Hiking in the Pacific Northwest is a sublime undertaking, what with the Cascades and the glaciers and the snowy mountain tops–but watch out for the mountain goats. They are so cute though, right? Not if they are attacking. Two years ago, a hiker died from wounds received when a mountain goat in Olympic National Park attacked (read the whole story here. His family is now suing the National Park Service). New incidents involving mountain goats and hikers at Olympic NP have recently closed trails in the park once again.
The Washington Trails Association web site has these recommendations for hiking in goat country:
It’s best to give these wild animals a wide berth if you see one hiking–stay at least 150 feet away from them. If it wants to walk on the trail, let it. Turn the other way and start walking. If you need to urinate in goat country, do it in rocks at least 50 yards off of a trail. Do not approach the goats if you see them. If they approach aggressively, throw rocks at them, yell and wave your arms. If they don’t back off, leave the area quickly. These animals weigh over 300 pounds and have very sharp horns. They could make mincemeat out of most hikers in a minute.