A regular morning run on Boise's much-loved Dry Creek Trail became heart-pounding when a local resident came face to face with a group of four mountain lions, leaving the local hiking community both amazed and extra cautious. Trail runner, and local realtor, Kristi Cozens, shared her adventure on social media.

She was first raving about the pretty fall colors and the beautiful hiking trail, when she stumbled upon some strange animal scat that she knew was not a coyote's...

"I saw a large animal," she said, "and after a moment of disbelief, shock, and paranoia setting in... I realized it was a mountain lion about 30 feet from me." Quick thinking and pepper spray ready, Kristi took careful steps backward and reviewed her surroundings, only to see 3 more mountain lions around her.

She continued walking backward until they disappeared from sight, and then ran 4.6 miles back to her car and warned other hikers about the unexpected guests, also reporting the encounter to officials in the area.

This surprising event reminds everyone of the untamed wilderness around Boise. While seeing mountain lions isn't super unusual, seeing four at once is very rare. Authorities advise hikers to stay alert, hike with friends when possible, and carry bear spray.

Photo by Merritt Horsmon | IDFG
Photo by Merritt Horsmon | IDFG

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, experts suggest standing tall, looking big, and moving back slowly while keeping eye contact with the mountain lion. Don't run until you are far enough away that it is safe to do so, as running away can make the mountain lions want to chase after you. In a rare attack, fight back as strong as you can.

Hikers are encouraged to take the necessary steps to prepare for encounters like these, and to stay safe while enjoying the outdoors near Boise.

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