Those who live in Sunnyside have an advantage no one else in Utah has — they get to share part of their town with a herd of wild Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep!
You can enjoy what the residents of Sunnyside get to enjoy at a free viewing event. The Division of Wildlife Resources will host the event on June 18.
Biologists will be available from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on June 18 to help you locate the animals and to answer your questions. Late afternoon until dusk is usually the best time to see the sheep.
Sunnyside bighorn sheep herd
The Sunnyside bighorn sheep herd consists entirely of rams, which number about 25 animals from year to year.
Each year, the sheep spend the summer in the general vicinity of the Sunnyside fire station and the cliffs that surround the area near the station. They water at Grassy Trail Creek and forage on native and reclaimed vegetation in the area. This band of bighorns is used to cars and people, so you can observe and photograph the sheep at close range.
Brent Stettler, a DWR regional conservation outreach manager, says spotting scopes and binoculars will be available for you to use. вЂњBut if you have your own optics,вЂќ he says, вЂњplease bring them.вЂќ
The viewing event is free, and Stettler encourages everyone to attend. The sheep can be viewed from the road, so if you have physical challenges, you donвЂ™t need to worry about hiking or walking to see them.
Stettler also has some requests. вЂњPlease leave your dog at home,вЂќ he says. вЂњDogs can startle the sheep.вЂќ
Noisy children can have the same effect.В вЂњPlease bring your kids,вЂќ he says, вЂњbut please encourage them to speak quietly as they view the sheep.вЂќ
Stettler says itвЂ™s also important to remember that the sheep are wild. Their behavior and whereabouts canвЂ™t be predicted or guaranteed. вЂњThereвЂ™s always the possibility that they wonвЂ™t appear as hoped for on June 18,вЂќ he says.
To reach Sunnysidefrom from Price, travel southeast on U.S. Highway 6 to its junction with state Route 123 (the East Carbon/Sunnyside junction). Turn east on Route 123; this road will take you into Sunnyside. Signs in the town will guide you to the viewing area.
Viewing continues through the summer
If you canвЂ™t make it to the event on June 18, donвЂ™t be discouraged. Stettler says you can drive to Sunnyside another day. вЂњThe sheep stay in the same general area until early fall,вЂќ Stettler says. вЂњYou can often see them near the road at the far side of the town or in the canyon beyond the town.
вЂњAlthough seeing the band of sheep is a gamble any time you go,вЂќ he says, вЂњlate afternoon until dark are the best times to try.вЂќ For more information, contact Stettler at (435) 613-3707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.