Glacier National Park is one of the best places to view Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. Two hundred years ago, millions of bighorn sheep roamed the west, but hunting and disease spread from domestic livestock decimated populations in the 19th century. Despite the name, Bighorn Sheep no longer range in the Bighorn Mountains but they still range freely in higher elevations of Glacier and some other Rocky Mountain ranges.
Bighorn sheep stay in herds, the rams with the classic large curved horns and the ewes with shorter slightly curved horns. They prefer mountain grasses and shrubs, and since they do not move as easily through deep snow as some other ruminants, they tend to stick to rocky, south facing slopes in the winter.
Although disease is still a leading cause of death, Bighorn Sheep are predated mainly by cougars and to some extend by bears and wolves. Falls from cliffs can also take a toll.
Below right: Bighorn ram posing on rocks above the Grinnell Glacier Trail. Below right: a flock of sheep grazing along the Highline Trail