Visit Sunnyside To See Bighorn Sheep

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DWR hosts a free June 14 viewing event in Carbon County

Several bighorn sheep on State Road 123 in Sunnyside. - Photo by Leon HadleySUNNYSIDE — Those who live in Sunnyside have an advantage no one else in Utah has — they get to share their town with a herd of wild desert 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 14.

Biologists will be available from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 14 to help you locate the animals and 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 almost entirely of rams, which number from 25 to 40 depending on the day and the year.

Each year, the sheep spend the summer in the general vicinity of the Sunnyside fire station and 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 often observe and photograph them at close range.

“We’ll have spotting scopes and binoculars available for people to use, but we encourage those who have their own optics to bring them,” says Brent Stettler, DWR regional conservation outreach manager.

The viewing event is free, and Stettler encourages everyone to attend. The sheep can be viewed from the road, so those who have physical challenges don’t need to worry about hiking or walking.

Stettler also has some requests. “Please leave your dog at home,” he says. “Dogs can startle the sheep. And noisy children can have the same effect. We encourage you to bring your kids, but please help your kids stay quiet as they view the sheep.”

Directions

Sunnyside is less than 20 miles east of Price. To reach the town from Price, travel southeast on US-6 to its junction with SR-123 (the East Carbon/Sunnyside junction). On SR-123, travel east to Sunnyside. Signs will guide you to the viewing area.

If you need gasoline or food, there’s a gas station in East Carbon and a grocery store in Sunnyside.

Viewing continues through the summer

If you can’t make it to the event on June 14, don’t be disheartened. Stettler says you can drive up another day.

“The sheep stay in the same general area until early fall,” Stettler says. “You can often see them near the road at the far side of the town or in the canyon up to the rodeo grounds.

“Although seeing the band of sheep is a gamble any time you go, you’ll have the best luck from late afternoon until dark.”