maintained.
Even detailed route descriptions such as those found in the book are not a substitute for skills and experience. If you would like to do this route but don't feel that you are ready to tackle the Alaskan wilderness on your own, consider a guided trek.
If you are interested in doing this route as part of a guided trek, click here for more inforation on the Goat Trail in Alaska's Wrangell St. Elias National Park.