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It's prime time for mountain goat spotting at these two Utah locations

Mountain Goat
Posted at 12:06 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 14:42:03-04

SALT LAKE CITY — If you’re looking for something fun to do this spring, how about getting outside and looking for some mountain goats?

Mountain goats can be seen now through April in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Recently people have been showing up to the "park and ride" lot in Little Cottonwood Canyon to check out the mountain goats, including Scott Roberts, a wildlife photographer from South Jordan.

“It’s so amazing to be able to come 20 minutes from your home and see these majestic Rocky Mountain goats,” said Scott Roberts.

Roberts and his friends usually come to Little Cottonwood Canyon a couple of times a week to take pictures of the goats.

“We move around the state and try to get pictures of all the wildlife and the birds and whatever and we just enjoy it,” said Roberts.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says now through April is the best time to see the goats.

“People can come up here and just watch these mountain goats that are often right across the canyon from us,” said Scott Root with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Root recommended bringing a pair of binoculars as the goats can be hard to spot with the naked eye.

“Look for the little yellowish colored snow, off-white, because you know they get to be a little dirty at times,” said Root.

Right now the goats are wintering and so they’re lower in the canyon, but shortly, they’ll head further up into the mountains, sometimes even going all the way up to 13,000 feet.

"They’re safe from predators for the most part, and you know they can find enough food up there, you know the mosses, the little tiny leaves and little things like that,” said Root.

Mountain goats have soft hooves making it easy for them to quickly move up the rocks.

While the DWR isn’t holding a viewing event in Salt Lake this year they are holding one in Duchesne County Saturday, March 20.

"It’s a great thing for people to be able to come out and see the diversity of animals that we have in Utah,” said Roberts.

On Saturday, DWR will host a mountain viewing event in Duchesne County.

"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," said DWR Northeastern Region Outreach Manager Tonya Kieffer-Selby in a posting on DWR's website. "The Uinta Mountains are the largest contiguous block of mountain goat habitat in Utah, and mountain goat populations in the Uintas are doing well."

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the Upper Stillwater Dam in an area known as Rock Creek, northwest of Mountain Home, Duchesne County. Participants are asked to register for the event on Eventbrite, obey COVID-19 safety protocols and come prepared with warm clothing and water.

Click here for further details on Saturday's event.