Mountain Lions

Los Vaqueros is lion country, so their appearance at the watershed is not unexpected. Please be aware you are in lion country at Los Vaqueros and take appropriate precautions

The National Park Service states: Generally, mountain lions are calm, quiet and elusive. They are most commonly found in areas with plentiful prey and adequate cover. Mountain lions are an important part of the ecosystem, helping to keep deer and other prey populations in check.

Hiking Safety Tips
Don't hike alone. Hike in groups, with adults supervising children.
Keep children close to you. Keep children within your sight at all times.

Should you encounter a mountain lion:
  • Stay calm. Hold your ground or back away slowly. Face the lion and stand upright.
  • Don't approach the lion. Never approach a mountain lion especially 1 that is feeding or with kittens. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
  • Do not run from a lion. Running may stimulate a mountain lion's instinct to chase. Instead, stand and face the animal. Make eye contact. If you have small children with you, pick them up if possible so they don't panic and run. Although it may be awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the mountain lion.
  • Don't crouch or bend over. Biologists surmise mountain lions don't recognize standing humans as prey. On the other hand, a person squatting or bending over looks a lot like a 4-legged prey animal. If you're in mountain lion habitat, avoid squatting, crouching or bending over, even when picking up children.

Report Sightings
Please report any sightings at the reservoir and watershed to the Los Vaqueros Watershed Staff as quickly as possible by calling 925-240-2360, or stopping by the Marina.


The National Park Service website provides sound guidance on what to do should you encounter a lion.

The state Department of Wildlife website also has some guidance about mountain lions and how the state deals with them.