Mountain Goat Safety Guidelines

Goat on a rock on Mt Ellinor. Mountain goats are wild animals that frequent Mount Ellinor and other areas in the Olympic Mountains. Please keep your distance to stay safe and to protect wildlife from negative impacts of human contact. 

Many goats in the Olympics have grown accustomed to people getting close to them, feeding them, and providing salt from food or urine. These mountain goats can be aggressive! Goats that get habituated to humans impact their ability to remain wild and protected.


Hiking Safely with Goats

Please follow these guidelines to keep goats wild:

  • Keep your distance! Stay at least 50 yards away from them – half the length of a football field.
  • If a mountain goat approaches, slowly move away from it to keep a safe distance.
  • If it continues to approach, chase it off by yelling, waving a piece of clothing, or throwing rocks.
  • Never surround, crowd, chase, or follow a mountain goat.
  • Do not feed the mountain goats or allow them to lick your skin or backpack.
  • If you need to urinate while hiking, please go away from the trail to avoid leaving concentrations of salts and minerals near the trail.

Print the safety guidelines and warning: Mountain Goats and Your Safety (PDF), Habituated Mountain Goats (PDF)

Español:  Cabras de Montaña Y Su Seguridad (PDF), Advertencia! Cabras de Montaña/Cabras Salvajes Habituadas en Área (PDF)

Reporting Mountain Goat Encounters

Dial 911 to report emergencies. 
Non-Emergency, dangerous wildlife complaints, call 1-877-3947 or use the Washington Dept. of  Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) online form.  


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is gathering information to better understand the dynamics of mountain goat/human interactions, particularly on popular trails and camping areas, including those on National Forests in Washington state.

To help the WDFW and U.S. Forest Service better to serve the public, and conserve mountain goats, WDFW has created a report form on their website to document these interactions. This report form is not intended to be used as an immediate response to emergencies, or dangerous encounters with mountain goats.

Unsure Footing: Mountain Goat Research in Glacier National Park  (<5 min.)

Keep Wildlife Wild. Here is a nice piece by the Park Service on the costs of habituation of wildlife.