Horseback Riding & Stock Use

 

Guided mule rides and pack and saddle trips are available through Yosemite Hospitality from spring through fall.

Learn about Leave No Trace principles for stock.


 

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Where Can Stock Go?

Except where otherwise posted or listed below, all designated trails in the park are open to stock use. Trails open to stock on the floor of Yosemite Valley are signed as bridle paths.

Trails Closed to Stock Use

General

  • Bicycle paths, tram roads, and shuttle bus routes

Yosemite Valley

  • The Mist Trail from Happy Isles to Nevada Fall

  • Snow Creek Trail from Mirror Lake

  • Mirror Lake Road

  • In addition, the Yosemite Falls Trail from Yosemite Valley to the top of Upper Yosemite Fall is not recommended for, but is open to, stock use

Wawona

  • Lower Chilnualna Falls foot trail from the parking area in Wawona at the junction with the horse trail

  • Mariposa Grove, except the Perimeter Trail (no grazing within Mariposa Grove)

Tuolumne Meadows

  • The Gaylor Lakes trail from Tioga Pass Entrance Station to Gaylor Lakes
  • Gaylor Lakes Basin above Lower Gaylor Lake
  • The Muir Gorge Trail segment from Return Creek to Pate Valley in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne

Check wilderness permit stations for current trail conditions and any temporary closures. Stock use in any part of the park may be limited or prohibited when such action is necessary to protect park values or safety of park visitors. Any such closure will be published and posted.

Regulations

  • Maximum of 25 head of pack and saddle stock per party.

  • Cross-country or off-trail travel with stock is prohibited.

  • Stock users are prohibited from establishing new trails and from the short cutting of trails and switchbacks.

  • Only well broken, properly shod, gentle stock in good healthy condition should be used in the park.

  • Llamas are not allowed on the High Sierra Camp Loop, the Vernal/Nevada Falls corridor, or the river trail from Nevada Fall to Merced Lake. Exceptions may be made for Pacific Crest Trail and John Muir Trail users with written permission of the Superintendent (PO Box 577, Yosemite, CA 95389).

  • Wilderness stock users must carry and use a shovel and rake to naturalize camps and scatter manure.

  • Pets are prohibited in the Yosemite Wilderness.

  • Stock parties must travel in single file whenever possible.

  • Wilderness overnight stock parties using authorized non-maintained stock routes are limited to 12 head of stock and 8 people.

  • Grazing is permitted except within four miles of trailheads and paved roads or immediately surrounding any of the High Sierra Camps.

  • Tying to trees for periods longer than is needed to load and unload is prohibited.

  • When picketed on a line, stock must be tied so they cannot chew on tree bark or eat the leaves of woody vegetation.

  • Stock must be picketed at least 100 feet from any stream, lake, or spring.

  • Stock may be tied within a campsite only when unloading and loading.

Commercial Use Authorizations

Additional information pertaining to those with pack stock commercial use authorizations:

Prepare Your Stock

  • Much of Yosemite's Wilderness is over 8,000 feet in elevation. Acclimatization of stock is advisable.

  • Stock and riders with little or no mountain experience may have problems with glacial polished slick rock, rapid stream crossings, slide areas, and other unfamiliar conditions.

  • Stock should be trained to picket, stand tied, or use hobbles before going overnight in the mountains.

Wilderness Stock Camps

Please follow Leave No Trace camping guidelines while camping with stock.

 
Park map showing all stock campsites
 

Each map is a PDF of about 3 MB

Avonelle Lake - 126

Babcock Lake-North - 54

Babcock Lake-South - 106

Beehive - 4

Benson Lake - 67

Benson Lake Trail Camp - 95

Buena Vista Lake-West - 117

Cathedral Lake 153

Chilnualna Lakes - 29

Cold Canyon - Smokey Jack - 147

Crescent Lake - 27 (closures in effect)

Doc Moyle's - 130

Dorothy Lake Trail Camp - 64

Dorothy Lake-West - 100

Dorothy Lake-Southwest - 101

Dorothy Lake-East - 134

Dorothy Lake-Peninsula Camp - 144

Echo Valley Trail Camp - 83

Emeric Lake-North - 34

Emeric Lake-West - 55

Emeric Lake-Northeast - 143

Empire Meadows 150

Glen Aulin - 32

Givens Lake - 127

Grace Meadow - 47

Gravelly Ford Trail Camp - 25

Half Moon Meadow - 103

Harden Lake-East - 70

Harden Lake-West - 71

Hook Lake-North - 97 (closures in effect)

