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Iron Goat Trail

A scenic and historic stroll through the North Cascades

Hiking Moderate

9.6 km
413 m
413 m
2-3 hrs
Low Point
648 m
High Point
917 m
Iron Goat Trail Map

The Iron Goat Trail in the North Cascades of Washington State winds through a landscape steeped in both natural beauty and rich history. This historic trail, once a part of the Great Northern Railway, offers hikers a fascinating journey through typically-peaceful Washington forests, and the remnants of early 20th-century railway infrastructure. The trail offers a mix of gentle inclines and moderate elevation gains, making it accessible to hikers of varying skill levels.


Beginning near the town of Skykomish, the Iron Goat Trail follows the path of the old Wellington-to-Manchester railway line, which was in operation from 1893 to 1929. The trailhead is easily accessed, yet, upon leaving it, you are soon immersed in the North Cascades landscape.

One of the highlights of the Iron Goat Trail is its historical significance. Interpretive signs and displays along the route provide insights into the area's railroad history and the tragic events that unfolded here. In 1910, a devastating avalanche near the town of Wellington claimed the lives of nearly 100 people, making it one of the deadliest avalanches in U.S. history.

In addition to its historical significance, the Iron Goat Trail is scenically stunning, and as well as the forests through which you pass, there are some exceptional panoramic vistas to enjoy.

For those seeking a longer adventure, the Iron Goat Trail connects to other hiking trails in the area, allowing for extended exploration of the North Cascades region. Backpackers can choose to continue their journey along the Pacific Crest Trail or explore nearby alpine lakes and mountain peaks.



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between May and October


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area