COTTONWOOD PACK STATION
(559)478-2258
 
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  2. HIKE/RIDE
  3. DUNNAGE
  4. SPOT TRIPS
  5. DAY RIDES
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  7. PHOTOS
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  9. GUEST INFO RIDERS
  10. THE AREA
  11. MAPS
  12. CONTACT US
OPENING JUNE 1, 2022

DAY RIDES AVAILABLE

HOME

Cottonwood Pack Station is located near Lone Pine, California and operates under permit by the Inyo National Forest and Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park.

We offer supported hiking trips as well as traditional horse packing trips. Whether you want to climb Mt Whitney from the west side, or traverse the entire John Muir Trail, we offer fully outfitted pack trips for both hikers and riders. Our trips originate trips primarily from Horseshoe Meadows.

Our mules will transport your personal gear, camping equipment and supplies.You carry only aday pack for water and essentials. Our crew will set up a camp at each stop, cook breakfast and dinner, and lay out a selection of items for your lunch. Each morning, you pack a lunch and get on your way, after a hearty breakfast. When you arrrive at the campsite, that afternoon, you are greeted by the crew AND some tasty snacks. Later that evening, you will enjoy a hot meal, prepared by the cook. You hike and enjoy the trip, we will take care of the rest!

We also offer dunnage/cache drops and spot trips.

A dunnage or cache drop, means that we transport your personal camping gear to a point you specify, while you hike in, carrying just your day pack.

On a spot trip we transport you AND your gear by horse/mule to a campsite. On a specified date, we will return to transport you and your gear back to the pack station.

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PHOTOS
Chickenspring Lake.
Chickenspring Lake
Overlooking Siberian outpost.
Overlooking Siberian outpost going from horseshoe meadow to Rock Creek
campfire with chairs
campfire with chairs
catching golden trout
catching a golden
Crabtree Lake
Crabtree Lake
Golden Trout Creek
Golden Trout Creek at Little Whitney Meadow
Whitney hiking trip.
Whitney Hiking Trip
Whitneyhiking trip
Whitney hiking trip
Layover day.
Layover Day
Setting up Kitchen
Setting up Kitchen
Crabtree Sunset
Crabtree Sunset
Guitar Lake.
Guitar Lake
Day 6 Chance for wildlife viewing at Soldier Lake...
Chance for wildlife viewing at Soldier Lake...
Past Trail Crest
Just past Trail Crest
Beautiful!
Looking Southwest from Mt. Whitney.
Looking Southwest from Mt. Whitney..
hikers
Hikers

Chickenspring Lake
Wallace Lake
Wallace Lake
Packer at Kearsarge
Packer and string at Kearsarge
Bullfrog Pond
Bullfrog Pond
Upper Meadow
Upper Meadow


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About The Area

The slides shown, above, offer a glimpse of the Golden Trout Wilderness. This area is great for moving trips in July when passes in the Bishop, Mammoth and Yosemite area are impassable. The Golden Trout Wilderness is quite beautiful, with many meadows, streams and forested areas.

Rock Creek Pack Station, operating as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains, offers fully outfitted pack trips for hikers and riders who want to travel into the remote Golden Trout and Sequoia National Park Wildernesses. We originate trips primarily from Horseshoe Meadows but serve guests from the Sage Flat, Sawmill, Taboose and Shepherd trail heads.

The Mt. Whitney Pack Trains portion of the Rock Creek Pack Station operates under permit by the Inyo National Forest and Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park.

Trips departing from Horseshoe Meadows, originate at Cottonwood Pack Station. We park cars at the Cottonwood Pack Station parking lot. We do have a restroom now at Cottonwood Pack Station. And, we can accomodate guests that want to stay at Cottonwood Pack Station the night before the trip. We ask that you call and let us know that you want to stay the night before your trip.

General Information

Horseshoe Meadow is a vast 10,000 ft high meadow, surrounded by pine forests.

