click to enlarge Goat Mountain

Michael Hoyt

Goat Mountain

Goat Mountain (5,921’) is a squat, often-overlooked, mountain that lies between Ward Mountain and Downing Mountain. Appearing insignificant, its diminutive size may be why few bother making the climb. There is one man, however, who claims this mountain as his own, Mario Locatelli, often referred to as "the mountain goat."

For years, Mario used Goat Mountain to keep fit. During the 35+ years he has lived in the valley, Mario claims to have hiked every drainage in the Bitterroots and hiked/climbed every ridgeline between Lolo and Nez Perce passes.

At first glance most don’t consider Mario, standing about 5’ 4”, to be capable of accomplishing such feats. But a few minutes of conversation and a closer look will convince you this rock-hard 77-year-old has done what he claims, and more.

 The route (Class 1) to the easternmost highpoint on Goat Mountain is straightforward and begins at the Sawtooth Creek Trailhead. After crossing the bridge over Roaring Lion Creek, take the left fork and follow the well-worn trail to the summit. The trail gains elevation immediately and quickly. Although not marked with blazes, the route is clearly discernable and not easily missed.

—Michael Hoyt


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