What to do if you meet a mountain on trails or in backcountry


From the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

  • Even at a distance a brief glimpse should be cause for alarm. Though the cougar is most likely to leave the area, you should group together and travel with great caution.
  • Make your presence known. Make noise, sing, talk loudly, or wear a bell.
  • Avoid walking or hiking alone. Travel with a group if possible.
  • Watch children closely and never let them run ahead or lag behind on the trail. Talk to children about lions and teach them what to do if they meet one.
  • Hike during daylight hours and stay on established trails.
  • Watch for signs of mountain lion use along the trail; scat, claw marks, scratch piles usually made of grass, dirt, pine needles and leaves.
  • Stay far away from kittens, their mother is nearby
  • Select a campsite away from thick brush, rock over-hangs and cliffs, and animal trails.
  • Avoid taking pets – they are easy prey and may attract mountain lions.
  • Do not leave pets or pet food outside and unattended while in camp, especially at dawn and dusk. Pets can attract mountain lions into developed areas.
  • If there are repeated sightings, be prepared to aggressively defend yourself and others. Be alert and on guard for the remainder of your hike.