John grudgingly agrees to spend a long weekend with his wife Laura and their young daughter Carla in the mountains with Laura’s parents, Will and Ruby. John and Laura’s relationship is near breaking point because of John’s preoccupation with business and Laura hopes these few days will help John relax and appreciate both her and their child a little more. However John dislikes the wilderness and misses his city lifestyle.
Will and Ruby love having the family visit and Will spends as much time as he can with his little granddaughter, telling her stories and showing her the ways of the countryside. They have fun with ‘Moosie’- the old family mule. Meanwhile Ruby can see her daughter’s marriage is falling apart and tells John he should realize what’s important in life and embrace it – rather than being a workaholic.
As the family load their car to head home, Will gives Carla a kitten as a surprise, but in the rush to pack, the kitten gets loose and runs off into the woods. Carla chases after it and before long both she and the kitten are lost in the dense forest.
When Carla is discovered missing, Laura is frantic but John seems far more upset about having his schedule disrupted. When a quick search fails to find her, Will saddles Moosie to track Carla down. He knows Moosie’s sensitive nose will trace the child, despite the rain. John however, is very skeptical of Moosie’s abilities and calls the sheriff who organizes a helicopter for aerial support and brings in local trackers to help. They are deeply concerned when it is revealed that a hungry mountain lion is prowling in the area. The tension further mounts as bad weather approaches; there is no lead on Carla’s whereabouts, and no-one is able to raise Will.
Carla, meanwhile, is skipping happily along following the trail of the kitten and is within grabbing distance when she topples off a rock ledge, knocking herself senseless. As she lies helpless and hurt at the foot of the cliff, the mountain lion nears. At the same time Moosie is spooked by the helicopter and Will is thrown, seriously injuring his leg.
As the storm intensifies, John realizes he is terrified about the fate of his little girl and feels totally impotent that he is unable to do anything to find and save her, or Will. Ruby’s words ring in his ears and he makes an important decision.
With Moosie’s help, Will manages to bind his leg and resolutely trudges on through the rain in search of his granddaughter. When he finds Carla she is still unconscious, so Will slowly lowers himself down the side of the cliff and uses Moosie’s strength to pull both himself and Carla up to safety and a happy ending for all.