View Full Version : Close call with Big Horn Sheep at Zion

06-05-2013, 11:59 AM
My 23 yr old son Tim and I were at Zion Natl Park in Utah last Sat and Sunday. We hiked up to Observation Point and camped out overnight off the East Mesa Trail with a great view of the canyon from our tentsite. We were the only group camping overnight and enjoyed the view of Angel's landing as the late afternoon light was creating long shadows along the canyon walls.

The trail up to observation Point and Angel's landing was built by the CCC in the 1930s to put the unemployed to work. Switchback trails were blasted/drilled into the cliff walls to creat 4-6 foot wide trails up to the top along the vertical faces.

On Sunday morning we wanted to hike down early before the heat of the day began to build since we only had 12 oz of water left between the 2 of us. We broke camp at 6:15 AM and were about 1 mile down when we heard and saw a male Big Horn sheep scamper down about 20 yds in front of us. I had my camera out from taking pics of the morning light on the canyon walls. He disappeared around the corner and we thought he had climbed back up the ridge.

Suddenly he came flying around the bend in the 5 foot wide ledge trail and looked like he was about to head butt Tim. He darted just around Tim by about 6-12 innches and then past me. I was able to snap a few piuctures as he flew by and then lept across a small ledge drop and stopped on the rocks above the trail 30 yds away.

We were startled and when we turned the corner we saw the rest of his family up above the trail on the right side. he had made the run by us to slow us down so his family would get to safety above the trail. Check out the following pics to see how close he came to us... these pics were not taken with a telephoto lens... just a 50mm on my dSLR.

06-05-2013, 12:01 PM
here are the last few pics of the Bighorn Sheep encounter

06-05-2013, 07:37 PM
glad he did not ram you guys

we saw a few dozen in town outside the Hoover dam last month
if I get a chance I'lll post a pic

06-06-2013, 11:41 AM
Holy Moly! :) I bet that got the heart racing for a while!

06-07-2013, 03:50 PM
that's some crazy chit! What a cool looking animal... go back for hunting season :D

06-07-2013, 04:27 PM
That is nuts! Lol. I've been to Zion as well, beautiful park!

06-07-2013, 04:54 PM
Knowing me, I would have been carrying... And if I saw a ram that close to my child, my Sig226 would have been brought out. Glad it turned out ok for all.

07-02-2013, 08:34 PM
Thats cool. That is a desert bighorn. Very young, about 4 yrs old, with his brothers and sisters. Have spent a bit of time in ram country with Bighorns and Dalls. They are a spectacular animal. Very unique experince, and beautiful country!