Outdoors Blog

Hikers, mountain goats share a ledge at Glacier National Park

Sharing cliff-edge trail with mountain goats in Glacier

Walking the Highline trail at Glacier National Park, we encountered a pair of mountain goats who wanted to use the trail, too. Here are photos and some video from the unique animal encounter.
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Walking the Highline trail at Glacier National Park, we encountered a pair of mountain goats who wanted to use the trail, too. Here are photos and some video from the unique animal encounter.

One of the top items on my Glacier National Park to-do list was a quick jaunt on the famed Highline trail, which includes a section along a cliff edge about 100 feet above the road. The trail is about 6 feet wide but a cable is attached to the rock wall for nervous hikers.

I hit the trail Sunday afternoon with my wife, Brandi, and our 8-year-old son, Oliver. It was lunchtime, so we figured we’d walk about a mile out and return. On the way back, during the cliff-edge section, my wife was out in front. I looked ahead and saw a mountain goat hop down from a ledge above and onto the trail, just around the corner and out of Brandi’s sight. I told her what was coming.

Soon, two goats appeared — including a kid. We all hugged the wall as the goats sneaked past, with the kid walking right on the edge of the cliff. As Oliver said, “That was cool.”

Now we’re all hooked on mountain goats — they’re stinkin’ cute.

I compiled our best photos and videos from the goat encounter — including more goats on another section of the trail — for the video above.

The Glacier visit was the end of a 12-day family trip to visit three national parks — Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier. I’ll write about the experience for next week’s Playing Outdoors cover story, which will appear July 20.

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