Mule Pack Section

Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club


2014 Trips
Reservation Policy
Contacts & Officers
Food & Cookbook
Angeles Chapter


2015 Trips are now being planned.
Trips will be announced in early December.

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

Eight Trips were offered in 2014

Boothe Lake
Jul 22 - Jul 26
 Charlotte Creek
Jul 27 - Aug 1
Johnston Lake
Jul 31 - Aug 3
Fourth Recess
Aug 3 - 8
Baldwin Creek
Aug 10 - 15
Sabrina Basin
Aug 17- 22
Bernice Lake
Aug 26 - 31
Saddlerock Lake
Sep 1 -  6 
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.

To apply, contact the indicated leader with your contact information and a statement about your condition, experience, altitude tolerance and health. All applications received through Dec 31, 2013 go into an applicant pool -- how early you apply is not relevant. No acceptances will be given before Jan 1, 2014. After Jan 1, additional applications are considered as they are received.

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! 


Vogelsang Peak

Fletcher Lake

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O: Boothe Lake: Jul 22 - Jul 26, Tuesday - Saturday
  Boothe Lake is the reason why you would trade a perfectly warm bed in your home for a sleeping bag in the wilderness. Our packers will carry 45 pounds of your gear over a little less than seven miles with an elevation gain/loss of around 1,200 feet to one of the prettiest spots in Yosemite National Park on Boothe Lake. On Tuesday we will leave the Tuolumne Meadows pack station, head south along the inviting Tuolumne River then pick up the babbling Rafferty Creek along a heavily wooded trail as we head up to Tuolumne Pass (9,927 feet) then down to our base camp at Boothe Lake.
  Our camp is located a short hike from Vogelsang High Sierra Camp. Day hikes are available to many lakes: Vogelsang, Fletcher, Townsley, Evelyn, Ireland, Bernice, and Emeric. Evenings will be filled with a happy hour followed by potluck dinners and a different soup each night. For those interested, fly-fishing lessons will be available on Boothe Lake. Saturday we hike out.
  The cost is $395. To apply, email with recent high altitude and distance conditioning to Leader: Frances Penn. Co-leaders: John LaRue, Doug Farr
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Permits have been received for the specified dates.



Kearsarge Basin

Bullfrog Lake


O/I: Charlotte Creek:  July 27 - August 1, Sunday - Friday
   This one is for peak, lake and pass-baggers as well as folks who like to fish, look at flowers, or relax. We can take 15 on this trip to one of the most beautiful hiking and fishing areas in this part of the Sierra. Sunday morning we'll start at Onion Valley ( 9,200' ) outside of Independence and hike carrying our day packs 8 miles with 2,600’ gain and 1400’ loss over Kearsarge Pass ( 11,823' ) to our scenic base camp at Charlotte Creek, ¼ mile past Charlotte Lake at about 10,400' elevation in the southeastern corner of Kings Canyon National Park.
   Charlotte Creek is a beautiful location convenient to a number of peaks and lakes. Options for hikes range from moderate to difficult including the JMT over Glen Pass, Rae Lakes, Bullfrog Lake in Kearsarge Basin, Vidette Meadow, Mt Rixford, Mt Bago and Mt Gould or the Rae Lakes Loop. Mules will carry 55 lbs per person of your gear and food—enabling you to bring more than is possible on a back pack—you’ll be able to camp in comfort and enjoy a variety of food. Monday through Thursday everyone is free to hike, photo, fish, or relax in camp.
   The leaders are famous for the high level of comfort and quality of food on trips. All cooking equipment is available for group use, including stoves and tea kettles. We provide a potty and privacy tent and water is filtered centrally for the entire group. Each night participants are assigned to bring either appetizers, desserts, or the main course. The food is always outstanding and wine is provided. We share hot water and each other’s company at breakfast. You won’t need to bring cooking equipment or water filtration devices.
Cost per person is $420. To apply, email information on your recent high altitude and distance conditioning and health to Co- leader:  Laura Joseph. Co-leader: Sandy Burnside
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Iceberg Lake and
some of the Minaret Range 

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O: Johnston Lake: July 31 - August 3, Thursday - Sunday
  On Thursday morning we will start from Red's Meadow and hike 5 miles with a 1500' climb to Johnston Lake (8125') in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The pack train will carry 40 lbs of your gear. On Friday and Saturday you can dayhike to Minaret Lake (9800') and Superior Lake (9360') and enjoy stunning views of the Minarets. Alternatively, you can fish (license required) or relax in camp to simply enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
  The cost is $315. To apply, email with recent high altitude and distance conditioning, and health to Co-leader: Dave Cross; Co-leader: Christine Gutierrez.

