North Cascades Mountain Goats

The North Cascades mountain range in northwestern Washington State is a remote and rugged section of wilderness. North Cascades National Park is the center piece, bounded to the south by the Glacier Peak Wilderness and Alpine Lakes Wilderness, on the west by the Mt Baker Wilderness and east lies the expansive Pasayten Wilderness. All of these areas are home to many North Cascades Mountain Goats.

Inhabiting the higher elevations the mountain goats are seen often through out the summer and fall when you venture away from the main thorough fares and gain some elevation.

Despite the recent fear generated about goats due to a recent goat human interaction that ended badly for the human, mountain goats are generally not aggressive in the least. One can often observe them nibbling on grass and generally doing their goat thing making their way here and about.

Here in the North Cascades it is not uncommon to see goats hanging around camps sites. They tend to become salt-starved and will await a camper urinating to go lick the spot, to get the salt lingering afterwards. Goats will lick or nibble any sweat soaked item left out as well, such as the straps on hiking poles or clothing.

At Sahale Glacier Camp (North Cascades National Park), where there is nothing besides rock and snow the goats will often walk about visiting the tent pads waiting for campers to pee on the stones.

North Cascades Mountain Goats

This offers some wonderful opportunities for photographing them with some wonderful backgrounds. If you are interested in going on a North Cascades Photo Tour to possibly see North Cascades Mountain Goats, here is a link with the details!

Over the years I have encountered dozens of goats, none have ever behaved in an aggressive fashion. Here are a few pictures from a recent trip to the Enchantments (Alpine Lakes Wilderness). The goats lazed near camp for several hours, awaiting a salty reward.

You can read more about mountain goats here. Another place where I have seen herds of as many as 20 goats together is the Goat Rocks Wilderness, located a bit south of Mount Rainier. I was not able to get close enough for a decent picture however.

Happy Goat Image Hunting!


3 Replies to “North Cascades Mountain Goats”

  1. Nice post, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for your always great pictures of my ‘back yard’ (I live in the upper Skagit Valley).

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