Excerpt From 101 Travel Bits: Glacier National Park - Mountain Goats
Time for an excerpt from our book, 101 Travel Bits: Glacier National Park. Today's excerpt is from the book's entry on mountain goats - many of which make the park home.
"Glacier National Park is home to a large population of mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus). Mountain goats are usually found in the park’s higher elevations, including the alpine regions of the park. Even during the winter, they can be found in the alpine regions of the park, when the rest of the large mammals of Glacier National Park have moved to lower elevations.
Mountain goats are able to survive in the coldest parts of the park in part because of their wool coat, which consists of two thick layers of fur. Their survival is also aided by their feet. With cloven hooves that can spread, pads that provide traction and sharp dewclaws that help keep their feet from slipping, mountain goats can easily climb steep and rocky slopes that other mammals cannot. During the winter, snow blows off the high rocks of the park, allowing mountain goats to traverse these areas with little to no snow, finding food in between the rocks.
Visitors to Glacier National Park can see mountain goats in many parts of the park. They are often seen at Logan Pass, Hidden Lake, and Grinnell Lake. During the spring months, some of the best places to see mountain goats are the park’s natural mineral licks, where mountain goats congregate. Some of these can be found near hiking trails, but the easiest to access is Goat Lick, along U.S. Highway 2. As with all the park’s animals, you should give mountain goats a wide berth. Although they typically do not attack humans, they are capable of injuring and even killing humans; a mountain goat in Olympic National Park gored and killed a hiker approximately 10 years ago."
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