Mount Ellinor Trail in Olympic National Forest reopened early last week, after being closed for three months because several hiking parties reported being harassed by insistent mountain goats.
The mountain goats at Mount Ellinor and other locations in the Olympic Mountains have grown habituated to people. The animals, though wild, have grown used to people feeding them and supplying salts and minerals from sweat or urine, said a news release.
Hikers are asked to take the following precautions when visiting Mount Ellinor:
• Stay at least 50 yards (half the length of a football field) away from all wildlife.
• If a mountain goat approaches, chase it off by yelling, waving clothing or throwing rocks.
• Do not feed the mountain goats or allow them to lick your skin or gear.
• Urinate on rocks or snow at least 50 yards from the trail.
Note that male goats become more aggressive during the breeding season, which is generally from October through December.