Mule Packer--Pack mules, wrangle stock in the wilderness
Help the public enjoy their wilderness! We conduct outfitted pack trips the length of the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trail.
Travel the John Muir Trail and the Sierra Nevada. We offer riding and hiking trips from three to thirty days. Family owned since 1947 we provide a wide variety of trips in the Inyo National Forest and Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks. We need packers, wranglers and backcountry cooks. Livestock experience prefered but we train those that have a great work ethic and enjoy the wilderness.
We have three pack stations at the borders of the John Muir Wilderness, Golden Trout Wilderness and Yosemite National Park. The Eastern Sierra is one of the most dramatic regions of the world.
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About Rock Creek Pack Station
The Sierra Nevada is the most spectacular wilderness in the United States. Weather is great and there are vast miles of trails that allow you to spend a month in the wilderness without seeing civilization or crossing roads.
Since 1947 the London Family has dedicated their adult lives to enhance others' lives by exposing them to the wild beauty of the Sierra. The Londons' enjoyment of the wilderness and dedication to helping guests has inspired several generations of staff and guests.
Rock Creek Pack Station operates under permit by the Forest Service and Yosemite and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks and the BLM. For over seven decades, the London family has promoted wise use of the wilderness and is dedicated to preserving the historical practices of mule packing.
During the summer months a staff of up to thirty packers, wranglers, cooks and helpers conduct trips based from three facilities. The main headquarters is at Rock Creek (half way between Bishop and Mammoth Lakes) and we operate Cottonwood Pack Station near Lone Pine and Virginia Lakes Pack Outfit near Bridgeport.
Much of our business is packing the gear for hikers and riders and providing food service on trips from five to thirty days along the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trail. Typically there are two packers and one cook with ten pack animals. We turn the animals out at night and wrangle them in the morning. Moves are generally about 8 to 12 miles a day. And, for the crew, layover days are a time to regroup and rest.
In addition to outfitted trips, we pack gear in for those that want to camp for several days. Dunnage and spot trips are ideal for staff because we don't have to cook for them. However, today's customers like to have trips where the camp is set-up and the food is provided.
Five percent of the business is providing two hour and all day rides. We offer short rides and many of our guests' first experience on a horse was on a trail ride with our pack station.
We have a history of providing educational trips. Since the 1960's we have offered trips for the University of California on Veterinary Care and Natural History of the Sierra. Today, we offer a wide variety of educational trips. Guests learn how to pack and the staff and guests get to learn from our instructors.
The horses and mules are well cared for and are uniquely selected for temperament and conformation. We provide plenty of extruded feed and hay. All employees have access to drugs to treat colic and medical conditions in the backcountry. Rock Creek Pack Station is owned and managed by a veterinarian. Many of our employees go on to veterinary school or careers in horse husbandry.
Those who work for Rock Creek learn how to pack, wrangle, shoe horses and manage traveling trips.
The Employee Experience
We value employees who love to travel in the wilderness and be away from the pack station. Those that enjoy riding to a new campsite, traveling over a high mountain pass and seeing new vistas will thrive at Rock Creek Pack Station.
If you want to learn how to pack and manage mules and horses in the backcountry, there is no better place to learn than at Rock Creek. We send all of our new employees on a week packing school. Then, we put you on trips so you can learn the country, familiarize yourself with the livestock and move camp in a timely manner.
We encourage our employees to have a good time. Those that get satisfaction of conducting trips that please the guests, taking care of the land and making sure the horses and mules are in good shape will find the summer memorable.
We value those who care about the livestock and the people they work with during the summer. As long as you are honest and trying to do your best, you will meet our expectations.
Those who are hard workers, are in good physical shape and desire to succeed as a packer will learn very fast. You will make mistakes and we will help you learn from those experiences. Common sense goes a long way.
A keen intellect and desire to part of a successful team are traits we seek in our operation.
