Mountain goats are impressive animals and are usually spotted deep in the remote mountains of Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Colorado. They may seem like gentle creatures, but keep your space and don’t turn your back on one, even to take that increasingly sought-after mountain goat selfie. If you observe from a respectful distance, however, you will likely be blown away by the mountain goat.
These 100- to 300-pound herbivores are insanely good at climbing mountains, and they almost seem to defy gravity as they daintily scamper up impossibly steep cliffs. Their feet are cloven hooves that each have two toes that spread wide and help them with their balance. They also have a rough pad under each of their toes that provides all the traction of a state-of-the-art climbing shoe.
Their white coats make them pretty easy to pick out during the summer time, and the distinctive beards give them plenty of character. Interested in seeing one for yourself? The following hikes are known for frequent mountain goat sightings, and your chances are good if you explore these options. If you’re ga-ga for goats, check out this quick video by National Geographic about transporting mountain goats to maintain healthy population levels in Utah.