Terrifying moment a Utah hiker is stalked by a menacing mountain lion

Mountain lion stalks, bares its teeth and pounces at terrified Utah hiker for five minutes as the man desperately tries to get back to his car

  • Jared Smith was hiking on the Broads Fork Trail at Big Cottonwood Canyon on Thursday when he captured the moment a mountain lion crept up behind him
  • Smith proceeds to back away while trying to reason with the big cat, repeatedly telling it ‘I am going away, I promise I am not going to bug you,’ 
  • Smith never turns his back to cougar and loudly promises the cat he is leaving it’s space, which wildlife experts say was the right move
  • The big cat stalked Smith for five minutes and would periodically pounce and bare its teeth and kick its legs and tail up towards him
  • Smith was able to safely reach his vehicle and lived to tell the tale

A hiker captured the terrifying moment a mountain lion stalked him as he backed away on a Utah trail.

Jared Smith was hiking on the Broads Fork Trail at Big Cottonwood Canyon on Thursday when a mountain lion crept up behind him.

‘I was running back down the trail and was probably about a mile from getting back to the parking lot when I heard something off to the side of the trail,’ Smith told FOX 13 News ‘(I) looked and there was a cougar probably 15-20 feet away from me… Definitely startled me.’ 

In the video, Smith backs away while trying to reason with the big cat, repeatedly telling it ‘I am going away, I promise I am not going to bug you,’ as the cat continues to follow him, occasionally hissing. 

At one point the mountain lion pounces at Jared Smith, the Utah hiker who unexpectedly ran into the big cat during a hike 


Jared Smith captured a terrifying encounter with a mountain lion that pounced, bared its teeth and kicked its legs and tail up towards him as he calmly backed away 

At one point the mountain lion got as close as 10 feet from Smith who never turned his back on the cougar and kept repeating out loud to the cougar that he was leaving 

Jared Smith’s wife Ja’Nae (pictured together) said  her husband was shaken up by the terrifying experience, but she was happy he was not harmed

Smith never turns his back to cougar and loudly tell the cat he is leaving it’s space, which wildlife experts say was the right move. 

‘He basically followed all the recommendations that we give… Make yourself big, use a loud voice, maintain eye contact and back away slowly,’ Faith Heaton Jolley with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources told FOX 13 News. ‘That’s exactly what we tell people to do because if they turn and run, sometimes it can trigger that prey, chase instinct that cougars have.’

The mountain lion persisted though and at one point got as close as 10 feet from Smith. 

Smith says that periodically the cougar would pounce and bare its teeth and kick its legs and tail up towards him.

‘If you watch the full video, you can see my voice kind of crack at those points in time because it scared me,’ he told Fox 13 News. 

Smith says the entire encounter lasted five minutes, with two minutes captured on cellphone footage. 

Jared Smith was calm but nervous during the unexpected encounter with the cougar. ‘If you watch the full video, you can see my voice kind of crack at those points in time because it scared me,’ he told Fox 13 News

‘He was rattled all night long. He just kept talking about how scared he was and went over it over and over again,’ Jared’s wife JaNae Smith (pictured together) said. 

The hiker says he is grateful to have gotten out of the encounter unscathed and that the mountain lion was most likely defending her cubs. 

‘Honestly for me the thing that’s most important to me is my family and I have a wife and a child and thinking I need to make sure I make it home from this,’ Smith told FOX 13 News. ‘I know cougar attacks are very uncommon but I believe in this situation she was probably protecting her cubs so I know they’ll do just about anything to keep their cubs safe.’

Smith was able to safely reach his vehicle after the cougar left the trail. He warned his Facebook friends to stay safe.  

‘This definitely shook me more than the hundreds of hours I’ve spent hiking and climbing and other outdoor experiences, just because of the prolonged nature of it,’ he said. 

Smith’s wife told FOX 13 News that her husband was shaken up by the terrifying experience, but she was happy he was not harmed. 

‘He was rattled all night long. He just kept talking about how scared he was and went over it over and over again,’ JaNae Smith said. 

But the close encounter wont keep Smith off the trails for too long.  

‘I definitely will take a few days to process this before I got back, but I love it too much,’ he told FOX 13 News. ‘I realize this is really uncommon. It’s not something that’s probably going to be happening repeatedly. I’ll be back on the trails before long.’

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