SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) will be holding two free mountain goat viewing events in the coming weeks through the end of March and into early April.
The DWR will be hosting the first free mountain goat viewing event on Saturday, March 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the Upper Stillwater Dam in the Rock Creek area, northwest of Mountain Home in Duchesne County.
Biologists will be available to answer questions and provide information about the mountain goats. Spotting scopes with phone adapters will also 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 fairly remote and services will not be available.
“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 Uinta Mountains are the largest contiguous block of mountain goat habitat in Utah.”
To reach the viewing site from U.S. Highway 40, take one of the roads from U.S. 40 to Altamont/Mountain Home.
If you’re approaching from the west, turn left (north) onto state Route 87 (North Center Street) in Duchesne. Follow state Route 87 north for roughly 15.5 miles, and turn left onto the road to Mountain Home (21000 West). This road is about four miles before you reach Altamont.
If you’re coming from the east, drive through Roosevelt on U.S. 40 roughly five miles, and turn right (north) onto Ioka Lane (3000 South; this road is right before U.S. 40 turns south and goes uphill). Ioka Lane is also state Route 87, so stay on this road to Altamont, then drive through Altamont to reach Mountain Home Road, and turn north. This road is roughly four miles past Altamont.
If you are driving from the state Route 87/Mountain Home Road Junction, travel north on Mountain Home Road about 2.8 miles, and then turn left at the Mountain Home Lodge onto Country Route 95 also known as FR134. This is the road to Rock Creek and Upper Stillwater Dam. The turn isn’t well marked, but a sign for the Miner’s Gulch, Yellowpine and Stillwater campgrounds is posted near the turn. Follow Route 95 roughly 20 miles to the viewing area.
The second event will then take place on Saturday, April 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Little Cottonwood Canyon (4385 Little Cottonwood Canyon Road).
Biologists will also be at this event to provide information and to offer spotting scopes and binoculars.
“I never get tired of the excited faces of people seeing their first mountain goat,” Scott Root, DWR central region outreach manager, said. “People are amazed at the acrobatic abilities of the goats and how they keep their footing on steep, rocky ledges. The younger goats are a crowd favorite, especially when they are chasing each other.”
While the events are free, participants are encouraged to register on Eventbrite in advance to reserve a time slot. Both events are also subject to cancellation if severe weather conditions become a factor.