Horsethief Canyon - 120

Illilouette Creek-West - 30

Illilouette Creek-East - 119

Isberg Lake-West - 13 (closures in effect)

Isberg Lake-East - 142 (closures in effect)

Johnson Lake - 26

Kerrick Canyon-PCT/Bear Valley Trail Junction - 87

Kerrick Canyon-Upper Kerrick Meadow-South - 138 (closures in effect)

Kerrick Canyon-Jose's Camp - 88

Kerrick Canyon-Lower Kerrick Meadow- 41

Kerrick Canyon-Middle Kerrick Meadow - 89

Lake Vernon - 9

Laurel Lake - 45

LeConte Camp - 7

Lewis Creek - 149

Long Meadow - 79

Lower Chain Lake-East - 113

Lower Grant Lake - 73

Lower Ottoway Trail Camp - 107

Lyell Canyon Emergency Overflow Camp -84

Lyell Canyon-Peninsula Camp - 124

Lyell Canyon-Rock Camp - 60

Matterhorn Canyon-Junction Camp - 76

Matterhorn Canyon Trail Camp - 91

Matterhorn Canyon-North - 77

Mattie Lake - 125

McCabe Creek - 78

Miguel Cabin - 3

Miller Lake - 96 (closures in effect)

Miwok Lake 128

Moraine Meadows - 110

Paradise Meadow-South - 121

Paradise Meadow-North - 136

Paradise Meadow-West - 137

Pate Valley Trail Camp - 69

Pleasant Valley - 11

Rodger's Lake - 93 (closures in effect)

Rodger's Meadow - 94

Royal Arch Lake - 116

Slide Mountain Trail Camp - 43

Smedberg Lake-Southeast - 40

Smedberg Lake-South - 92

Smith Meadow - 1

Stubblefield Canyon Trail Camp - 66

Sunrise Creek Trail Camp; Camp Many Bears - 105

Sunrise Lakes - 33

Ten Lakes-West - 74

Ten Lakes-East - 75

Ten Lakes-East Lake - 104

Tilden Lake - 46

Tilden Lake-South - 85

Tiltill Valley Trail Camp - 6

Triple Peak Fork Trail Camp - 81

Triple Peak Fork - 131

Turner Meadow - 118 (closures in effect)

Twin Lakes-North - 48

Twin Lakes-South - 49

Upper Merced Pass Lake - 129

Virginia Canyon-Avalanche Camp - 123

Virginia Canyon-Castle Camp - 39 (closures in effect)

Virgina Canyon-Junction Camp - 37

Virginia Canyon-Roger's Camp - 99

Virginia Canyon-Table Camp - 98

Washburn Lake - 35

Wilma Lake-West - 31

Wilma Lake-East - 65

Yosemite Creek - 102

Services

Overnight boarding facilities, spot packing, and day rides are available from Yosemite Hospitality whose liveries are located within Yosemite National Park. Horse owners are responsible for making advance arrangements for overnight use and reservations are suggested for all services. Information may be obtained by calling Yosemite Hospitality at 209/372-4386, or by visiting Yosemite Hospitality's website.

Several commercial pack stations are authorized to provide certain services in Yosemite. If using trailheads within Yosemite, please use Yosemite Hospitality. If you are starting outside the park at a US Forest Service trailhead, contact the pack station in the appropriate area.

Frontcountry Stock Camps

In the front country, privately owned stock may be kept overnight only in campgrounds with designated stock sites.

Stock sites are available seasonally at Wawona Campground, Bridalveil Creek Campground, and Tuolumne Meadows Campground. Reservations are required. There is no stock camp in Yosemite Valley.

The Wawona and Bridalveil Creek horse camps have two sites each; the Tuolumne Meadows horse camp has four sites. Each site can accommodate up to six people and six head of stock. There is a limit of two vehicles and two stock trailers per parking area.

Regulations

  • Feed must be provided. Grazing is prohibited. The use of weed-free stock feed is required.

  • Hitch lines or portable corrals must be used. Trees should be wrapped beneath ropes to prevent damage to bark. Stock must be tied so they cannot chew/eat tree bark or leaves of woody vegetation.

  • Campsites must be cleaned on a daily basis.

  • Manure and uneaten fodder must be raked, bagged, and deposited in dumpsters.

  • All other trash must be placed in bearproof dumpsters provided at or near campgrounds.

  • Grain must be stored in food lockers provided on site.

  • Check out time is noon on the day of departure.

  • Stock is not permitted in the main campground.

  • Stock can be unloaded and loaded at any stock camp, designated stock area, or any concession stable.

More Information

Last updated: June 16, 2021

Contact the Park

Phone:

209/372-0200

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