Mule Pack Section

Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club


2015 Trips
Reservation Policy
Contacts & Officers
Food & Cookbook
Angeles Chapter


To receive email announcements about trips and updates
please send an email to
John Kaiser
, MPS Chair

Seven Trips are available in 2015
Initial acceptances have been sent -- check with trip leaders for vacancies or status of wait lists.

Humphreys Basin
Jul 14 - Jul 19
Sunrise Lakes
Jul 21 - 25
Shadow Creek
Jul 30 - Aug 2
Saddlerock Lake
Aug 2 - 7
Clark Lakes
Aug 9 - 14
Hilton Lakes
Aug 20 - 23
Garnet Lake
Aug 30 - Sept 4
Charlotte Creek
Aug 30 -  Sept 5
Guidelines for all SIERRA Trips:  On all trips, mules carry gear to the campsite, drop it off, and return at the end of the trip to carry it out.  If the weight per person that can be carried by the mules is not shown for a trip, clarify it with the trip leader.  In addition, you may carry as much as you like in your pack when you hike in. 

All trips provide wine for the  “happy hours" and/or "pot lucks" and one or more roll-up tables for use of the group. For pot lucks, participants are asked to contribute so that each pot luck constitutes dinner for the group. Happy Hours are more informal and many participants find that they substitute for dinner but they are not planned as dinners. Refer to the "Food and Cookbook" page for a more detailed discussion. We will have campfires where permitted.

During the trip, each participant may choose his/her own activities within safety guidelines.  The leaders usually plan daily hikes, which are optional.  People who like to fish should check the regulations that apply to the area before choosing a trip.

All applications received through February 20, 2015 go into an applicant pool -- how early you apply is not relevant. Acceptances will be announced on February 24, 2015. Applications that are received after February 20 will be considered after the initial acceptances are issued on February 24.

To apply, contact the indicated leader with a statement about your conditioning, experience, altitude tolerance and general health. Provide your email address and phone number. 

After you are accepted for a trip, the leader will provide the details you need about trip plans and what to bring.  Note reservation & cancellation policy.   Sign up and have fun! 


Muriel Lake in Humphrey Basin

Golden Trout Lake

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O: Humphreys Basin: July 14 - July 19, Tuesday - Sunday
Tuesday morning we will hike from North Lake trailhead (9,345’) near Bishop, 9 miles with 2,078’ gain, over Piute Pass (11,423’) to camp along the outlet stream from Lower Golden Trout Lake in Humphreys Basin.  Wednesday thru Saturday hike, photo, fish or relax in camp, enjoying the view of Glacier Divide and the sounds of a nearby waterfall. This area has 20 plus alpine lakes to explore and many majestic peaks and wildflowers for our viewing pleasure.  Evenings will be filled with a happy hour followed by a different hearty soup each night.  We will have group salad one night and quesadillas one night. Wine will be provided. Sunday morning we will pack up and hike out.
   The cost is $395 and the mules will carry up to 50 lbs of your personal gear. To apply, send the requested information to  Leader: Cathie Miller. Co-leader: Doug Farr
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Sunrise Lake



O: Sunrise Lakes:  July 21 - 25, Tuesday - Saturday
   Tuesday morning our 6 mile hike, 1300' gain, will begin at the Sunrise Lakes trailhead at 8,150'.  On the way to our base camp at Sunrise Lake (11,120'), we will take a small detour at the Clouds Rest junction to see Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley.  Our camp will have beautiful views of the local peaks, including Cloud’s Rest, Colombia Finger, Tresidder Peak, Tenaya Peak, Echo Peaks, Matthes Crest, and Cathedral Peak. 
   Wednesday-Friday hike, photo, fish, or relax in camp.  Day hikes include Cloud’s Rest, Matthes Lake, and Echo Lake, and over Cathedral Pass to explore the Cathedral Lakes. Evenings will be filled with happy hours followed by a delicious dinner provided by the leaders. Saturday we hike out.
Mules will carry up to 45 pounds of your gear and the cost per person is $425, which includes the dinner food. To apply, contact Co- leader:  Fran Penn with the information requested. Co-leader: John Larue
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This trip has been cancelled because Permits were not available.

See note about Yosemite trips at bottom of page .

