Mountain goat kid in western Montana
© Donald M. Jones/Minden Picture
Dressed for winter fun
Native to North America, mountain goats spend much of the year scaling peaks from south-central Alaska down to the northern Rockies. They tend to live at high altitudes, often above 13,000 feet, where their sure-footed climbing ability allows them to clamber up extraordinarily steep, rocky slopes. In the winter, they'll migrate down to slightly lower elevations to seek shelter in subalpine forests with south-facing rocky ledges, where the sun and relentless winds keep ice to a minimum. Here, they forage for lichen, mosses, grasses, and other greens. Their woolly, two-layered coats keep them toasty as temperatures dip, which is probably why even in the chill of western Montana this young mountain goat—or kid—appears to be having a ball. Enjoying winter is all about how you dress.