Mokelumne Wilderness Stock Use

Photo of Forest Service stock packing out barbed wire.

In the Mokelumne Wilderness, visitors using Pack Stock in the Wilderness are subject to the same regulations and guidelines as other wilderness visitors. There are further guidelines and regulations that are intended to protect the wilderness from the more severe impacts pack stock can have on resources. The term Pack Stock includes horses and mules, which are ridden or packed, as well as llamas, pack goats, and other livestock.

The following regulations are currently in force:

  • Stock Group Size - Maximum number of stock for both day and overnight use is 12.
  • Livestock - Hold or confine stock 200 feet away from lakes, streams, and other water sources to minimize contamination of water sources and trampling of fragile stream banks and shorelines. Confine stock 100 feet away from camping areas and trails.
  • Feed - Feed brought into the wilderness must be certified weed seed free or processed feed, such as alfalfa pellets or crimped oats, to prevent the spread of exotic weed species.
  • Tying to Trees - Tying stock directly to trees except during loading and unloading is prohibited to protect fragile tree root systems from repeated trampling. The use of high lines, hobbles, or portable fences is required for longer holding periods. When breaking camp, repair pawed-up areas, scatter manure at least 100' from water courses and campsites, remove extra feed and salt blocks, and redistribute duff and litter.
  • Mokelumne Canyon - The trails in the Mokelumne Canyon are maintained in a primitive and challenging condition and are not recommended for stock use.
  • Carson Pass Management Area - Stock will be required to remain on trails and no grazing will be permitted. This area is being protected because of its special botanical values.

Restrictions - Some restrictions regarding recreational stock use have been implemented. In the Mokelumne Canyon and below Telephone Gulch in lower Summit City Canyon, camping with overnight recreational stock is restricted to the following areas:

  • In the Munson Meadow/Camp Irene/Lake Valley Corridor camping with stock is permitted only at Camp Irene and is limited to one stock group at a time.
  • In the Summit City Canyon from Telephone Gulch to the end of the maintained system trail where it crosses Summit City Creek.
  • From the Hermit Valley trailhead to approximately 1/2 mile below Deer Creek.

Camping with stock in these areas is subject to the following limits:

  • Length of Stay - 2 nights
  • Group Size - 4 animals per group
  • Feed - Supplemental certified weed free feed or processed feed, such as alfalfa pellets or crimped oats must be carried and used.
  • Exception - Llamas and pack goats are excepted from this area restriction due to their smaller size, feed requirements, and padded feet. Llamas will be permitted to use the entire Mokelumne Canyon within the group size limits and other appropriate regulations, including the requirement to carry supplemental certified weed free or processed feed in the Canyon.

Please consult the Calaveras and/or Amador Ranger Stations for complete details regarding these restrictions.