Gorals are often found on rocky hillsides at high elevations. Though their territories often coincide with those of the closely related serow, the goral will usually be found on higher, steeper slopes with less vegetation.
Gorals typically weigh 25–40 kilograms (55–88 lb) and are 80–130 centimetres (31–51 in) in length, with short, backward-facing horns. Coloration differs between species and individuals, but generally ranges from light gray to dark red-brown, with lighter patches on the chest, throat, and underside, and a dark stripe down the spine. They have woolly undercoats covered by longer, coarser hair, which helps to protect them in the cold areas where they are often found.
Though the groups share many similarities, gorals are stockier than antelopes and have broader, heavier hooves. Female gorals have four functional teats, while female goats and sheep have only two functional teats. Unlike serows, gorals have no working preorbital glands.