Mustangs - Living Legacy

California USA: (RTCA01)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/ca_wild_mustangs_legacy.aspx

Introduction
California USA
The hills north of Boundary Peak look far too barren to support any animals larger than a chipmunk. Yet, ride deep into this high desert along the Nevada/California border, and you'll find cool springs, a few emerald meadows--and the wildest mustang herd in North America

Track wild horses and relive the old west in the seldom visited Pizona area of the lnyo National Forest. From a central meadow camp, riders will track the mustangs in their natural pinyon forest habitat. Observe and photograph present day herds and wildflowers. Enjoy spectacular sunsets of the Sierra and White Mountains while the cook prepares dinner over an open fire. Later, around the campfire, our experienced tracker guides will, share their knowledge of the wild horses and other wildlife. Learn about the social behavior of the horses and their current struggle.
This is a trip for those who would like to experience the life of a cowboy out on the range. An active, riding trip for people of all ages and riding levels. The group will operate from base camp and will ride out each day to the open range by high mountains. Don't miss four days of hospitality, home cooking and the thrill of Western life.

The scenery is spectacular and if you haven't experienced camping in this part of California, you will be pleasantly surprised. The vistas of the Sierra from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney to the west and of Boundary Peak and the White.

Accomodation


Accommodation
This is a pack trip so most nights are spent camping.

Description
Depending on the program you chose, you will sleep at different locations.

During the Pizona Springs ride, we will be camping at a stationary 'tent city' and doing day trips out from this location. We have a wide variety of tents available (single, double, or family), so please let us know what type you prefer. There is a solar shower and privy with toilet seat and tent at the campsite. There is no generator on our trips -- no electrical source is available.
We do not provide ground mats or sleeping bags, so you must bring your own! 

During the Benton Springs ride, guests can spend the 2 first nights in a room at the Old House Bed & Breakfast or camp in a tent at Benton. The last two nights we’ll all camp in tents at our wilderness style camp in Pizona.
At the Old House B&B, rooms are available for singles, couples or families. Each room is equipped with running water, toilet and a TV. Those wanting to camp will have tents near the Old House.



Meals
All meals are included.
For the Pizona Springs trip, meals are included from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on the last day.
For the Benton Springs trip, meals are included from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on the last day.

Food is typically sourced from local establishments. We strive to provide a deluxe dining experience and tailor our menus to reflect the tastes of our guests. We prepare breakfast and dinner.

A hot breakfast is prepared fresh each morning. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and salads are available at lunch and dinner each day.
Lunch is a build-your-own affair, typically completed before breakfast is served. Sandwich makings, fruits, and snacks are available for you to create your own take-along meal.
Each dinner has a different entrée (beef, chicken, pork, etc). 

Alcohol is not included in this trip, but guests are free to bring their own.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to vegetarians with prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding


Pace
Riding experience is considered when fitting you for a mount. There are plenty of horses and mules to choose from to fit your expertise. All trips go at a walk. Our crew will help you get comfortable before we leave the pack station. We ride as few as 2 hours or as many as 6 hours in a day.

Horses
Approximately 130 horses and mules are the backbone of the operation. Pack mules carry the provisions for trail riders, hikers, and those wishing to have their gear packed to a wilderness campsite. Mules typically carry 150-240 pounds of equipment, food and dunnage and work from June through September. During the off season, livestock graze fields in the Owens Valley.
Horses and mules come to the pack station as four to five year old green broke. After a couple of years of training they spend up to another twenty to twenty-five years working in the Sierra.

Tack
You are encouraged to bring your own saddle if you have one. However, if your tack doesn't fit our stock, or we deem is unsafe, you will not be able to use it.

