Bighorn Sheep Sighting

6:57 p.m. on March 10, 2011 (EST)
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I was out on a day hike today. Whitewater park north of Palm Springs. There used to be a trout farm out there. It's still there but now its a preserve. Anyway we were coming back from the Pacific Crest Trail and there was a crashing of rocks down the side of the canyon. We looked up and there was a big horn sheep looking down at us. It ran across the side of the mountain with 300' drop like it was running on a lawn. It stood on the edge of a precipice like it owned the canyon. We watched it silhouetted with the blue sky for about five minutes. You don't see stuff like that everyday. yeah it was a good hike.

7:27 p.m. on March 10, 2011 (EST)
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Good for you! Maybe the sheep did own the canyon, in a way.

10:35 p.m. on March 10, 2011 (EST)
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That's a lucky sighting! A few weeks ago we came up to the Palm Canyon Oasis in Anza Borrego just as a group ahead of us was watching some bighorns cross the valley and go out of sight, too late to see them ourselves... that raised my hopes for seeing sheep in Death Valley or Mojave NP but lo nuch suck... 

11:18 a.m. on March 11, 2011 (EST)
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I have only seen them in the wild twice and I have been hiking for a very long time. Ultra rare to see them. To have one pose for us was amazing.

5:24 p.m. on March 14, 2011 (EDT)
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These are impressive animals for sure.  It is good to see that they are making enough of a comeback in the lower 48 to be seen.  The noise during an encounter can be shocking.  For those who have not  had the pleasure of seeing one in person, go to McColl Ridge in Alaska.  This is located is just north of the Chitna River to the east of the town of Chitna.  The only way to get there is to fly in or a mulit-week backpacking trip, but the sheep cover the ridge like ants at a picnic. 

6:08 a.m. on March 20, 2011 (EDT)
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More So Cal bighorn sightings.

There is a jeep trail that starts in a parking lot located on the ridge the East Fork Road passes across, above Mt Baldy Village.  The jeep trail traverses the mountain side, eventually arriving six miles and several thousand feet lower at the East Fork Creek of Azusa Canyon.  This trail crosses prime bighorn territory. Twice enroute we observed small harems of bighorn on the escarpments above us.  Later, about three miles down trail, me and a companion were rounding a bend and came face to face with a rather large bighorn, only about twenty feet away.  We froze and were fortunate he didn't charge, as the mountain side was nearly vertical save for the jeep trail, and offered us no escape.  This standoff lasted about five minutes, then the ram sauntered off calmly down the trail, as it traced the contours of a ravine, until it was on the other side of the ravine.  Suddenly a jeep comes hauling ass up the trail from around the corner, startling both the ram and us; the ram bailed out, and descended 150 feet in three or four quick bounds, dislodging boulders the size of medium ice coolers enroute, as if this was all standard procedure.  A inspiring display of brute force indeed.  Late spring is a good time to spot bighorns on this trail. 

There is also a nearby canyon above Baldy Village known as Ice House Canyon.  Bighorn are spotted regularly along the upper south side of the canyon walls.  Binoculars are a big help .


2:13 a.m. on March 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Bighorns are awsome animals. Ive seen them several times around Hoover damn in the early morning feeding right down by the road. Game and fish has even built large bridges over US 93 for game crossing. These are mainly to protect the Bighorn as they come down outta the mountains for water at the river.

For good Bighorn sighting in Arizona, the Superstition Wilderness has quite a few.   Especially around Apache Lake and Canyon Lake. Game and fish released about 20 in the mid 80's. I actually saw about 10 of them back then, 2 had radio collars on. The population got up to over 300 animals but last I heard the numbers where way down due to Mountain lion numbers are up and they've learned to become somewhat of a specialist on taking down the sheep.

May 27, 2018
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