Located near Dodge Ridge Ski Area and the popular resort of Pinecrest, historic Aspen Meadow is the gateway to one of California’s most breathtaking wilderness areas. Towering granite peaks, long alpine meadows, stunning lakes and abundant wildlife are yours to explore – from the back of a horse! Aspen Meadow Pack Station is open seven days a week, and operates June through September depending on snowfall.
Aspen Meadow offers horses and pack mules, ideally suited to carry you and your gear over any terrain. The horses at Aspen Meadow are raised in the mountains and are trained and ridden by the Aspen Meadow staff for many years before they are able to carry a customer. This ensures sure-footedness and a comfortable ride to your destination. The riding stock is matched to your ability, whether you are a novice or a seasoned rider. Each pack mule can carry up to 150 pounds of gear – so you don’t have to!
Activities in Emigrant Wilderness include hiking, swimming, fishing and hunting. Rainbow and Brook trout are found in almost all lakes and streams in the area. In addition, three major deer herds – Jawbone, Yosemite and Stanislaus herds – live in Emigrant Basin.
Get away from it all - for a day, a week, or longer – without the hassle of a heavy backpack or the crowd of car camping.
For months ahead of time, I look forward with eager anticipation to my Aspen Meadow pack trip. Once we hit the trail, I enter into another world. The terrain is some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, the horses are amazingly skilled, the fishing is great and the company is always entertaining. I love being able to bring a few creature comforts into the wilderness, a nice bottle of wine, a comfortable air mattress and a few other things I could never carry on my back make the trip relaxing and so much more enjoyable.
My uncle talked for years about the trout in Huckleberry Lake, and I’ve always wanted to go there. At 72-years of age, I finally got on one of those horses and rode 12 hours out to the lake. I sure was sore, but it was worth it. The fish were the biggest I’ve seen and with a little lime, butter and sweet red onions, they cooked up real nice on the campfire. The trip back was a little rough, but with my handy bottle of snake bite, I made it out just fine.
I’d never been on a horse before, so I was a little nervous when we first mounted up. Our packer took some time to show me how to tie the horse up when we stopped, how to mount and how to maneuver. By midday on the way out, I was pretty comfortable and by the end of the first day, I felt like a real cowboy. With all that trail dust, I probably looked like one too!
I had never considered a pack trip, but I was invited at the last minute and was able to go. I have to say that it was the most relaxing and enjoyable four days I’ve had in a very long time. We hiked around Buck lake, swam several times a day, rode up to Emigrant Lake for lunch, cooked up wonderful meals and told great stories at night under the stars. I can’t wait to take my son on a pack trip!
Just 10 minutes from Pinecrest Lake! We took our kids, ages 7 and 9, here to Aspen Meadows, for their first horseback riding experience today. Our horses and guide were great. We did a one hour trail ride up to the top of one of the ridges and our guide took our picture with a beautiful valley and Bell Meadows below. We will definitely come back for many more rides and may even do one of the overnight camping trips for our vacation next year.
This is a super late review, but I still want to post it. This placed treated me great! Me and a friend wanted to plan a short backpacking trip so we used the horses to take us out into the wilderness with our packs. They took us 10-15 miles in on horses in 3-4 hours then dropped us off and we took a few days to hike back, and fished along the way. The price was very reasonable. It was an amazing experience I will always remember and helped jettison us into the wilderness on a tight time limit.
Aspen Meadow offers guided hour rides, two-hour rides, half-day rides and all-day rides. We have riding horses suited to all ages and ranges of riding experience. Rides are taken between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm daily. Please reserve your horseback ride by calling (209) 965-3402.
A two mile loop leaving through Aspen Meadow with views of Bell Meadows, the Emigrant Wilderness, and Yosemite National Park.
A four mile ride leaving through Aspen Meadow following some of the one hour loop trail overlooking Bell Meadows, and then continuing to Dodge Ridge, before looping back to Aspen Meadow.
3.5 - 4 hours of breathtaking scenery as you ride to Bell Meadows and circle home again. Bring along a lunch or snack to enjoy when you stop for a break.
Day rides allow a person to enjoy 5 to 6 hours of riding with 1 to 2 hours of relaxation at one of three beautiful lakes, Camp, Bear, or Grouse lake.