Shadow Creek, Mt Ritter, & Banner Peak

On the trail to Iceberg Lake

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O: In the Shadow of the Minarets: July 30 - August 2, Thursday - Sunday
Thursday morning, hike 5 miles from Agnew Meadows (8,300 ft.) with 1000' gain to a base camp along Shadow Creek (9,000 ft.). The Shadow Creek trail is a moderate trail that affords the hiker the opportunity to stand among peaks of the spectacular and rugged Ritter Range. From this Ansel Adams Wilderness trail, there are incredible views of Mt. Ritter, Banner Peak, and the Minarets. The Ritter Range is among the finest mountain landscapes in the Sierra Nevada and our hikes offer views of these peaks at a variety of angles. In a region of exceptionally stunning, sparkling lakes, Shadow and Ediza are two of the loveliest. We will pass Shadow Lake on the way to our base camp at Shadow Creek. We will also have two full lay-over days to hike, fish or relax. There is easy access to Ediza, Iceberg, and Garnet Lakes from the base camp; for stronger hikers, both Cecile and Minaret Lakes can be reached from Iceberg and the magnificent Thousand Island Lake lies beyond Garnet. These lakes also offer the opportunity for fishing (with a license), where you can catch a variety of trout including Rainbow, Brook, Brown and perhaps, even a Golden! Organized hikes daily and group activities nightly. 
  The cost for the trip, including a pre-trip group campsite, is $300 and the mules will carry up to 45 lbs of your personal gear.
To apply, contact Co-leader: Dave Cross and provide the requested information . Co-leader: Christine Gutierrez.
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Bishop and Saddlerock Lakes

 On the trail to Dusy Basin



O: Saddlerock Lake: August 2 - 7, Sunday - Friday
After dropping our gear and food at the Rainbow Pack Station 20 miles west of Bishop early on Sunday morning, we’ll park at the South Lake TH (9,800’) and hike 4 miles along the Bishop Pass Trail with 1,325’ of elevation gain to our base camp at Saddlerock Lake (11,125’).  We’ll enjoy beautiful alpine views in the spectacular drainage of South Fork Bishop Creek as the trail takes us up slopes studded with aspens and lodge pole and white bark pines, passing beautiful lakes and meadows until we reach lovely Saddlerock Lake which is situated between Mount Goode to the west and the Inconsolable Range to the east.  Our spacious base camp offers a range of options for individual tent sites and a large common area.
  Mount Agassiz (13,893’), Chocolate Peak (11,862’), Mount Goode (13,085’), and Cloudripper Peak (13,525’) are nearby.  Hiking opportunities in the area abound, ranging from easy to strenuous. Lake lovers will enjoy South Lake, Long Lake, Bull Lake, Chocolate Lakes, Ruwau Lake, and Bishop Lake.  Just over Bishop Pass (11,972’) lies the stunning Dusy Basin including LeConte Canyon and its junction with the John Muir Trail (8,750’).
  We will have four full layover days to enjoy the area.  Non-hiking activities include fishing, photography, or just “kicking back” in camp.  In the evenings we’ll have tasty potluck dinners organized by the leaders around food that the participants will bring and plenty of wine will be provided.  Those who wish to do so may also enjoy preparing breakfasts in the common area and sharing each others’ company while making plans for the day.
  You’ll be able to camp in comfort and enjoy a variety of food since wranglers will lead mules carrying up to 55 pounds of gear/food per person. Of course, you’re also welcome to carry as much additional gear/food as you want to on your own back.
  Added amenities include a shower tent (you must bring your own sun shower) and a portable toilet with privacy tent.  We provide two gravity filters which provide sterilized water for the group so you don’t need to filter or treat water yourself.  Tarps are adequate to keep everyone dry or for shade.  Two stoves and full kitchen gear are available for food preparation.  We even have a sink for washing dishes!
The cost is $325. To apply, contact Co-Leader: Laura Joseph with the requested information. Co-Leader: Les Wilson.
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Summit Lake

Thousand Island Lake

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O: Clark Lakes: August 9- 14, Sunday - Friday
  Sunday morning we will hike at a leisurely pace from the Frontier Pack Station in the June Lakes Loop, 6 miles, with about 3000’ gain, past Agnew Lake and Spooky Meadow, to lovely campsites along Clark Lake # 2 (9805') in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Once we set up base camp, we will have four layover days to explore this scenic area. Day hikes options include destinations such as the spectacular Thousand Island Lake, Emerald Lake, Badger Lake, Gem Lake, Garnet Lake, Island Pass, Spooky Meadow, Carson Peak, and possibly San Joaquin Mountain. The nearby section of the PCT High Trail usually has an excellent display of wildflowers. An after-dinner or early-morning walk to Summit Lake may provide outstanding sunset or sunrise photos. On previous trips, fishermen have had excellent results along Rush Creek. Or you can hang out in camp to relax.
  Enjoy happy hours every evening, wine is provided; we will have two planned group dinners, a salad night and a quesadilla night. Friday we pack up and hike out.