Getting to Horseshoe Meadow is an adventure in itself. The road to Horseshoe Meadow climbs over 6,000 feet, as it winds its way up from Lone Pine. 3 campgrounds are located in the Horseshoe Meadow Area. trails from Horseshoe Meadow provide access to the John Muir and Golden Trout Wilderness Areas, and to Sequoia National Park.

Directions: Located at the end of Horseshoe Meadow Road, 24 miles southwest of the town of Lone Pine, California. From center of Lone Pine, turn west at the stoplight and follow Whitney Portal Road for 3 miles. Then turn south onto Horseshoe Meadow Road.The road to Horseshoe Meadow climbs over 6,000 feet, as it winds its way up from Lone Pine. It is about 18 miles from Lone Pine to Horseshoe Meadows, about a 45 minute drive.

Campgrounds: The Horseshoe Meadows Campground is the easiest and most accessible campsite for those departing on a pack trip.
Part of the Horseshoe Meadow Recreation Area, it is located 24 miles from the town of Lone Pine, California. The campground has 18 walk-in sites with tent pads, shared tables, fire grates, piped water, and toilet facilities. One night stay limit.

Fees: $6/Night for single unit
Usage: Medium
Restrictions: One night stay limit at campgrounds. Wood gathering is prohibited; bring own supply of firewood. High bear activity; bear boxes are provided and must be used (box dimensions typically 18x18x50inches)
Closest Towns: Lone Pine, CA
Water: Potable Water
Restroom: Vault Toilet (1)
Operated By: Forest Service

All cars need to be free of food items or scented products that could attract bears. Please give your packer those items to be stored in our bear proof containers while you are on a pack trip.

There are NO PHONES at Horseshoe Meadows. Cell service is available on the road overlooking the Owens Valley just before you enter the Cottonwood/Horseshoe Meadow area.

Fishing Season and Regulations: Within the Golden Trout Wilderness, the season is open between the last Saturday in April and November 15 using only artificial lures with barbless hooks. The daily bag and possession limit is 5 fish. Special California Fish and Game restrictions apply when fishing in the Golden Trout Wilderness. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used for all species. Open season is from the last Saturday in April each year until November 15. In the Little Kern River Drainage there is a five-trout limit. On the main stem of the Kern River, from the point where trail 33E30 turns east, to Tyndell Creek, there is a two-trout limit and no rainbow trout over ten inches in total length can be taken.>

More details on fishing regulations for the Golden Trout Wilderness can be found at the California Department of Fish and Game website. Be sure to read them carefully and have a valid fishing license in your possession, if you intend to do any fishing.

Some maps of the areas served:
Lone Pine to Horseshoe Meadows
Sage Flat Area
Taboose to Shepherd's Pass
Sequoia National Park
Kern Peak Area

General Mt. Whitney Area

You can purchase quality topo maps at TOM HARRISON MAPS.

Also, take a look at Halfmile's PCT Maps. This site offers a free map of the John Muir Trail. Look for the "California Section H" map. It covers Cottonwood to Tuolumne. For some beautiful photography of the Mt. Whitney area, look at Greg Cope's Nature Focused Photography


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ALL DAY RIDE

COTTONWOOD LAKES DAY RIDE
$195
Cottonwood Pack Station to Cottonwood Pack Station
Depart 6:30am
Return 5pm

Ride to Cottonwood Lakes to fish, hike or photograph the area.
The Golden Trout are plentiful!
Bring your lunch, water and layers for variable weather. Sunscreen, a hat and rain gear are recommended.
We will bring a pack mule to carry your personal gear and fishing equipment.



PLEASE CALL US AT LEAST 2 DAYS IN ADVANCE TO SCHEDULE YOUR RIDE.
PHONE: (559)478-2258



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PACK TRIPS 2022

Rock Creek Pack Station, operating as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains, offers riding and hiking trips originating at Cottonwood Pack Station. These trips allow guests the opportunity to climb Mt. Whitney from the west side and explore the Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks and the Golden Trout Wilderness.

