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Goat Lick Crossing on Highway 2 | Glacier National Park, Montana

Wildlife Viewing Area
Goat Lick near Essex, Montana – Glacier National Park

Best Times of the Day for Viewing

Daylight hours

Driving Directions

HIghway 2 between East and West Glacier. The lick is located 2.5 miles East of the Walton Ranger Station.

Overview of this Wildlife Watching Landscape

Located adjacent to Highway 2, 2. 5 miles east of Walton Ranger Station outside Glacier National Park, is an exposed riverbank where mountain goats and other animals come to lick the mineral-laden cliffs. From the picnic area, a short paved path leads to an observation stand overlooking the waters of the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

The river's current has cut deeply into the easily eroded soil, creating steep drop offs and exposing a mass of gray clay containing minerals craved by the mountain goats and other animals.

The Montana Department of Transportation and Glacier National Park worked together to design a highly effective wildlife underpass below Highway 2, which allows safe passage for all species of wildlife. It's dangerous, however, to stop on the highway to look for critters. Please pull off at the picnic area and enjoy the view.

Places and Pointers for Viewing

A parking area is provided where a short paved path leads to an observation stand.

Type of Wildlife Often Seen

Glacier National Park goats travel as far as 4 miles to get to the Goat Lick, while others from more widely dispersed areas in the Flathead National Forest, travel several times that distance. April through August are the most concentrated periods, although use occurs year-round. A population of approximately 115-165 goats use the lick. Elk and deer also are attracted to these natural minerals.


Best Seasons and Months for Viewing

April- August

Nearby Places