Do not let these fluffy creatures fool you. They are big stupid fuzzy jerks. The whole bunch of them. How do I know this? I spent 5 days in the Enchantments and ended up camping in a goat colony. Sure, the websites warn you ‘pee on rocks, stay 50 ft away from them if possible, don’t pet them, etc.’ But you still have a sense of naivety about mountain goats until you realllllly live around them. I mean, it is pretty darn cool that they are so close and just roaming all over. But fair warning…do not try and engage, because even when you don’t, they still can head butt you when you least expect it, which is what happened to our friend Alyssa.

The first morning we were in the Enchantments, we woke up to at least a dozen goats all around our camp. It was quite majestic. Baby goats were playing while the mama and papa goats kept and eye on them while munching on breakfast. The were milling about a bunch of rocks near our campsite. Alyssa was sitting on one of those rocks while the goats wandered around her. Soon, an adult goat hopped up on the same rock she was on, right behind her. At first, it did nothing so Alyssa chose not to engage it in any way as it was a wild animal. But to no avail, that goat reared up and butted her right in the lower back, kicking her off that rock with it’s full force. After being stunned by what had just happened, she checked and saw she had indeed been gored with a small, but deep cut. She came out lucky as there have been more tragic encounters with the Mountain Goat. Such as the tragic death of Bob Boardman who was gored in the thigh by an aggressive goat and ended up bleeding out while on Klahhane Ridge.

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Photo: Isaac Gray

So here a few things that I have learned about the jerk face that is the Mountain Goat….

Goat Facts


They want your pee real bad. And they won’t leave you alone till they get it. Goats are extremely attracted to the salt in your urine and will dig up the ground where ever you have relieved yourself in order to get it. So in order to protect the vegetation, always pee on rocks, and always take a buddy as a lookout. Those sneaky bastards are as quiet as mice and will be all up in your business before you can even start to get your pants pulled up.

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Photo: Camille Crisafi

The babies are cute but the adults are horrible. The kids play and sleep and mount each other in endearing ways and are super fun to watch. But then the adult goats come around…and the fun and games are over and all you can do is look over your shoulder to make sure one isn’t coming after you

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Photo: Isaac Gray

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Photo: Isaac Gray

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Photo: Isaac Gray

There are some goats that are super creepy. We had an obsessive super creepy stalker-goat that we thought to be a younger adult male. He’d just stare at us. STARE and stare and stare, unmoving. We’d chase him off and think he was gone and then BAM, there he was creepin’ behind a tree or peeping at us behind a rock.

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Photo: Isaac Gray

The best way to get rid of a goat is to yell and clap at it like an idiot. Our most effective form of goat prevention was to yell “HEE-YAH!” over and over while clapping and waving our hands over our heads. They are relatively skittish animals so a sudden run with lots of noise in their direction will scare them off…..but only temporarily. Until they come back….they always come back…..then you throw a pine cone or small rock at them. That does the trick too.

They multiply like gremlins. One minute there will be no goats, the next there are 8 of them staring at you. I swear they must have telepathic communication. A few times I tried to hike away from camp to get some privacy to relieve myself. As I’m peeing I see one goat come over a ridge following my path. I looked away for a second and back again to see 5 goats closing in on me half the distance as the first goat was. Gremlins I tell you….

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Photo: Isaac Gray

Even though they’re assholes, they have their cute moments. Okay, they aaaare kinda cute little buggers. They have little families and herd communities. And when they nap or play, I could sit and watch them for hours. As long as they stay away from me and my pee, I’m totally cool with the Mountain Goat. You got your space, I got mine and we’ll just keep I that way.

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Photo: Isaac Gray

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Photo: Isaac Gray

After 5 days, my main take away is that if you encounter a Mountain Goat in the wild, its best to just keep your distance. They may follow you for a ways and if they get too close for comfort, just yell and scream like a crazy person and they’ll act accordingly, and scurry away. And always, always, always remember, as majestic as they are….goats are never to be trusted because goats…..goats are jerks.

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