Peter, hard to tell from that distance for sure, but it looks like a Ponderossa the morning after a serious bender. Fun fact about Ponderosas, on the older ones if you peel some of the bark off and sniff it it smells a little like vanilla. However if the wrong people see you doing this they will think you are very weird. True story!
Giant Sequoia (gigantea) are very isolated in certain spots in the Sierra, and are in fact gradually going extinct, or so it is speculated.
If you weren't in one of these very few localized spots you can be sure it wasn't one. It doesn't look at all like sempervirens, branches or bark - I have got them in my yard. It looks like it is a pine.
A good way to ID a plant or tree is to take close up pictures for later. On trees leaves/needles, cone/nuts and bark. Also great for flowers if you take a close of of both the petals and the leaves. So much lighter that a giant plant press like John Muir carried around in the early days.
But on the big cat front, a few days ago my neighbors a few houses up from me went around and put flyers in all mailboxes that they found two mountain lions in their driveway when the came home at night, and to keep an eye on the local pets. My first thought was "well duh, of course they are around all the time here", and then my second through was "whaa!...why couldn't they have camped in MY driveway". I still have not seen any in the flesh in spite of hearing stories about people seeing them a few hundred feet away from my house every 6 months or so!