Herb and Craig London
Since 1947, Rock Creek Pack Station has been offering wilderness and outdoor vacations in the Eastern Sierra, under the ownership of the London family. Herb London was active in the operation of the pack station until his death in March of 2011. His son, Craig, has spent every summer since his birth in 1954 at the pack station and operated the pack station with his Dad.
Craig and wife Carmen live in Bishop year round. Craig received a B.S. in Animal Physiology from UC Davis in 1976 and graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1980. Carmen teaches fifth grade at Pine Street School in Bishop. During off-season months, Craig manages the winter office, takes care of the livestock and is an associate veterinarian at Bishop Veterinary Hospital.
The London family is dedicated to serving the public, taking care of the land, making sure the horses and mules of the operation have happy and meaningful lives, and that the crew has a good time and is fairly compensated for their hard work and dedication.
For more information on Herb's life and a memorial fund in his honor, click here.
Welcome to Rock Creek...what can we do to help? Phil and Jamie Hirnshall, embody the spirit of the staff of Rock Creek.. Since the 1970's, the Hirnshalls have led hundreds of trail rides and pack trips from Tahoe to Mt. Whitney. Phil and Jamie set a standard of excellence for the entire crew. The Hirnshall's quick wit, kindness toward guests and competence are an inspiration to new packers.
Phil Leonti and Bryan Kaiser are among other long time packers.
Each year young men and women bring youth and enthusiasm to a crew of senior packers and cooks. Most of the crew come from ranch backgrounds and once they start packing at Rock Creek....have a hard time ever leaving.
Every member of the Rock Creek crew carries on the traditions of the talented men and women that shared so much with the Londons and present crew since the 1940's. The spirit of Benton Fredendall, Wynnie Rieser, Lloyd Percy, Biggins and Paul Pate live on with the present crew.
New employees learn the trails, traditions and develop skills to serve another generation of guests. Former guests and employees seek out the best young people and encourage them to work at Rock Creek.
Only the most able, hard working and those with exceptional people skills succeed as staff at Rock Creek Pack Station.
The Pack Mules and Horses and Mules
Approximately 130 horses and mules are the backbone of the operation. Pack mules carry the provisions for trail riders, hikers and those wishing to have their gear packed to a wilderness campsite. Mules typically carry 150-240 pounds of equipment, food and dunnage and work from June through September. During the off season, livestock graze fields in the Owens Valley.
Horses and mules come to the pack station as four to five year old green broke. After a couple of years of training they spend up to another twenty to twenty-five years working in the Sierra.
Fiddler at the Campfire?
Fiddlin’ Pete Watercott has entertained, fireside, for many Rock Creek horse drive encampments. Performing on the mandolin, guitar, and of course, fiddle, Fiddlin’ Pete’s music brings a special light to the campfire. “The fiddle is the first cousin to the wind,” Pete says, ”there’s no better place to hear it than out here where it can curl it’s sound around the whispering pine boughs!”
A veteran musician with over thirty years’ experience, Fiddlin’ Pete performs at concerts, festivals, and Rock Creek Pack Station events! Pete has recorded three CD’s, including his “Songs of Curley Fletcher”, the most comprehensive collection of works by the legendary author of “The Strawberry Roan!”.
For a memorable evening while on your Rock Creek Pack Trip, consider having a fiddler at your campfire! For more information on Fiddlin’ Pete Watercott go to www.fiddlinpete.com.
You can email us, also.
Rock Creek Pack Station provides all of its trips as a permitee of the Inyo National Forest.
All Trail Rides and Packing Schools are subject to an 8% regulatory reservation fee, plus 2% USFS fee.
Last Updated: May 13, 2013