You can submit a reservation for any trip through . Click on the title of a trip to see the full description on the Rock Creek Pack Station website.


GOLDEN TROUT TRAIL RIDE #1
5 days
June 25-29, 2022
$1350
Horseshoe Meadows to Horseshoe Meadows
This trip is operated by Rock Creek Pack Station dba as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains.
The route begins at Horseshoe and continues to South Fork Kern, then travel to our campsite Golden Trout Creek below Tunnel Meadows. Layover days allow for rides to Little Whitney Meadows, South Fork of the Kern in Templeton/Ramshaw Meadows and options to ride to Kern Peak and Big Whitney Meadows. We will terminate at Horseshoe Meadows.
Excellent fishing for Golden Trout.
This trip is operated by Rock Creek Pack Station dba as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains.


COTTONWOOD LAKE TRAIL RIDE
4 days
July 1-4, 2022
$1050
This trip is operated by Rock Creek Pack Station dba as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains.
Depart from Horseshoe Meadows
Meet at Horseshoe Meadow and travel to our camp at Cottonwood Lake.
We will have day rides from the camp. Return to Horseshoe.
OUTSTANDING GOLDEN TROUT FISHING.


PROFESSIONAL PACKING SCHOOL #2
Advanced Packing in the Wilderness (section 2)
6 days
July 4-9, 2022
$1550
This trip is operated by Rock Creek Pack Station dba as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains.
Meet at Horseshoe Meadows—a six day traveling educational pack trip into the Golden Trout Wilderness
Emphasis on moving camps, wrangling and feeding livestock on the extended wilderness pack trip.


COTTONWOOD LAKE TRAIL RIDE #2
4 days
July 7-10, 2022
$1150
This trip is operated by Rock Creek Pack Station dba as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains.
Depart from Horseshoe Meadows
Meet at Horseshoe Meadow and travel to our camp at Cottonwood Lake.
We will have day rides from the camp. Return to Horseshoe.
OUTSTANDING GOLDEN TROUT FISHING.


VETERINARY CARE AND HORSEPACKING IN THE WILDERNESS
Horseshoe Meadow loop trip in Golden Trout Wilderness
7 days
July 10-16, 2022
$1750
This trip is operated by Rock Creek Pack Station dba as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains.
This seven-day, deluxe pack trip has been acclaimed as an outstanding adventure and educational experience.
Topics will include: •Wilderness conduct of people
•Trail riding safety and horse equipment
•Methods of feeding livestock in the backcountry
•Management of livestock
•Preventative medicine
•Evaluating the normal horse
•Treating a hurt or sick horse in the wilderness
•Packing equipment, fitting saddles, making loads, hitches and leading strings of mules
•Veterinary skills including physical examination, floating teeth, intramuscular/IV injections, applying wraps, animal restraint and aging horses
•Shoeing
INSTRUCTOR:
Craig London, D.V.M., is owner of Rock Creek Pack Station and Mt. Whitney Pack Trains in the southeastern Sierra Nevada mountains. He practices veterinary medicine in Bishop and has taught many UC Davis Extension courses on veterinary care and wilderness horsepacking.
More information on the Golden Trout Wilderness


EQUINE NEUROLOGY IN THE WILDERNESS AND EQUINE TECHNICAL RESCUE METHODS
Veterinary Care and Horse Packing in the Wilderness
Horseshoe Meadow loop trip in Golden Trout Wilderness
7 days
July 10-16, 2022
$2500

This trip is operated by Rock Creek Pack Station dba as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains.
This seven-day, deluxe pack trip has been acclaimed as an outstanding adventure and educational experience. Dr. Monica Aleman and Dr. John Madigan present 20 hours of CE on current topics in equine neurology. Attendees will learn how to manage veterinary emergencies in the backcountry. Learn how to pack. Catch a Golden Trout. On the trail and around the campfire explore what is new in equine veterinary medicine. The itinerary travels through the remote Golden Trout Wilderness near Mt. Whitney.
"This program has been submitted (but is not yet approved) for 20 hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize RACE approval."
INSTRUCTORS:
Monica Aleman, MVZ Cert., PhD and John Madigan,,DVM,MS Equine and Compartive Neurology Faculty, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
For more information, please go to UC Davis Faculty information.


