Backcountry Off Trail Events Hike Mountain Goats

Elusive But Worth The Search

The North American Rocky Mountain Goat is an elusive animal.  Its native territory stretches from Southeast Alaska down to the Boulder and Pioneer Mountains near Sun Valley, Idaho.  The goats seen in Glacier National Park, Colorado, and Utah have been transplanted to these regions and in many cases desensitized to humans.

The irony for people who want to view Mountain Goats in their natural setting – even one week old babies with their mothers and brothers and sisters – does not require a long exhausting trip into the back-country. These animals are living in the rocky outcrops 10 minutes north and east of the Sun Valley Resort and town of Ketchum, Idaho.

Mom, Will You Tell Me a Bedtime Story? -© Jeffrey H. Lubeck – MESH Art LLC – all rights reserved.
Hey, can’t you see I am trying to get some quality time with my kid? © Jeffrey H. Lubeck – MESH Art LLC – all rights reserved.

Most Day hikers in the Sun Valley area trekking to Norton Lakes, Prairie Creek, Silver Lake or Summit Creek are unknowingly walking in the middle of Mountain Goat territory.

So where are the Goats?  They are situated on-high 1,000 – 3,000 vertical feet above the valley floor.  Often the Mountain Goats are aware of the humans way down below and at a safe distance.  The humans – talking, adjusting the sound on the IPhone, or simply looking at the trail ahead are not aware they are among animals.

Nappy Neaman – arguably the world’s best at tracking and finding Mountain Goats in their native habitat educates an enthusiastic group during a full -day outing.  Fellow Guide Jennifer Winstead in the far background.

On this day a group of 20 people have donated money to the Galena Lodge in order to have the world’s premier expert on Mountain Goats spend an entire day together in the home turf of the animal.

The magic of using Neaman is that if Mountain Goats can be sighted and viewed without disturbance – there is no better guide available.  Neaman is the difference between a nice hike with no sightings, and a successful adventure.  Also, part of any trip includes an unparalleled level of background and education on the Mountain Goat.  Neaman calls it “the hands-on outdoor classroom portion of the trip.”

On this trip two separate sighting will be be made.  The second affords every member to get a close up look at a family of goats including two babies born less than three months earlier.

A sighting scope brings the Mountain Goat – up close and personal.
A good set of binoculars bring the Mountain Goats into full view as well.

This group of 20 participants is as large as Neaman will accommodate. For this trip Neaman utilizes his trusted friend, and guide Jennifer Winstead.  Neaman says ”  without Jennifer and her guiding skills a trip like this can go sideways fast.”

For this group, the trip provides all aspects promised by The Galena Lodge.  Two expert guides, sunny weather, a superb hike to a high mountain lake, lunch at the lake, education on the Mountain Goat, two sightings of Mountain Goats, and a return in time for dinner at the Galena Lodge.

Hmm… That Looks Interesting? © Jeffrey H. Lubeck – MESH Art LLC – all rights reserved.

For more information or to schedule a trip contact Nappy Neaman at:

(208) 721-0587 or

3 Replies to “Elusive But Worth The Search

  1. Superb summary of our excellent outing with Nappy Neaman to support the Galena Lodge and recreation area. Thank you for capturing the details of the day.

  2. Amazing summary by Jeff Lubeck of Mesh Galleries captured our most incredible day through his expertise in photography and knowledge of this beautiful land and natural habitat of the Rocky Mountain Goats with Nappy Neaman and Jennifer Winstead.
    Would highly recommend joining Nappy and his appointed guides for a day of learning, searching, and viewing! Nappy is truly a “goat whisperer!”

  3. Tim and I loved combining a gorgeous hike with friends and learning about our unique mountain goats and how to spot them. Nappy, Jennifer and Jeff made the day fun, mindful, relaxing, and educational. We ended the day with a great dinner at Galena and were reminded that this lodge/recreational area is precious part of our Valley. We’re grateful for this community that exudes curiosity, caring, and contribution.

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