See mountain goats in Utah this summer at DWR viewing event
Beaver — If you have ever wanted to see mountain goats in the wild, a great viewing opportunity will take place at the end of July.
Tushar Mountains (Beaver County)
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will be hosting a free mountain goat viewing event on Saturday, July 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. near Big John Flat on the Tushar Mountains in Beaver County. 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. Additional unique animals live in this alpine-tundra terrain, including yellow-bellied marmots and pika.
Although mountain goats are often visible from the road, a hike is sometimes required to actually see the mountain goats in person. In addition to seeing mountain goats, biologists will be available to answer questions and provide information about the animals at the viewing event.
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."
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 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.
Directions to the event
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 (Hwy 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).