I have limited to no riding experience, will I be able to attend?
Riding experience is considered when you are assigned a mount. We have horses and mules to fit your level of expertise. All traveling pack trips move at a walk. Our crew will help you get comfortable before we leave the pack station. We ride as few as 2.5 hours to as many as 6.5 hours in a day on a traveling pack trip. Look at the trip itinerary for some ideas.
Although you don't have to be an excellent rider to participate in the horse drive, some time in the saddle is beneficial. The pace is faster (lots of trotting) and there are a number of hours in the saddle. Please call us if you have additional questions.
What type of food can I expect?
A crew member will prepare breakfast and dinner daily. A hot breakfast is prepared fresh, each morning. Fresh fruits, vegetables and salads are available at dinner each day. Each dinner has a different entree (beef, chicken, pork, etc) and vegetarian selections can be provided, if we are notified in advance. (If you have special dietary needs or restrictions, please let us know and we will make every effort to accommodate you). Lunch is a build-your-own affair, each morning. Sandwich makings, fruits, and snacks are available for you to create your own take-along meal.
Can I come solo?
Yes! Many of our guests travel alone. The camaraderie of a camping adventure is the ideal environment to meet new friends. Majority of our participants arrive solo, it is not uncommon. It is also great to see women attend with friends/family.
Is there a limit on the size of the rider?
The rider's weight and height and general physical condition and riding ability will all contribute to the overall safety of the rider and his or her mount. Riders over 200 pounds or who are very heavy for their height need to be approved by the pack station before they may sign up for a trip. Riders cannot weigh over of 240 pounds.
Minimum age is 21 years old. The pack station needs to approve all people who have physical characteristics and disabilities that may pose a safety risk for the participant.
Are Showers Available?
On our pack trips, showers are not provided. You may bring a solar shower, if desired. There is always a stream or lake nearby and we can provide you with a bucket to carry water. Don't use soap (even biodegradable) in streams or lakes. Wash yourself, clothes and dishes at least 200 feet from water sources.
Are bathrooms available?
On our pack trips a latrine is dug near the campsite every afternoon. You can also dig a "cat hole" 4 to 6 inches deep and bury human waste in it by tamping the dirt/sod over the top after use. Be sure that the hole is at least 200 feet from water,campsites and trails.
When will we get back into the pack station on the return day?
We try to return to the pack station before 4:30pm on the last day. Sometimes it may be as late as 6pm.
Where can i leave my vehicle?
Parking is available at the pack station. Remember that the pack station is in an area frequented by bears. Be SURE that you do not leave any food, gum, candy, or scented cosmetics in your vehicle! We have a storage unit in which you can store small items for the duration of your trip
Where can i stay the night before and after the trip?
Meals, lodging, and well-stocked general stores are available at Rock Creek Lodge (ph. 760-935-4170), Rock Creek Lake Resort (ph. 760-935-4311), and Tom's Place Resort (ph. 760-935-4239). Also, there are numerous Forest Service campgrounds in the canyon, as well as hotel/motel accommodations in Mammoth and Bishop.
Can I bring my Own Horse?
Guests may NOT bring their own horses, mules or dogs on any of the traveling pack trips. The rugged terrain and high elevations can be very taxing on animals not accustomed to the stress. Also, horses and mules are herd animals. Introducing a stranger into the group can cause problems. We welcome guests horses on the Mustang trips.
Can I bring my own saddle?
You are encouraged to bring your own saddle. However, if your tack doesn't fit our stock, or we deem is unsafe, you will not be able to use it.
Can we fish on the trip?
There is great fishing on many of our trips. You MUST have a valid California fishing license. Please be sure to bring a HARD case for your poles. Look here for fishing gear suggestions.
Do you filter our water?
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.
How do I tip the crew?
Gratuities are optional and a personal choice. Any tips are generally split among the crew working on a particular trip. Usually tips are given on the last night of the trip - or when you arrive back at the pack station. A rule of thumb is 10% of the price of your trip to be split among the crew -- if you had a GREAT crew - tip more - if you weren't happy with the level of service your received - tip less or not at all.