There’s something magical about driving through the Canadian Rockies near dusk when the chances for spotting wildlife increase.
We drove during dusk from Lake Louise in Banff National Park traveling west through Kootenay National Park and back. The wildlife were out in full force.
We had perfect timing, perfect weather and a lot of luck. We saw 3 mountain goats.
Given the small population of mountain goats in the Canadian Rockies (Kootenay National Park is said to have around 300 mountain goats, other parks similar), it was a real treat to see them in person. The mountain goats were on a rocky hill alongside Highway 93, the main road through Kootenay National Park.
A Mountain Goat in Kootenay National Park stands near the road in late June. I've been spotted!
Kootenay National Park mountain goat and kid licking rocks for minerals. Notice that the nanny's fur is starting to molt.
A Mountain Goat kid stays next to mother for safety until it is old enough to travel on its own.
A mountain goat nanny and kid stand on a hill in Kootenay National Park.
The mountain goats make their way up a hill in Canadian Rockies.
After licking minerals at the bottom of the hill, the Kootenay mountain goat nanny and kid easily walked up a very steep and rocky hill to safety. Click picture to see larger.
We came back to the site a little later. The mountain goat nanny and kid were now high up on the side of the mountain.
The mountain goat kid and nanny were making their way back down the mountainside.
It seems that the mountain goat kid wanted to eat at the mineral lick again. Thankfully my zoom lens (at 300mm) let me see the mountain goats up close. In reality, I was keeping a safe distance and giving the mountain goats space to do their thing.
The mountain goat billy emerges from the woods.
Mountain goat billy seems to be posing for the camera. His fur is molting for the summer.
This Kootenay National Park mountain goat billy emerged from the woods and then walked on the ledge.
This Canadian Rockies mountain goat seems to be looking right at me.
But alas, it turned dark and it was time for all good mountain goats to get some sleep.
I hope you also have a successful evening of wildlife spotting in the Canadian Rockies. We also saw several deer and even a moose that night. Of course, even if the wildlife hadn’t been out, the driving through Kootenay National Park was still fun.