GOLDEN TROUT TRAIL RIDE #2
5 days
July 11-15, 2022
$1350
Horseshoe Meadows to Horseshoe Meadows
This trip is operated by Rock Creek Pack Station dba as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains.
This trip allows you to stay in a single camp and ride out daily to explore the Golden Trout Wilderness. We will have a camp on Kern Peak Stringer or Golden Trout Creek.
Excellent fishing for Golden Trout.
This trip is operated by Rock Creek Pack Station dba as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains.


KERN RIVER GOLDEN TROUT HERITAGE TRAIL RIDE
7 Days
July 17-23, 2022
$2500
This trip is operated by Rock Creek Pack Station dba as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains.
This seven-day pack trip provides a unique opportunity for both novice and experienced anglers to enjoy some of the best fly fishing the High Sierra has to offer. Guests travel by horseback into remote areas of the Golden Trout Wilderness and Sequoia National Park to fish for isolated species of Golden Trout and Kern River Rainbows.
For detailed information please click > HERE.


NATURAL HISTORY OF THE SIERRA NEVADA
Golden Trout Wilderness
5 days
July 18-22, 2022
$1750
Start and end at Cottonwood Pack Station
This trip is operated by Rock Creek Pack Station dba as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains.
Immerse yourself in the Natural History of the Sierra Nevada.
Join Fulbright Scholar and retired National Park Ranger Dr. Nancy Muleady-Mecham for a once in a lifetime chance to learn all about these mountains and the nature within them. We will explore the night sky in the truly dark skies of the backcountry. We’ll learn about animal adaptations, birds and mammals; Sierra geology, glaciation, and weather; dendrochronology (the science of tree-ring dating), the mixed conifer and alpine forests, wildflowers, fire ecology; and indigenous people through time. Bring binoculars, cameras and your sense of wonder.
Look here for trip details.


MT. WHITNEY TRAIL RIDE
Sequoia National Park/John Muir Wilderness
6 days
July 18-23, 2022 SOLD OUT......SOLD OUT......SOLD OUT
$2500
This trip is operated by Rock Creek Pack Station dba as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains.
Horseshoe Meadows to Horseshoe Meadows
Pack your tackle for the ultimate Golden trout fishing adventure. Experience the subalpine beauty of Sequoia National Park with camps at Tyndal Creek, Wallace Creek, Crabtree Meadows and Rock Creek.
Planned itinerary:
Day 1: Horseshoe Meadow to Lower Rock Creek
Day 2: Layover
Day 3: Lower Rock Creek to Guitar Lake
Day 4: Option to climb Mt. Whitney and back to Crabtree/Sandy Meadow
Day 5: To Rock Creek
Day 6: Out to Horseshoe Meadow


LITTLE WHITNEY TRAIL RIDE
Golden Trout Wilderness
6 Days
August 27-Sept 1, 2022
$1995 plus 10%
Start and End at Cottonwood Pack Station
This trip is operated by Rock Creek Pack Station dba as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains.
A great trip for those who enjoy lots of riding. Explore the secluded Golden Trout Wilderness. The Upper Kern Plateau has a rich cultural history. We will ride through the vast meadows starting from Cottonwood Pack Station. Great opportunity for fishing. The trails are good without the steep granite trails of the Northern Sierra Nevada. Join other equestrians who enjoy riding in the wilderness and sharing memories of previous rides around the campfire at night.
Day 1: Horseshoe Meadows to Ramshaw Meadows
Day 2: Ride to Kern Peak
Day 3: To Little Whitney Meadows
Day 4: Layover
Day 5: To Big Whitney Meadows
Day 6: Out.


