WILDLIFE

Mountain goat spotting in Utah this spring

Mar 21, 2022, 2:53 PM | Updated: 3:00 pm
Mountain goat in a canyon....
One of more than twenty mountain goats feeds on the grass growing on the rocks at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon pauses to take a look at the view on Friday May 6, 2005. Photo by Scott G. Winterton/Deseret Morning News May 6, 2005. (Submission date: 05/06/2005)
(Submission date: 05/06/2005)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources shared two mountain goat viewing events it would hold in the upcoming weeks. 

Aside from the events, the DWR also said people have seen mountain goats in Box Elder Peak and Lone Peak. It said in the past five years, visitors had seen up to a dozen mountain goats around this time of year.

The DWR noted that populations of mountain goats in those areas have declined. But, the DWR added, limited tracking means it is unknown whether the population really declined or if the animals just relocated.

Mountain goat viewing events

This spring the DWR will host two free viewing events in March and April.

“I never get tired of the excited faces of people seeing their first mountain goat,”  said Scott Root, DWR central region outreach manager. “People are amazed at the acrobatic abilities of the goats and how they keep their footing on steep, rocky ledges.”

The DWR said the first event will be on March 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the Stillwater Dam. Biologists will be at the event to offer information and answer questions.

“Participants can usually see 10 to 30 mountain goats and other wildlife from Rock Creek Road, which runs through the canyon where the goats spend their winter months,” DWR Northeastern Region Outreach Manager Tonya Kieffer-Selby said.

The DWR said this event will have spotting scopes with a viewing screen available but asked participants to bring their own binoculars.

The DWR also encouraged participants to register online and reserve a time slot. The registration site offers driving directions to the event.

The second event will be on April 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 4385 Little Cottonwood Canyon Road. 

This event will also have biologists in attendance for information and to provide spotting scopes and binoculars. Participants are encouraged to register online, though there are no time slots for this event.

Mountain goats in Utah

The DWR’s Utah Mountain Goat Management Statewide Plan noted that all current mountain goat populations are a result of introductions.

The plan said the first introduction in 1967 saw six mountain goats released in the Lone Peak area.

A graph measuring the animals’ Utah population showed that their population stabilized at about 1,900 animals at the time of the plan’s writing.

Related: Where to safely see wild swans in Utah this month

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Mountain goat spotting in Utah this spring