Ride back in time to the days of the Wild West – when the land was a vast pictorial landscape of rushing rivers, rocky outcroppings and wide open high altitude meadows filled with wildflowers. This ride takes you deep into the Emigrant Wilderness, a glaciated landscape of great scenic beauty. The northeastern third of the Wilderness is dominated by volcanic ridges and peaks; the remaining areas consist of many sparsely vegetated, granitic ridges interspersed with numerous lakes and meadows.
Various native peoples occupied this area for 10,000 years, spending the summer and early autumn hunting in the high country and trading with groups from the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada. The most recent groups were the Sierra Miwok and the Piute. Following the discovery of gold in 1848, large numbers of miners and settlers came to the Sierra and the native cultures quickly declined.
In 1931, the U.S. Forest Service designated this area as the Emigrant Basin Primitive Area and then in 1975, the Emigrant Basin Primitive Area was designated as the Emigrant Wilderness.
Dates: Mid June to mid September
Rate: $2,495.00 USD per person in shared accommodation
- 6 nights accommodation
- 5 days of riding
- All meals
- Horse and all tack
- Guiding services
- Luggage transfers
- All local taxes
- Travel Insurance
- Transfers to the pack station
- Alcoholic beverages (but these can be purchased ahead of time)
- Fishing licenses
Independent transfer to Kennedy Meadows Resort and Pack Station. There are taxis that you can hire, but we strongly encourage renting a car as the Price will be more attractive than the round trip taxi fare. Kennedy Meadows is a 3 hour drive.
After settling in, the group will have a welcome dinner with Guide, John Rosica, followed by a tour of the Resort, a chance to meet the horses and mules and a fun music filled night at the Last Chance Saloon before retiring in the lodge – bunkhouse style accommodations.
An early start today as you rise around 6:00AM and drop off your belongings to the Loading Dock before having a hot and filling breakfast in the dining room. After breakfast and one last visit to the restrooms, you’ll mount up and begin your adventure into the Emigrant Wilderness.
The destination today is Horse Meadow Base Camp. The ride begins at 6,400ft, climbing to almost 10,000ft. You will traverse spectacular granite canyons, high alpine meadows, crossing bridges over waterfalls and creeks and skirting glacial lakes and tarns.
The trail drops down into Horse Meadow, your base camp, situated next to Cherry Creek, which runs through the meadow on its way to Huckleberry Lake. As you enter the camp, a welcome “spread” of wine and cheeses await you and allow for a good rest before a gourmet dinner prepared by your “Back Country Chef”.
After a hearty breakfast each day (varied daily menu and all dietary requirements welcome) you’ll have a chance to select your lunch item, to be taken on the trail ride. Each day of riding will bring you further into the Emigrant where destinations may include the following:
Huckleberry Lake – following Cherry Creek west as it flows past an abandoned mine, you will ride by spilling down waterfalls cascading into the crystal clear lake dotted with islands and lagoons. This is a premier fishing destination for large high mountain trout.
Snow Lake – climbing out of Horse Meadow you will follow Cherry Creek east and up as it flows through Summit Meadow at the northern boundary of Yosemite. This lake is situated at over 9,000ft in elevation and surrounded by sheer granite peaks.
Bigelow Lake – after coming out of Horse Meadow to the south, this trail skirts along the Yosemite border to the pristine alpine lake situated below massive Bigelow Peak. This lake boasts different varieties of trout, including rainbow and Brown.
Maxwell Lake – above and to the north of Horse Meadow, this lake is surrounded by a forest. You will have ridden past this lake on the ride in but it is worthy of a true visit as it is very lovely with many inlets for exploring.
Upper Twin Lake – a true jewel in Yosemite – this lake will never be seen by the vast majority of people due to its remote location. West of Horse Meadow, the trail travels up and through the end of the canyon to a spectacular view of the lake and Haystack Peak in the Northern part of Yosemite.
Bond Pass – a high elevation destination offering a glimpse of Jack Main Canyon, located in the extreme norther reaches of Yosemite. This is a view of the wilderness that seems to go on and on and is a spectacular place for wonderful photographs – you’ll feel as though you can almost touch the sky.
After enjoying your last hearty breakfast in the Emigrant, you’ll pack your lunch and mount up for the return ride to Kennedy Meadows Resort. Upon arrival, a welcome dinner in the dining room will contain all the recounting of the fun and amazing adventures during the last few days.
After breakfast, depart for Reno Airport or other points of interest. All return flights should be scheduled for 1:00PM or later.