BIG WHITNEY LABOR DAY TRAIL RIDE
John Muir Wilderness
3 days
September 3-5, 2022
$800
Start and End at Cottonwood Pack Station
This trip is operated by Rock Creek Pack Station dba as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains.
Travel over Cottonwood Pass to a camp in Big Whitney Meadows. A great trip for those that enjoy trail riding. Layover day ride is to either Siberian Pass or up to Rocky Basin Lakes. Excellent stream fishing for goldens in the headwaters of Golden Trout Creek. Guests are welcome to camp out the night before at Cottonwood Pack Station.

We originate trips primarily from Horseshoe Meadows but serve guests from the Sage Flat, Sawmill, Taboose and Shepherd trail heads. The Mt. Whitney Pack Trains portion of the Rock Creek Pack Station operates under permit by the Inyo National Forest and Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park.

Our "Hiking With Pack Stock" trips are listed on the Rock Creek Pack Station website. You can join one of our Hiking With Pack Stock trips, that allow you to enjoy the Mt. Whitney area carrying only a day pack. Our mules will transport your gear; our cooks and wranglers will meet you at the campsites. Your meals are prepared for you and camp is ready upon your arrival. You hike and enjoy the trip, we will take care of the rest!

Our scheduled Pack Trips for riders are also listed on the Rock Creek Pack Station website HERE.

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GUEST INFORMATION for HIKERS
What you need to know…for HIKERS on pack stock supported trips

Dunnage limit is 30 lbs. per person (this includes sleeping bags, fishing equipment, liquor, etc.)

You may bring your own tent up to 10 pounds that is in addition. The PCT 28 day trip allows 35 pounds of duffel.

PERSONAL CHECK LIST

Bring belongings in stout canvas or nylon duffels; side zipper recommended, ideal size approximately 14" x 32". It is a good idea to use a large plastic bag INSIDE of the duffle to protect contents from external moisture.

Sleeping bags can be in separate duffels --again, line the inside of the duffle against rain. Place all cosmetics, soaps, medications, etc into small plastic containers with close-fitting caps, THEN into sturdy resealable plastic storage bags. If anything breaks or bursts from altitude changes, the plastic bag contains the spill. When possible, it is a good idea to transfer alcoholic beverages to sturdy plastic bottles with well fitting caps - it will save weight and protect against breakage.

ESSENTIALS


CLOTHING


ETC.


FOOD

We provide the all meals on scheduled trips. You can bring your favorite "on-the-trail" snacks.


OPTIONAL ITEMS



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GUEST INFORMATION for RIDERS
What you need to know…for RIDERS
(TRAIL RIDE, ALL EXPENSE, AND BASE CAMP INFORMATION)

OUR SERVICES

We supply horses, saddles, food, kitchen and eating utensils, and camping equipment. Dormitory tents will be provided for men and women. Private tents for couples or singles will be reserved by request. Food will be plentiful and deluxe in quality. We provide the preparation of meals; any help is appreciated but not mandatory. Those desiring to learn how to pack may participate in making up loads and packing the mules.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

  1. Check-in time is 7 a.m. at Cottonwood Pack Station except when OTHER LOCATION is specified.
  2. Free parking for guests' cars at pack station.
  3. Breakfast is served the first day while the mules are being loaded. The last meal furnished is lunch the last day.
  4. We provide a small saddle bag for trail necessities. Please do not bring your own saddle bags or day packs unless they are pocket size. Participants may not carry large camera cases with extra lenses on the saddle. If you have extra camera equipment, it can be packed in your duffel or in a safe place on mules.
  5. You will be limited to 3 lbs. in the saddle bag, which includes your lunch. Your jacket and rain gear are not included in the 3 lbs. and may be tied on the back of the saddle. No day packs allowed on riders' backs.
  6. Each person is assigned a horse for the duration of the trip with regard to the guest's weight, height, and ability.
  7. Dunnage limit is 30 lbs. per person (this includes sleeping bags, fishing equipment, liquor, etc.). There will be a surcharge of $3 to $10 per pound on dunnage in excess of the 30 lbs. You may bring your own tent if under 10 lbs. which will not be included in 30 lb. weight limit.
  8. Trip fee does not include alcoholic beverages or lodging night before and after trip.
  9. Gratuities are optional and a personal choice.
  10. Trip will terminate in the late afternoon of last day.
  11. Free shuttle back to Cottonwood Pack Station for trips terminating at other road heads.
  12. Reservation form must be accurately completed. The information on age, height, weight and riding ability is used to assign riding animals. Failure to provide accurate information may result in the participant being denied going on the trip with loss of trip fee.
  13. We advise guests to purchase cancellation and trip travel insurance.
  14. Participants will be sent an assumption of risk and a liability release form. All guests must assume the risk and sign the forms before using Cottonwood Pack Station's service. Our forms have excellent guidelines for riding safety that we ask you to study.
  15. The pack station does not boil or treat water. Campsites are remote enough that we feel safe in using the water. It you want to purify water bring your own filter pump or purification tablets.