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Fourth Recess Lake



O: Fourth Recess: August 3 - 8, Sunday - Friday
  This spectacular area in the John Muir Wilderness is reached from the end of Rock Creek Road (10,260’) via a beautiful 7.5 mile alpine hike over Mono Pass (12,060’) to our spacious campsite near Fourth Recess Lake (10,130’). Our hike in on Sunday offers panoramic views of Little Lakes Valley, the Mono Pass area, Mount Starr and many colorful lakes.
  Once we set up base camp, we’ll have 4 full days to explore this scenic area. Day hike possibilities include Snow Lakes and a small 800’ waterfall that drops into Fourth Recess Lake; also Third Recess, Upper and Lower Hopkins Lakes, Golden Lakes and the beautiful Pioneer Basin. Pioneer Basin is framed by peaks named after railroad pioneers (aka Robber Barons): Hopkins, Huntington, Crocker, and Stanford. You are also free to hang out in camp to just relax, photo, fish or swim.
  Enjoy evening Happy Hours with wine provided, as well as a salad night, a quesadilla night and a special dessert for salad night. Hike out on Friday.
  The cost is $410, and the mules will carry up to 60 pounds of your personal gear to our base camp while we hike with only our day-packs. Trip limit is 15. To apply, email recent high altitude tolerance, conditioning, and experience to Co-Leader: Winnette Butler. Co-Leader: Jim Fleming.

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Baldwin Canyon & Peak
seen from overlook in McGee Cr Canyon

The mountains are calling ...
Hiking from McGee Creek trailhead

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O: Baldwin Creek & Canyon: August 10- 15, Sunday - Friday
We begin our trip on Sunday morning at the McGee Creek trailhead (7800'). We will hike 6 miles with a 2000' gain to our base camp along Baldwin Creek. The route begins in high sage country, climbs through aspen, passes a beaver pond, and reaches a pine forest where we will take the Baldwin Canyon trail to reach our base camp at 9800'.
  We will have four layover days to explore this colorful area. A highlight will be a dayhike up seldom-visited Baldwin Canyon to the base of Baldwin Peak, where a few artifacts remain from the long-closed Scheelore mine. Along the way we will pass through what is probably the most beautiful meadow in the Sierras, a meadow set in a colorful granite bowl. Other dayhike destinations are Steelhead Lake (10,389') located below Mt Stanford, Big McGee Lake (10,476') located below Red and White Mt and Mt Crocker, and Golden Lake. Fishing the creeks and lakes may appeal to you and many may want to return to Baldwin Bowl/Meadow to just relax and enjoy the beauty. We will have happy hours every night and two traditional group dinners: salad night and quesadilla night.
  The cost is $280 and the weight allowance is 50 lbs per person.
To apply, email information about your high altitude tolerance, experience, and recent conditioning to Co-Leader: Yvonne Tsai. Co-Leader: John Kaiser
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Dingleberry Lake & Mt Haeckel