Guides
Each year young men and women bring youth and enthusiasm to a crew of senior packers and cooks. Most of the crew come from ranch backgrounds and once they start packing with us, they have a hard time ever leaving. Every member of the crew carries on the traditions of the talented men and women who started the business in the 1940s. New employees learn the trails, traditions, and develop skills to serve another generation of guests. Only the most able, hard working and those with exceptional people skills succeed as staff. We typically have two guides for each 10 riders.  Sometimes we break trips up into smaller groups.

Itinerary



Sample Itinerary: Pizona Springs - subject to changes

Track wild horses and relive the Old West in the seldom-visited Pizona area of the lnyo National Forest. From a central meadow camp, riders will track the mustangs in their natural pinyon forest habitat. Observe and photograph herds of horses and wildflowers. Enjoy spectacular sunsets over the Sierra and White Mountains while the cook prepares dinner over an open fire. Later, around the campfire, our experienced tracker guides will share their knowledge of the wild horses and other wildlife. Learn about the social behavior of the horses and their current struggle.

We recommend that you spend the night before the ride in Lee Vining, Bishop or Benton Hot Springs.

Day 1: Arrival
We will meet at River Springs at 8:00am. You will be greeted by your guides, paired with your horse and ride into the Pizona Springs camp. Seminars include map orientation and history of the wild horse.
Meals included: Lunch & Dinner
Camping at Pizona Springs


Day 2 & 3: Pizona
Full day in the field, riding out to track and observe horses on open range and watering sites. Periodic stops for viewing, informal discussion and rest. Seminars include social structure and behavior of wild horses, seasonal range ecology and current issues affecting maintenance of free-roaming wild horses.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Camping at Pizona Springs


Day 4: Departure
Take a ride to the western range with lunch before returning to vans at River Springs Roadhead. Seminars today include obtaining, training and using wild horses. The last meal served will be lunch. Expect to arrive at your cars by 4:00pm.
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch

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Sample Itinerary: Benton Hot Springs - subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
We start with dinner at 6:30 PM. Camp will be being set-up that afternoon and there will be plenty of time to walk around, check out the horses and relax. If people can’t get there for dinner, they can arrive late or come out to camp the following morning.
Meals included: Dinner
Camping at Benton Hot Springs


Day 2: First Ride
Breakfast at 7AM and we meet the horses and explain safety rules. We’ll take a sack lunch and ride out for the day to explore the hills around Old Benton.
Afternoon is for soaking in the hot springs and getting ready for a fun filled evening with music and stories of the gold rush era.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Camping at Benton Hot Springs


Day 3: Ride to Pizona Camp
Breakfast at 6:30 AM and dunnage needs to be ready for the crew by 7:15 AM. We will be on the trail by 8:30AM and head north over the Benton Range on the power line road until we cut off to our camp in Lower Pizona (riding about 15 to 17 miles). We take a pack mule for water a lunch buffet and camera equipment. Camp is set up with showers available.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Camping at Pizona Camp


Day 4: Mustangs
Breakfast at 7:00 AM and the first group heads out to explore Upper Pizona, McNamara Lake, McBride Springs and the rolling mountainsides of Pizona to see the Mustangs. Those seeking a more leisurely ride, leave later and head out for a shorter loop that includes visiting the petroglyphs. We try and break up groups to meet various guests’ desires for length of ride.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Camping at Pizona Camp


Day 5: Last Day
Breakfast at 7:30 AM and we head back to River Springs via the Adobe Lake trail. We’ll cut tracks and look for bands of horses that are working between Adobe and River Springs. We arrive at River Springs by 2PM and will transport guests to Benton to pickup cars by 3PM.
Meals included: Breakfast

Note: This tour is operating under permit with the USDA Forest Service through Special Use Permit on the Inyo National Forest.