PERSONAL CHECK LIST

Bring belongings in stout canvas or nylon duffels; side zipper recommended, ideal size approximately 14" x 32". It is a good idea to use a large plastic bag INSIDE of the duffle to protect contents from external moisture.

Sleeping bags can be in separate duffels --again, line the inside of the duffle against rain.

Place all cosmetics, soaps, medications, etc into small plastic containers with close-fitting caps, THEN into sturdy resealable plastic storage bags. If anything breaks or bursts from altitude changes, the plastic bag contains the spill.

When possible, it is a good idea to transfer alcoholic beverages to sturdy plastic bottles with well fitting caps - it will save weight and protect against breakage.

Check in fishing worms and bottle goods separately; don't put in duffel. Place fishing rods in metal or plastic cases.

You will be given a small saddle bag that goes on your saddle horn to carry your lunch and a few personal items. (Weight limit 3 lbs - including lunch).

Remember - try to minimize the weight of your dunnage by packaging only the amount of any item you will need (like soaps, lotions and medications).

RECOMMENDED ITEMS:

  • Sleeping bag with a comfort range of 20 to 60 degrees and a moisture proof ground cloth.
  • Air mattress or small 1/4"-1/2" foam hip pad recommended - your night's rest will affect your next days enjoyment. Bring the best sleeping pad you can manage.
  • Broad-brimmed hat is essential for protection from sun at high altitude. It must have strings to keep from blowing off.
  • Sunglasses (RX glasses) - high altitude sun is BRIGHT!
  • Coffee mug (plastic for camp)
  • Pint water bottle for your horn bag
  • Pocket knife or small multi-tool
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Camera and film (sturdy strap)-- if using digital - don't forget an extra battery and card
  • Rain jackets and pants or slicker (rolled up you can tie them to the back of your saddle)
  • Hat protector (to keep your hat dry)
  • Light jacket (windbreaker)
  • Wool or fleece pullover/sweater (layers will keep you comfortable)
  • Heavy jacket
  • Bandana
  • Woolen cap (evenings can be cold)
  • Gloves (recommend gloves for riding, may want warm gloves for evenings)
  • Socks
  • Riding boots
  • Shoes for camp (moccasins, athletic shoes, etc)
  • Shirts and pants (long sleeved shirts offer sun, bug and branch protection)
  • Underwear
  • Bathing suit
  • Bath towel/wash cloth/soap (try a multi-use bar or liquid for use on hair, body and laundry. Biodegradable choices are available.)
  • Insect repellent such as Cutters
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • comb/brush clips/pins/ponytail holders
  • Shaving kit (a small mirror is helpful)
  • Sun Screen (lotion, cream or stick)- use liberally for sunburn and chapping prevention.
  • Chapstick with sun protection SPF 15 or better
  • Moisturizer (cream or lotion - altitude and sun can be dry and chap skin)
  • Prescription medicine (if required - if you have any allergies, remember to bring appropriate medication)
  • Band-aids, aspirin, ibuprofen, eye drops, moleskin for any blisters
  • Baby powder/Talcum powder (helps to relieve any raw or irritated areas from boots, clothes or saddles)
  • Kleenex
  • Jogging suit (sweats are comfortable for after-swim and campfire lounging)
OPTIONAL ITEMS:

