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General Info
WILDERNESS PERMITS for our guests are issued from our commercial quota, NOT from the general public quota.

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 portable corrals next to 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 18"x18"x50")
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.


More details on fishing regulations for the Golden Trout Wilderness can be found at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website. Be sure to read them carefully and have a valid fishing license in your possession, if you intend to do any fishing.
You can download a PDF file of regulations from this link : Case.com.

Here is an abbreviated list of regulations:

"Register 2023 Notice Reg. No. 52, December 29, 2023
Section 7.50 - Alphabetical List of Trout Waters with Special Fishing Regulations

Body of Water Open Season and Special Restrictions Daily Bag and Possession Limit
(32) Cottonwood Creek and all tributaries upstream from the confluence of the main stem Cottonwood Creek and Little Cottonwood Creek, including the unnamed tributaries flowing through Horseshoe Meadow (Inyo Co.). All year. Only artificial lures may be used. 2 trout
(33) Cottonwood Creek drainage lakes (Inyo Co.). (A) Cottonwood Lakes 1, 2, 3 and 4 and their tributaries (Inyo Co.). Sep. 1 through Nov. 30. Only artificial lures may be used. Minimum size limit: 14 inches total length. 2 trout
(33) Cottonwood Creek drainage lakes (Inyo Co.). (B) All remaining Cottonwood Creek drainage lakes. All year. Only artificial lures may be used. 2 trout
(51) Golden Trout Wilderness Area (Tulare Co.), excluding the main stem Kern River (see subsection (b)(69)), and the Tule River drainage (see subsection (b)(154)). All year. Only artificial lures may be used 2 trout

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

For some beautiful photography of the Mt. Whitney area, look at Greg Cope's Nature Focused Photography

Call us TODAY at 760-872-8331 for a quick response to your questions.
You can email us, also.

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Rock Creek Pack Station, Inc operates under permit on the Inyo National Forest.
All Trail Rides and Packing Schools are subject to an 8% regulatory reservation fee, plus 2% USFS fee.
Horse Drives are are subject to an 8% regulatory reservation fee, plus 3% USFS fee.
Mustang Trips are are subject to a 3% USFS fee.
Trips traveling in the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are subject to an additional 3% park use fee.

NOTICE: “In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information is also available in languages other than English.

To file a complaint alleging discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027 , found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html , or at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provided in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (a) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (b) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (c) email:program.intake@usda.gov.”

“USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.”

Last Updated: April 30, 2024
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