Mountain goats on the DWR agenda for public viewing

Mountain goat. Photo:

BEAVER, Utah, July 19, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — State game officials are promising a peek at 50 to 100 elusive mountain goats in one morning at an upcoming free viewing event.

The gathering is planned near Big John Flat on the Tushar Mountains in Beaver County, according to the state Division of Wildlife Resources website:

“This event will allow you to explore the 11,500 elevation, alpine-tundra ecosystem the goats live in. Found only above the timberline, it’s an ecosystem seldom seen in southern Utah.”

DWR hosting will include biologists on hand to answer questions and provide information about the animals at the viewing event, scheduled for Saturday, July 30 from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

Spotting scopes with phone adapters will be set up with a viewing screen to provide a closer view of the goats; however, participants should bring their own binoculars if they have them.

Attendees should also come prepared with warm clothing and water because the area is quite remote and services are not available.

“Participants can usually see up to 50 or even 100 mountain goats and other wildlife from Big John Road, which runs through the heart of where the goats spend their summer months,” DWR Southern Region Outreach Manager Adam Kavalunas said.

“The Tushar Mountains provide some of the most breathtaking views in mountain goat habitat in Utah. Mountain goat populations on the rugged Tushars are doing well.”

Unlike your smaller farm-dwelling goats, the wild mountain version can be 4 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 300 pounds, according to various wildlife websites. Both males and females have beards and a set of black horns, and to avoid predators, the ungulates tend to live in the higher elevations where they are the largest mammals. Nimble, they are also capable of bounding leaps across 12-foot spans.

Mountain goats were reintroduced to the Tushar Mountains in 1967 when DWR biologists released six animals relocated from Olympic National Park in Washington. The Tushar Mountains herd of mountain goats has thrived and provided a source of population for additional transplants across Utah.

While the event is free, participants should register in advance for a time slot to speed up check-in and reduce crowding at the viewing area. You can register for the event and find more information on Eventbrite.

If it appears the weather will be too severe, the event will be canceled. Call the Cedar City DWR office at 435-865-6100 the day before the event to get updates.

Those interested in “caravanning” to the viewing site should meet at the Sinclair convenience store and gas station at 215 N. Main St. in Beaver at 7:30 a.m. sharp. Driving conditions can vary significantly, depending on weather conditions. A four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicle is recommended, but not always required to reach the viewing event area.

To reach the viewing site on your own from Beaver, drive east on 200 North (Highway 153) for approximately 16 miles. Then turn slightly left onto Big John Flat Road. Remain on this road until the summit of the Tushar Mountains (approximately 8 miles).


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