LOW-IMPACT GUIDE FOR THE WILDERNESS USER

We are dedicated to conducting our trips so that others following us will find the country unspoiled. Livestock is a natural part of the wilderness and when properly managed enhances man's enjoyment of our unmechanized wilderness area. Today, just as it was when the entire west was mostly wilderness, the horse and mule remain our companions and servants in wilderness travel. We practice and expect you to observe the following during your trip.

  1. Keep horses on trail; do not cut switchbacks (corners).
  2. Tie horses 200 feet away from streams, trails and campsites. At camps, horses and mules are tied to picket lines, stretched between trees on granitic soil.
  3. If you can't tie animal to picket line use a tree greater than 8" in diameter, not on grass. Tie high and short (2-3 ft.) so horse doesn't get foot caught in rope.
  4. Choose a tent site at least 100 ft. from water (THE LAW) where drainage will not be a problem, avoiding the need to trench. No tents or camp area allowed on grass or meadowlands.
  5. Utilize pre-existing fire rings where possible. Don't surround fires with rocks! Dig a hole in sand and cover when finished. When you leave camp, bury ashes from fire rings. Leave existing fire rings clean for the next user.
  6. When breaking camp, return the spot to its natural state and broadcast a covering of needles and cones. Scout the area to make sure nothing will be left behind. Remove the smallest pieces of aluminum foil and trash.
  7. Pack out all trash. Don't bury garbage, scatter organic wastes or leave foil in campfire pit. Burn cans and flatten. On our group trips we have a bag for cans and aluminum foil.
  8. Don't use soap (even biodegradable) in streams or lakes, Wash yourself, clothes and dishes away from water sources.
  9. Bury human waste 200 ft. from water, campsites and trails. Dig a hole 4-6" deep and after use tamp with sod.
  10. Don't pick flowers or cut branches from live trees. Use only downed wood for fires.
  11. You are required to keep bears from getting to your food at all times. Please ask for current regulations and suggestions on how to prepare for your trip.



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SPOT TRIPS

On a spot trip we transport you AND your gear by horse/mule to a campsite. On a specified date, we will return to transport you and your gear back to the pack station. Your length of stay does not affect the charges. You furnish your own camp gear and food. One packer/wrangler is required to manage each 5 head of livestock.
We can pack no more than 150 lbs per mule. The bulk, volume and dimensions allow may require additional mules.







Rates are per person. Includes packers, horses and mules for the round trip*
LOCATION 2 people 3 people 4+ people Area Description
South Fork of Cottonwood Creek in Golden Trout Wilderness & Golden Trout Creek
 
$800 $725 $675 Beautiful Meadows below South Fork Lakes (campfires permitted)
Cottonwood Lakes Basin & Big Whitney Meadows
 
$1000 $900 $800 Many Lakes with outstanding Golden Trout
Tunnel Guard Station and Tunnel Guard Station & Big Whitney Meadow $1100 $1000 $900 Beautiful meadows in the Golden Trout Wilderness
Upper Rock-Soldier Lake area & Penned Up Mdw Miter Basin
 
$1200 $1100 $1000 Lakes, Meadows and access to Miter Basin and Mt. Langley
Lower Rock Creek near Crossing and Ranger Station and Little Whitney Meadows $1400 $1200 $1100  
Crabtree Meadows $3000 $2500 $2000 Access to climb Mt. Whitney (two night limit)
Wright Creek, Wallace Creek and Tyndal Creek at JMT $7500 $4000 $3500 Remote spectacular areas in the Upper Kern

* Please note that there is a 3% USFS and a 3% Sequoia/Kings Canyon (SEKI) fee for travel into those areas.