Hiking in Sabrina Basin


O: Sabrina Basin: August 17 - 22, Sunday - Friday
   After dropping our gear at Bishop Pack Outfitters, about 20 miles from the center of Bishop, on Sunday morning, we’ll hike 5 miles with 1,500’ of elevation gain from the Lake Sabrina trailhead (9,080’) to our base camp near Dingleberry Lake (10,507’ ), considered to be one of the most beautiful campsites. Along the way, we’ll enjoy alpine views in the spectacular John Muir Wilderness. Our spacious base camp offers a range of options for individual tent sites and a large common area where we’ll meet for breakfast and dinner and to hang out.
   Hiking opportunities in the area abound, ranging from easy to strenuous. Mount Darwin (13,831’), Mt. Haeckel (13,418’), and Mt. Wallace (13,377’) are nearby. Lake lovers will enjoy a wide variety of lakes in the area including Blue Lake, Emerald Lakes, Moonlight Lake, Hungry Packer Lake, and Midnight Lake as well as many more remote lakes that are accessed cross country.
   We will have four full layover days to enjoy the area. Non-hiking activities include fishing, photography, or just kicking back. In the evenings we’ll have tasty potluck dinners organized by the leaders around food that the participants will bring and wine will be provided. Those who wish to do so may also enjoy preparing breakfasts (hot water provided) in the common area and sharing each others’ company while making plans for the day. In addition to providing all the necessary cooking gear and stoves, there will be a potty in a privacy tent and filtered water for the whole group. You won’t need to bring any cooking equipment or filtration devices.
   You’ll be able to camp in comfort and enjoy a variety of food since wranglers will lead mules carrying up to 55 pounds per person.  Of course, you’re also welcome to carry in as much additional gear/food as you want to on your own back.
  Cost is $420 including everything except food.
To apply, contact  Co-Leader: Laura Joseph with recent high altitude and distance conditioning and general health. Co-Leader: Les Wilson.
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Alpenglow at Bernice Lake

Bernice Lake seen from Vogelsang
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O/I: Bernice Lake: August 26 - 31, Tuesday - Sunday.
Vogelsang Peak (11,493'), Mt Florence (12,561').
Use Bernice Lake in Yosemite Park as your base camp to climb peaks in the area. This trip is designed for strong hikers who mainly desire to do cross-country routes and peakbagging, so we are co-listing with the Sierra Peak Section and the Wilderness Travel Course.   We will start at Tuolumne Meadows. Sunday morning we will hike 11 mi, 2600' gain, with our daypacks over Tuolumne Pass (9992') and Vogelsang Pass (10,670') to Bernice Lake (10,200'). This will be a superior peak-bagging opportunity with Vogelsang Peak and Mt Florence in close proximity, and also other peaks in the area. Many streams, lakes, a few trails, and many cross-country options. Monday - Thursday you can hike, climb peaks, take photos, fish, or relax in camp. We will have organized gourmet dinners each night. The dinner food will be provided but we will all take part in preparing it. While the higher elevation means we can't have campfires, the mosquitoes and other pests should be minimal. Friday we will hike out. Weight limit for the mules is 45 lbs and the cost is $350 per person including dinner and wine. Trip dates may change to August 26 - August 31
if unable to obtain permits for the listed dates. Accepted participants will need to complete the Participant Medical Form . To apply email recent high altitude tolerance, conditioning, and experience to Co-Leader, Sandy Lara. Co-Leader: Peter Lara.  
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Permits have been received for the specified dates.


    Bishop and Saddlerock Lakes
viewed from Bishop Pass trail

Sunset at Saddlerock


O: Saddlerock Lake: September 1 - 6, Monday - Saturday
  Hired packers carry gear of 45 lbs per person while we hike separately with only our daypacks. Monday am hike from South Lake Trailhead (9820’), 4 1/2 mi, 1300’ gain, past South Lake and Long Lake to camp at stunning Saddlerock Lake (11,120’) with beautiful views of Mt. Goode, Mt. Johnson, and Cloudripper.
  Day hikes include nearby Bishop Lake, over Bishop Pass to explore Dusy Basin, Long Lake, Ruwau Lake, Chocolate Lakes and Treasure Lakes. Fly fishing instruction available for those interested. Tues-Fri hike, photo, fish, or relax in camp.
  Evenings will be filled with a happy hour followed by a different soup each night with wine provided. Sat hike out.
The cost is $365. To apply, email with recent high altitude and distance conditioning, and health to Co-leader: Fran Penn. Co-leaders: Doug Farr and Dave Cross.

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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 this trip are subject to change. If it is necessary to make a change that is not acceptable to you, the reservation deposit will be refunded.
Back to Bernice Lake trip
Back to Boothe Lake

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 November, 2013