Hiking Trails

A woman reports that a man is following her on a local hiking trail

MILLCREEK, Utah — A Utah woman shares a word of warning after having a scary experience while hiking Sunday morning.

FOX 13 News spoke to this woman anonymously because she fears for her safety.

The woman and her dog were walking up a trail in Millcreek Canyon around 7am on Sunday when a man approached her, asked her to pet his dog and read the dog’s name on its tag.

It escalated into the woman followed.

“He just kind of disappeared off the track, and that’s when I felt something in my stomach and I felt really weird,” she said.

So she turned around and started to descend.

“There was someone in the bushes,” the woman said. “At that point, I didn’t know who it was, and then they started whistling, saying my dog’s name, trying to get him to go to the other side of the creek.”

She says the man kept calling his dog, even though she asked him to stop. He then came up behind her, and she put her dog back on the leash and ran to her car in a panic.

“I think that’s the scariest part – my dog ​​is everything to me, so if he had to follow, then I had to follow too,” the hiker said.

“The question of him, first of all, learning his dog’s name, trying to call his dog, trying to get her to come to a particular place is scary,” Sergeant Melody Cutler said. of the unified police. “You always have to ask yourself, ‘Why?'”

Cutler says the woman did the right thing in a situation that is not uncommon.

“The unfortunate thing is that we’ve had incidents in our canyons because they’re isolated…it’s an opportunity for predators to take advantage of a victim,” said Sgt. Cutler.

It’s a story that resonated with women on social media after the hiker posted about her experience.

“I’ve had a lot of comments, with people saying they’ve had similar experiences, most of them being women, and some of them saying they now open the portage while hiking because ‘they don’t feel safe,’ the woman said.

“Hearing stories like that makes me very nervous to come here though, I’m honest,” said Parker Blue, a mother of twins who frequents the canyon.

FOX 13 News asked area hikers how they stay safe while hiking. Blue said she doesn’t usually hike solo, but if she does, she plans to go somewhere familiar and populated.

“I like to come somewhere where I know there will be a lot of people,” she said.

“At the end of the day, the reality is that there is safety in numbers,” Sergeant Cutler said. “So it’s an ideal situation: if you can find someone to accompany you.”

And if you’re going alone, bring something you’re comfortable with for your personal protection, like a mace.

“Either way, you have to be comfortable using it or it becomes a tool used against you,” said Sgt. Cutler.

This hiker filed a police report.

She says she still hasn’t returned to this area to hike and she doesn’t want to hike alone anymore.