Old Goat Glacier and Tarn

Looking for a hike that has waterfalls, a lake, a glacier and great mountain views? The Old Goat Glacier trial in Spray Valley Provincial Park has it all.

The trail starts from a small unmarked parking area, within the Spray Lake West Side Campground, about 1.5km from the Three Sisters Dam.

The first three kilometers of the trail is an easy walk along a beautiful trail next to the moss-lined Old Goat Creek. At the end of this section of trail, you are rewarded with a great view of a multi-stepped waterfall, cascading down from Old Goat Tarn.

For the next kilometer, the trail climbs steeply for about 250 meters elevation to the top of a headwall. Initially, it zig-zags up a scree and boulder slope, before going up a more pleasant route along the edge of the forest.

From the top of the headwall, you have two choices. You can either hike along a moraine for a view of the Old Goat Glacier, or you can visit a small lake.

To see the glacier, follow the trail south, along a green meadow to the end of the trees, then descend slightly to get onto the lateral moraine of the Old Goat Glacier. Walk along the crest of the moraine for about 1.5 kilometers for your best view of the glacier. You’ll see features like small crevasses, a bergschrund, the accumulation zone, the ablation zone and a rock glacier section that extends beyond the relatively clear-ice part of the glacier.

The trail to the lake is in the opposite direction from the glacier. From the top of the headwall, descend slightly to the gully beside the lateral moraine and then follow the trail in a northerly direction. Shortly, you’ll descend to a pretty little meadow and the lake is just beyond that. Return the same way that you came.

There is no easy way down from the lake near the waterfall.

On your way back, you can enjoy a view of Spray Lake with Big Sister Mountain looming across the valley.

( photos)
1 January 1970

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