If one were to come across mountain lion tracks, how would one estimate the size of the lion making the tracks?

Also, is it possible to tell the gender of the mountain lion(s)?

1 Answer 1


There are two things that can help one estimate the size,

  • Size of the individual tracks themselves.
  • The stride length (distance between tracks on the same size)

The size of the tracks will stay the same no matter how an animal is moving, however, when an animal runs, the stride length will increase so it's not as good an indicator.

As far as determining the gender goes,

Adult males

  • Track width 4-5 inches (10-13 cm)
  • String length > 40 inches (100 cm)

Adult females

  • Track width < 3.5 inches (9 cm)
  • String length < 40 inches (100 cm)

Numbers from

The other important distinction is that females will travel with kittens while males are more solitary except for mating. Juvenile males can be the same size as an adult female.

For pictures here are some of a melted out track (we were probably 6-7 hours after the lion went through) of a smaller mountain lion.

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and same track going up a hill,

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