Many find that the opportunity to travel portions of the length of the John Muir Trail is a highlight of their summer. We conduct many trips to Mt. Whitney and into the Yosemite wilderness. If you like to fish, there are opportunities at almost every campsite.
Food and a place to sleep are provided. Bunkhouses, trailers, rustic cabins and tents aren't fancy. It is not a guest ranch. We have camp cooks but often the rest of the staff helps with cooking a day here and there and do the dishes.
Because we operate out of multiple roadheads, our employees need to be organized and understand logistics.
There are a wide variety of workers at the pack station. New employees find meeting others that enjoy livestock, and traveling in the wilderness is a great way to make new friends.
Days off are few and depend on the schedule. The Eastern Sierra is very spectacular and there are unlimited unique destinations to visit when you have a day free from the pack station.
Personal integrity, a strong work ethic and respect for others that you work with are essential qualities for those that work at Rock Creek. We encourage safety and expect staff to be careful and not get hurt.
Honesty, common sense and empathy towards the livestock and those you work with are primary character traits that make for successful employees.
Those that enjoy wilderness camping with livestock and others that love being in the backcountry will thrive at Rock Creek.
Those that want to learn all aspects of packing and outfitting will enjoy their season.
The ideal packer will want to improve their skills at packing, shoeing the livestock and learning how to wrangle stock when turned out at night. A desire to follow government rules and regulations is essential in our operation.
We expect all of our staff to provide excellent service. The mules need to be packed and on the trail in a timely fashion. Those that pay attention to the livestock will succeed. And, staff that enjoy being with guests will have a much better experience. One of the advantages of working for us is meeting successful people from all walks of life. Our guests enjoy getting to know those traveling with them in the wilderness.
If you enjoy hard physical work and the opportunity to be away from civilization will find packing a great opportunity to reset your goals in life. The many hours you spend in wilderness often give our workers clarity on what they want to do with the rest of their life.
Those that want to go to vet school, get a job for the government or enter professional occupations will find that a recommendation from us opens lots of opportunity. Former employees are successful in many fields.
We want to attract those that want to be part of the Rock Creek family. We take a lot of pride in our ability to operate year after year in challenging environmental conditions. The reason why we are still operating trips that travel throughout the Sierra is because of great staff.
Room and Board
Free room and board.
We provide a place to put your gear and bedroll. We have bunkhouses, old trailers, rustic cabins and tents. This is not a guest ranch. All of our three facilities have wifi from satellite internet. Texting works but no real cell service. We have landline phones.
Good outhouses at Rock Creek and flush toilets at our Cottonwood and Virginia Lakes facilities. And, we have hot showers.
We have a camp cook at Rock Creek. Sometimes we have a dedicated cook at Virginia Lake and Cottonwood Pack Station. However, all staff sometimes have to cook for themselves and cleanup at times.
We provide good food and adequate portions.
Much of the time our staff will be on pack trips. Those that stay at the pack station all the time for administrative and logistical support tend to have better trailers and accomodations.
We provide food and housing because there is no way our employees could do the work without living on site. There is no charge against salary.
The number one perk is working and living in a wilderness and backcountry setting. Our base facilities are in beautiful locations.
Getting Here and Getting Around
The only land transportation is a bus service from Reno south to Bridgeport, Mammoth, Bishop and Lone Pine. There is an airport serviced by United that flys to Mammoth once a day.
Many find that having their own car or truck is helpful to get to town for leisure or the shop. Those that don't have their own cars get rides from other employees.
Those that bring their own cars and use them to travel to other job sites are reimbursed for their mileage.
No need for bikes.
The Eastern Sierra is one of the most magnificent areas in the world. Great climbing and opportunities for hikes. Mammoth Lakes has a wide variety of music festivals.
How to Apply
We prefer applicants to submit an employee application and a recent picture. Those that don't have access to a computer are welcome to call.
And, those with excellent skills as a packer or who have ranch experience with livestock are encouraged to call Craig at 760-937-0958. We can send out employment applications in snail mail to those that aren't on the internet.