The Forest Service limits pack stock by a 1:1.5 stock-to-person ratio. Spot trip rate will include mules up to the limit allowed in the roundtrip fee.
Number of
Persons
Number of
Allowable Pack
Animals
1 1
2 &3 2
4 3
5 & 6 4
7 5
8 & 9 6
10 7
11 & 12 8
13 9
14 & 15 10


You can make a reservation at the Rock Creek Pack Station reservations page.

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DUNNAGE PACKS and CACHE DROPS

The load is packed to a specified location and you hike to meet it. "Some hike and others ride" falls into this category. One packer/wrangler is required to manage each 5 head of livestock.
We can pack no more than 150 lbs per mule. The bulk, volume and dimensions allow may require additional mules.










Rates for use of stock to or from destination (one-way charge)
Destination Handling fee Each horse or mule
South Fork of Cottonwood Creek in Golden Trout Wilderness & Golden Trout Creek $375 $250
Cottonwood Lakes Basin $425 $300
Tunnel Guard Station and Tunnel Guard Station & Big Whitney Meadow $425 $325
Templeton Meadow $425 $325
Border of Sequoia National Park via Cottonwood Pass $425 $325
Upper Rock-Soldier Lake area & Penned Up Mdw Miter Basin $625 $400
Lower Rock Creek near Crossing and Ranger Station $750 $500
Crabtree Meadow $1125 $750
Junction Meadow or Tyndal Creek and JMT $1600 $1000
Kern River at Bridge on trail from Little Whitney $1200 $750
*Operated by Rock Creek Pack Station as Mt. Whitney Pack Trains. Handling fee includes trucking of livestock to trailhead and packer's fee.
Please note that there is a 3% USFS and a 3% Sequoia/Kings Canyon (SEKI) fee for travel into those areas

You can make a reservation at the Rock Creek Pack Station reservations page.

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MAPS

You can purchase quality topo maps at TOM HARRISON MAPS.

Also, take a look at Halfmile's PCT Maps. This site offers a free map of the John Muir Trail. Look for the "California Section H" map. It covers Cottonwood to Tuolumne.

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CUSTOM HIKING TRIPS
ALL INCLUSIVE SERVICE

We have several private groups willing to add hikers to their private trips that cover the John Muir Trail in Kings Canyon National Park. This is mountain travel for the hiker who wants to enjoy the wilderness for longer than his or her back can carry the needed supplies! We prepare your food and packers break camp and move the gear to a pre-arranged spot each day. Guests may bring 30 lbs of personal gear (includes sleeping bag) and we provide the tents, toilet, camp chairs, tables, meals and staff for your travel in the wilderness. Join other hikers on open hiking trips or form your own group for an all-inclusive private custom trip. We provide sample menus and itineraries for your approval.

We can help you create a personal route, custom menu and ideal wilderness adventure. Call or email us to discuss your schedule and preferred itinerary.

Let us put together an custom hiking trip that fits your schedule and interests, and allows you to meet and hike with others. If you have a particular section of the John Muir Trail that you want to hike…please let us know. We offer private trips from the Onion Valley and Bishop Pass trailheads.

If you don't have the time or desire to hike the entire JMT in one trip can provide all inclusive custom trips that cover segments. Cottonwood to Onion Valley, Onion Valley to Bishop Pass, Bishop Pass to Red’s Meadow or Red’s Meadow to Yosemite are segments available to you. The Halfmile's PCT Maps offer a free map of the John Muir Trail. Look at the "California Section H" map. It covers Cottonwood to Tuolumne.



Pricing for all-inclusive private custom trip is shown in the table, below.
Per person per day
Please note, the following fees are per person:
$15.00 monitoring fee, $5 wilderness permit reservation fee,
3% outfitters fee, and 8% regulatory fee.
9 to 12 persons $330
5 to 8 persons $360

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HOW TO CONTACT US
Please call us at 760-872-8331 (Rock Creek Pack Station, main office).
Beginning June 1, 2022, you can call us at : 559-478-2258. We will be happy to answer any questions.
Or you can email us.





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