This is long, so bear with me.
We went to Goat Lake, which is only 5.5 miles in with around 500 feet of altitude change.
I posted that my son was 11 earlier. That was a slip - my son is 8, and after this weekend is officially a trouper.
My son got a huge upgrade this trip, with a sub 2 lb down bag that I found at the REI basement for $20. It was dirty and had to be washed and patched, but is now a very nice bag. Between that and just generally packing lighter, all of his extra dry clothes and his pad(my overweight exped synmat 7)plus his book and fishing gear weighed just under 10 lbs.
We arrived at the trail-head at about 9 am, to light rain and a full lot. When we checked the log we were surprised to see that there were 20 people overnighting who had already signed in. However one of the groups was ten boy scouts who had signed in just hanging out and prepping. We quietly decided that the hike up was a race to beat them to the best spots.
When we arrived at the lake, to our chagrin all of the designated areas were already being staked out by teenage scouts who had set out early and who had thrown one article of theirs into each site to claim them. The five or six obvious areas were already taken up.
So we decided to go 500 feet from the other sites and semi stealth camp on the top of a pretty steep hill. Evidently someone else had previously had that idea and we found one relatively flat spot to throw up our sleeping tarp, and another to put up a tarp to cook and eat under.
We gulped down some food, and went to fish. Nothing was rising, and the lake was perfectly still. Goat Lake is beautiful, and looks just like a miniature Lake Louise with perfect emerald green water and a round end with a glacier like deposit of ice and snow. I know there are fish there, because WTA.Org had pics but we saw nothing and didn't even get a bite.
After a while, the lightning and thunder started. We kept fishing under my umbrella for a while, but when the hail started we decided to go back to base camp. As we were with A, we decided to have fun yelling "Troll!" every time the thunder rolled through.
When we arrived back at to our tarp, we were shocked to see 23 tents, clustered at car camping distances from each other at the bottom of the hill. Plus seeing new hammocks and tents at sites along the lake on our way back to camp.
I have NEVER seen a busier location, and we were thankful for the major distance between us and the loud folks below.
We ate, then did some more fishing, got rained on some more, then ate and slept.
When we got out of our warm bags to have breakfast at 0830, there were only two of the 23 tents still down there. I think some of them even bugged out during the night.
The weather was bad and it was in the 30s that night, but it was unbelievable that everyone had left so early.
It could have been a disastrous weekend, but clothes that stay warm even when wet and nice light packs made it a fun walk up and back even though it rained.
We caught nothing, froze, and had a heck of a good time.
But I will never go back to Goat Lake on a weekend, it was ridiculously busy.
Edit: The lower elliot trail was a mudbog, the upper was fine. Either way - there is no snow and an easy hike.