It is time to start planning for summer vacations and family activities. Many families across the United States take road trips traveling to national parks for camping, hiking and other nature activities. But is it time to step-up those camping trips and plan the vacation that will be talked about for years to come.
Just four hours north of the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and an easy three hours south of Reno, Nevada, is Bishop California. Tucked away in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains is the home base for one of the area’s premier wilderness adventures, Rock Creek Pack Station.
Rock Creek Pack Station is owned and operated by the London family. Herb London purchased the pack station in 1947 and was an active part of the business until his death in 2011. His son Craig London, D.V.M., grew up in the business and is now managing the operation. In addition to caring for the pack station’s livestock, Craig is also an associate veterinarian at Bishop Veterinary Hospital in the off-season.
Growing up around these public lands has instilled a passion for conservation of wilderness and a desire to help people enjoy and learn about public lands. Rock Creek Pack Station operates under permit on the Inyo National Forest. This means the operation has the required certifications, insurance and is held to a high standard of environmental protection. The staff at Rock Creek Pack Station are stewards of the land and take its preservation seriously so that future generations may enjoy the wilderness.
“Sierra Nevada is one of the greatest places in the world during the summer, because we have trails through wilderness that has never been inhabited, except by Native Americans on their summer adventures.” explains Craig. “It is true wilderness.”
Rock Creek Pack Station is a family friendly operation that guides camping trips through the Sierra Nevada Wilderness and Yosemite National Park. This is just the place to take this year’s summer vacation to a whole new level. With multiple riding and hiking trail options they are sure to have a trip to fit most any need.
The pack station’s working season is from June until September, with a few off-season rides available. They kick off the season with a horse drive, rounding up the horses and mules from winter pastures in the Owens Valley. This year, 2017, will be the pack station’s 50th anniversary for the spring horse drive. The pack station also closes out the season with a horse drive to take the livestock to their winter rangeland.
Rock Creek Pack Station offers morning or all-day rides to Hilton Lakes, Dorothy Lake and Little Lakes Valley. For the hikers or riders with four or more days to spend in the wilderness, the Summit Mt. Whitney trips offer stunning views while climbing up the west side of Mt. Whitney.
Craig explains that they do a lot of business with families that want to introduce their children to trail riding and camping. Getting the family away from today’s technologies and out in the wilderness can offer a chance for bonding and learning new things. The pack station allows children as young as six-years-old and adults of all ages and riding abilities.
The three-day parent-child horseback camping trip has quickly become one of the pack station’s most scheduled adventures. This option can allow families to bond through wilderness; learning about native wildlife, horses, fishing and camping.
In addition to the mountain and wilderness trips, several different specialty adventures are offered. The Pizona Mustang Trail Ride heads into wild horse territory offering a glimpse of native wild mustangs. For enthusiastic photographer’s there is the Pioneer Basin Trail Ride with a photography workshop. The pack station also hosts a packing school, teaching the fundamentals of traveling the backcountry.
These trail rides can last many days, but there is no need to worry about anything other than personal requirements. Rock Creek Pack Station provides the horses, mules, tack, grub, kitchen set up and tents! The riders can have 30 pounds of dunnage, or personal items, packed for the trip and hauled by a mule.
The backbone of Rock Creek Pack Station is the 130 head of horses and mules that make the packing trips possible. The station offers a wide variety of riding horses to fit each rider’s needs. While the mules are used for packing and will carry the provisions for the campers. Whether an avid horseman or a beginner rider Rock Creek Pack Station’s packing trips will have the right mount for each individual.
The London family is dedicated to taking care of the land, educating people about public land and caring for the livestock that make the pack station successful. Rock Creek Pack Station wants people to enjoy the public lands by offering vacations with fantastic views and wilderness adventures that will be talked about for years to come.
Find out more about Rock Creek Pack Station or book a vacation at RockCreekPackStation.com