We were intending to hike Emory peak. We left our packs at the bear bins and began walking down the wrong trail. We are heading to the south rim trail instead of Emory. After about 1 mile we come to the intersection with the Colima trail. At this point we knew something was wrong. Sure enough we are on the wrong trail. So we headed back to the bear bins. We did not know how close we were to the bins when we saw the lion walking on the trail. I gotta tell you that was a very scary sight. Trying to remain calm,I took out my camera and snapped 2 pics as best I could. We picked up thick, long tree branchs and proceeded up the trail with the lion in front of us. He was not in predator mode. He seemed to be out for a stroll. After several yards we lost him. Now we are really scared. We did not know if he was waiting to ambush us or what. We walked cautiously very aware of any movement and walking huddled together.We should have made noise.The cat suddenly jumped across the trail about ten yards ahead of us seemed to have been spooked then disapppeared in the bush.The cat had walked up very close to the bins and was spooked by all the hikers at the bins. None of the hikers at the bins were even aware of the cats presence. Needless to say when we told them how close the cat had come to them, they were quite shocked. The lion was a beautiful animal. Long legs with narrow hips and a thick,long tail. A very large head, massive front paws. We were told by all the hikers at the bear bins how lucky we are to see one of these creatures in the wild.Gotta tell you not sure how lucky we felt when we spotted him. However a truly majestic animal. If you look very closely at the pic, you can see the lion on the trail. The shadowy image walking in the middle of the trail at the second shade spot further up the trail from us.Click on the pic and get a good look at the cat.
You are very lucky to have seen a mountian lion (cougar). One thing to keep in mind if it should ever happen again (unlikely, though), is to make yourself big and noisy, so the cougar knows you're there and not easy pickings. My brother actually saw a cougar take down and kill a deer in November - it happened right in front of him. I've seen about 10 - 15 cougars so far, and consider it a gift every time I do. Cheers!
Everyone says the same thing about the luck. I know these are very elusive creatures, however he was leisurely strolling on the trail. He never saw us. We kept quiet to try to get a pic. Not the wisest move I guess.