This site was created by Sherry and Ann as a sort of equestrian "co-op". Our goal is to keep local trail riders informed of the various trail conditions in this area. There are many local riders who help us in this endeavor. We started the web site when we wrote our first book "Central Sierra Nevada Horse Trails". There is now the companion "Central Sierra Nevada Horse Trails - Volume II", with completely different trails. Within this site are "pictures of the month", featuring what you can experience out on the trail every month of the year. The "book store and tack barn" is where you can purchase our books. Ann braids reins, bosals and various horse tack; all for sale on this site. There is a page for local contacts, including addresses and phone numbers. We are especially pleased with the section about camping in Yosemite with horses. Much of the information was copy/pasted directly from the Yosemite web site. Other information was gathered from actual camp experiences. We have a "feedback" page and would love to hear from you - what you like or how we can make this site better. We are always open to suggestions.
"Central Sierra Nevada Horse Trails - Volume II" has 23 trails which are not repeats of the trails in Volume I. The two books compliment each other.
Central Sierra Nevada Horse Trails - Volume I has 19 trails from Yosemite, Fish Camp, Bass Lake, Peckinpah Mountain and includes three winter rides. Central Sierra Nevada Horse Trails - Volume II has 23 trails which include 12 new rides from Yosemite, 5 from the Fish Camp and Sky Ranch Road area, 3 from Beasore Road, 2 from the San Joaquin River Gorge, and Central Camp. The maps are traced onto topography style maps which will show elevations and off-shoot roads.
Central Sierra Nevada Horse Trails is just that - a great variety of horseback trails that let you experience the wonder and beauty of the Sierras. Ranging from Yosemite National Park east to the Peckinpah mountains, our trails include rides for beginning mountain horses and riders to experienced horses and seasoned riders. We have also included several Winter rides at lower elevations. You will encounter all types of mountain terrain and obstacles such as water crossings, bridges and cliff areas which we describe so you can plan your ride safely.
We have been riding this area for many years and having been asked numerous times about where we go, decided to put the trails we ride in a book form for all to enjoy. Locals and visitors to our area have been able to see the beauty of the Sierras on trails which we have located, marked and traveled ourselves. Detailed descriptions and maps accompany each trail so that you, too, can have a wonderful and safe trip.
We are just two ranch gals who love to ride. We hope you will enjoy the trails as much as we do.
Happy Trails, Sherry & Ann
ABOUT THE BOOKS
Volume I was written for several reasons. The main reason was for our own mountain "locals" who have horses but are completely unaware of the hundreds of miles of trail systems virtually at their fingertips. Our second reason was for the out-of-town visitors camping with their horses; whether it be in Yosemite or the many campgrounds where horses are permitted and even encouraged. Our third reason, although somewhat devious, was to convince our husbands that we "needed" to go riding 5 days a week in order to locate, investigate and map the trails listed in this book. As our knowledge of the trails expanded, we wrote Volume II. The two books do not repeat trails, but do show how some trails connect with each other.
Fine Print & Disclaimers
We, as horse owners, have come to realize that our beloved four-legged companions are more or less "thousand pound chickens" and are predictably unpredictable. Trail obstacles for one horse might be a horrific "stumpasaurus" for another. A simple creek crossing for your horse might be a bottomless rushing pit to hell for your riding companion's mount. Our own horses have many, many miles of trail experience; and, while they are not bombproof, are seasoned trail horses. They still spook and they still will at times question our decisions. They are horses. We are not endurance riders. We are casual, or maybe just a tad more than casual, trail riders. We prefer not to take risks, but riding in general is a risk (remember the thousand pound chicken). Our trails are in the forest and foothills. Bears live in the forest. Deer jump from behind bushes. Snakes slither through the grass. Today we saw wild turkeys! Tomorrow we might not even see a squirrel. I remember the first time running into backpackers on the way to Ostrander Lake. My horse was terrified of the thing on the poor person's back that was no doubt going to devour that person for lunch. Nothing is predictable on horseback and no two days are the same. We have done our best to rate the trails from a conservative standpoint rather than from the views of a hard core back country rider. These trails are not for horses used to arenas and 12' x 12' stalls. These trails are not for riders who are beginners. We have timed the rides from a walk and did not add stops for lunch. