ST. GEORGE — You could see as many as 100 mountain goats on Aug. 4. You don’t have to dress up like “goat-man” to do it and you may not need binoculars either. At some of the past viewing events on the Tushar Mountains, the goats have gotten as close as 35 feet to those viewing them.
This Saturday, the Division of Wildlife Resources will host its annual Goat Watch on the Tushar Mountains east of Beaver.
The event is free.
The trip will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the convenience store at the bottom of Exit 109 off Interstate 15. Exit 109 is the exit on the south side of Beaver.
From there, participants will caravan to the top of the Tushar Mountains. When you reach the top, you’ll be close to 11,500 feet above sea level.
Because of construction work on state Route 153, it will take about one hour and 45 minutes to reach the viewing site from Beaver.
Lynn Chamberlain, regional conservation outreach manager for the DWR, said the view from the top of the Tushars is amazing. “You can see all of southern Utah,” he said. “And we can almost always find the goats.”
If binoculars or spotting scopes are needed, Chamberlain will have some you can borrow. But if you have your own viewing equipment, please bring it.
Chamberlain also encourages you to bring water, a hat, a jacket and a sack lunch. It’s also a good idea to travel in a vehicle that has high ground clearance. “The road can be rocky towards the top,” he said.
A unique area
In addition to seeing the mountain goats, you can explore the alpine-tundra ecosystem in which the goats live. Found only above the timberline at high elevations, it’s an ecosystem that’s uncommon in southern Utah.
Chamberlain said unique animals live in this alpine-tundra terrain, including yellow-bellied marmots and pika. “These high-elevation areas get extremely cold in the winter,” he said. “To survive, the animals that live in them have adapted some pretty interesting behaviors.”
For more information about the goat watching event, call the DWR’s Southern Region office at 435-865-6100.