Mountain Goats

If not hunted, mountain goats become habituated to humans quickly.

The good news is they lose their fear of humans and allow photographers to get very close to them in a wild setting.

The bad news is they lose their fear of humans and can become very aggressive.

On a spectacular day hike into Ingalls Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, I spotted three mountain goats. Two of them, a nanny and kid, came within 15 feet of me.

They provided some fun opportunities for my camera.

A photo tip is to get close, try to fill the frame.

And, attempt to capture them doing something interesting – – – bring them alive for the viewer.

Mountain Goat enjoying a snack

Mountain Goat enjoying a snack

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat chewing some food

Mountain Goat smiling?


Categories: Washington Cascades HikesTags: , ,


  1. Mt. Evans in Colorado is a place where the mountain goats have become habituated to humans, but I saw one nanny warning a few young people who got too close to a kid. She got a little too close for my comfort as well, and I quickly gave her plenty of room. These are great photos. 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind words about the photos. The nanny in these pictures became nervous when her kid came too close, causing me to take a few steps closer to the lake. Personally, I don’t like to see any large animal (predator or prey) become too habituated to humans. We’ve had significant problems with aggressive mountain goats in the Olympic National Park, including one person killed if I remember correctly.

      • That’s awful. 🙁 I’m always surprised when I see people acting like they’re at a zoo up on Mt. Evans. These are wild animals, and we have to respect that… or suffer the consequences. Your blog is very interesting, John. So glad I found it. 🙂

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