Tag Archives: bighorn sheep

Canyoneers Accidentally Corner a Bighorn Sheep in Tuckup

Noticed this story from Rich Rudrow on the Canyons Group and thought it both an interesting story and a good reminder of the “wild” in wildlife. Reminds me of a story I heard from some clients of mine who had a pretty hairy encounter with a large bull near the Escalante River trailhead. A mere 1/4-mile from the parking lot, these two hikers stepped into a side canyon to explore, only to be rushed back to the river by a snarling, foaming, enraged bull. They held the bull off with their trekking poles, but eventually resorted to all sorts of tricks of misdirection and cliff-scaling to escape. I think their story was published in Backpacker magazine? But I digress… Here’s a great story from Mr. Rudrow on bighorn sheep and the dangers of getting photographically bold: I often think about the risks we take while exploring slot canyons in Grand Canyon. Are the ropes long enough and do we have the right gear? Can we protect against hypothermia? Rockfall? How do we get out after rappelling through the target slot canyon? Most risks can be mitigated by training and planning. But I’ve never considered wildlife a serious risk, until last … Continue reading

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Wildlife in Zion

I came across these images (below) by photographer Eric D. Brown today, and thought they would help illustrate a common topic of discussion here: wildlife in Zion. People often ask us, “What sorts of animals will we see in Zion?” I usually respond by highlighting the wonderful diversity of insects, birds, and small reptiles and mammals that are fairly easy to come across while hiking on Zion’s many trails. But typically, people want to know about the bigger, sexier beasts – lions and tigers and bears, oh my! So let’s talk about megafauna for a moment, shall we? While Zion does host a number of larger mammals, such as coyotes, foxes, beavers, elk, porcupines, mountain lions, ringtail cats, and an occasional visiting black bear, we rarely see these animals. The rare sightings stem from a variety of reasons: many larger mammals stick to remote habitats, some are noctural (active only at night) or crepuscular (dusk & dawn activity), and most prefer to avoid humans. The most common megafauna sightings are probably mule deer and wild turkeys, both of which frequently inhabit Zion Canyon, along the shuttle drive. In fact, mule deer are common visitors to Springdale, bounding regularly across Zion … Continue reading

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