Rates and Dates for Mustangs - Living Legacy

Rates include:

Tent accommodations, All meals, 4 guided riding days, saddle bag

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20224 day Wild Mustang Ride, AP - Benton Hot Springs$995
    • Upgrade to B&B for first 2 nights, pp (dbl)$1195
      Upgrade to B&B for first 2 nights, pp (sgl)$1295
  • B
    20224 day Wild Mustang Ride, AP - Pizona Springs (low)$950
  • C
    20224 day Wild Mustang Ride, AP - Pizona Springs (high)$1100
  • D
    20224 day Wild Mustang Ride, AP - Photography Special$1495

Tax 1: 3 %

Rates Note:

3% charge for USFS fee 8% charge for regulatory taxes

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy
Tax: 3 %  

Rates Note:

3% charge for USFS fee 8% charge for regulatory taxes


Transfer and Other Charges:



 Description
2022 Meet at River Springs for 8:00am on Day 1
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2022 05/13 - 05/17 5d / 4n 4 day Wild Mustang Ride, AP ... 6 /20 Reserve
B 2022 05/21 - 05/24 4d / 3n 4 day Wild Mustang Ride, AP ... 6 /20 Reserve
D 2022 05/24 - 05/27 4d / 3n 4 day Wild Mustang Ride, AP ... 6 /20 Reserve
D 2022 06/04 - 06/07 4d / 3n 4 day Wild Mustang Ride, AP ... 6 /20 Reserve
D 2022 06/08 - 06/11 4d / 3n 4 day Wild Mustang Ride, AP ... 6 /20 Reserve
C 2022 06/16 - 06/19 4d / 3n 4 day Wild Mustang Ride, AP ... 6 /20 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Sleeping bag and mat, Transfers, Alcoholic Drinks, Taxes & Gratuities

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Wild Mustangs - A Living Legacy (RTCA01):

Trips are running again since June (business received a stamp to prove that it complies with state requirements for safe operations).
We won't transfer money for Covid concerns or smoke.
Our reservation policy is firm. If people sign up, they will lose their deposit if they cancel.

We are following CDC guidelines. Social distancing & food service according to California standards. Guests should bring their own masks. 


For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

Other Info
Meeting: River Springs
Airport: Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH)
Transfer: --

Climate:
                                                Bishop area
 

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

54

58

65

72

81

92

98

96

88

76

63

53

Average Low Temperature (°F)

23

26

31

36

44

51

57

54

47

37

27

22

Average High Temperature (°C)

12

14

18

22

27

33

37

35

31

24

17

12

Average Low Temperature (°C)

-5

-3

0

2

7

11

14

12

8

3

-3

-6

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

2

2

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

Source: NOAA


Seasons
Weather in the mountains can change rapidly during all seasons of the year. You should be prepared for ALL types of weather year round! And keep in mind that it can get quite cold at night, even when hot in the day time! Even in May and into the beginning of June, it can get down to 45-50° F at night, while in the daytime it can reach 70-80° F and be very beautiful and sunny!

The elevation plays a major role in temperature and precipitation. This ride ranges from about 6500 to 8500 feet (1900 to 2600m) so it tends to be colder than in Bishop.
Sierra summers are typically warm and dry. However, clouds can build up during the summer to produce spectacular thunderstorm activity!  July and August are normally the warmest months.

What To Bring:
Information on What to Pack for Mustangs Trip
Dunnage limit is 40lbs 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 40 lbs. Bring personal belongings in stout canvas or nylon duffels, 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. Attach name to dunnage, camera, canteen, etc. Tent provided, however, you may bring your own private tent if under 10 pounds, which is not included in 40lbs weight limit. 

You provide your own alcoholic beverages (if desired). 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. 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 will contain the spill. 

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). Please do not bring your own saddlebag unless it is pocket size. We have helmets to borrow. Please let us know at time of booking.

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, you 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)
- Binoculars

Optional Items
- Small notepad and pencil
- Collapsible plastic wash basin
- Liquor (be sure to check in with the packers to see that your liquor is packed safely)


For the Photography Special, we recommend to bring:
- Knee-high waterproof boots for wild horse photography sessions on foot
- Light long-sleeve shirt with UV protection