  The cost is $285 and the weight allowance is 50 lbs per person. To apply, email the requested information to Co-Leader: John Kaiser. Co-Leader: Yvonne Tsai
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Hilton Lakes #1 & #2

Hilton Lake #6


O: Hilton Lakes: August 20 - 23, Thursday - Sunday
The ten Hilton Lakes, located just a few miles past Tom’s Place, between Bishop (23-miles) and Mammoth Lakes (15-miles) are an oasis of alpine beauty. Join us on a four day trip as we explore and enjoy this area.
We will meet on Thursday morning at 8:45 a.m., when we leave our gear at the Rock Creek Pack Station. The trailhead is a very short distance from the station, has ample parking, and a toilet.  We will take the Hilton Lakes trail to Lake Two at approx. 9,850 ft.  The hike is a little more than 5 miles one-way, with 500 feet of net gain and 1200 feet of accumulated gain. The trail switchbacks above Rock Creek Lake through lodgepole pine and fields of lupine and Indian paintbrush.  When we reach the top of the Hilton Creek/Rock Creek divide (10,600ft) we will be  overlooking the two lower Hilton Lakes. The descent will give up most of the altitude we gained. Lake Two is one of the largest and has an ample area to set up our base camp. 
  This picturesque alpine area boasts excellent fishing for browns, rainbows and brook trout.   We will have two full lay over days to hike, fish (license required), or relax.  With access to many of the other nine lakes we plan on group hikes to Lakes Three, Four and beyond. The trail to the upper lakes (3 – 10) is steep, with many switchbacks. These lakes begin over another ridge at 10,340 feet, and go on from there.
We will enjoy group salad night, happy hours with wine, and fun evening activities.   We hike out on Sunday mid-morning.
 For pre-trip camping there are numerous campgrounds along Rock Creek Road. As an alternative, Rock Creek Packers have offered their lower corral area for camping. You may also choose to stay at Tom’s Place at the intersection of Hwy 395 and Rock Creek Road.  
  The cost of the trip is $310 and the mules will carry up to 45 lbs. of your gear.  You can even bring a small, light-weight roll-up chair.  
To apply, contact  Co-Leader: Dave Cross with the requested information. Co-Leader: Francine Oschin.
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Garnet Lake

Emerald Lake
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O: Garnet Lake (9680'): August 30 - September 4, Sunday - Friday.
  Garnet Lake has azure waters, a lot of small islands and a beautiful backdrop where Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak stand out.  Sunday morning the packers will carry your personal gear of up up 50 lbs each while we hike approximately 7 miles with 2500 feet gain from Agnew Meadows Pack Station (8340’) near Mammoth to our campsite at Garnet Lake (9680’).  This area is near the JMT and PCT.  Day hiking destinations include Thousand Island Lake, Ruby Lake, Emerald Lake, Lake Ediza, and Clark Lakes. There are beautiful views of Ritter, Davis, and Banner Peaks from our campsite. We will have four full days to hike, photo, fish or relax in camp. Evenings will be filled with a happy hour followed by a different hearty soup each night.  We will have salad one night and quesadillas one night. Wine will be provided. Friday morning we will pack up and hike out.
  The cost is $375. To apply email your information to Co-Leader, Cathie Miller. Co-Leader: Doug Farr.  

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   View from Kearsarge Pass.
 Kearsarge Basin, Kearsarge Pinnacles & Mt Bago


O/I/M: Charlotte Creek campsite, Mt Rixford (12,887’), Mt Bago (11,870’), Mt Gould (13,005’), Kearsarge Peak (12,618’), Mt Cotter (12,713’), Black Mtn (13,291’), Diamond Peak (13,127’), East Vidette (12,356’):  August 30 – September 5, Sunday – Saturday
  Use Charlotte Creek (over Kearsarge Pass) as your base camp to climb peaks in the area. This trip is designed for strong hikers who want to do mainly cross-country routes and peakbagging, so we are co-listing the trip with the Sierra Peaks Section and Wilderness Travel Course.  
  We will start at Onion Valley (9,200’). On Sunday morning we will hike 8 mi, 3000' gain, with our daypacks over Kearsarge Pass (11,709') past Charlotte Lake to Charlotte Creek (10,300').  This will be a superior peak-bagging opportunity with many SPS peaks in close proximity, and also other peaks in the area.  We will lead as many peaks as time and weather allow.  There are many streams, lakes, a few trails, and many cross-country options.  Monday - Friday you can hike, climb peaks, take photos, fish, or relax in camp.  

  We will have organized gourmet dinners each night. While the higher elevation means we can't have campfires, mosquitoes and other pests should be minimal.  Saturday we will hike out.
  Weight limit for the mules is
45 lbs and cost is $410 per person including dinner food and wine.  Accepted participants will need to complete the  Participant Medical Form .
To apply, send an email with the requested information to Co-leader: Sandy Lara. Co-leader: Peter Lara.
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 In Yosemite National Park, applications for Wilderness Permits cannot be submitted earlier than 24 weeks before the date of the trip. Therefore the dates and/or location of the Sunrise Lakes trip are subject to change or the trip may be cancelled.
Any change will be known before acceptances are issued or deposits are required.
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All participants on Sierra Club outings are required to sign a standard liability waiver. If you would like to read the Liability Waiver before you choose to participate on an outing, click here.
The Sierra Club is registered as a Seller of Travel under CST 2087766-40.  Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.
  Revision February 28, 2015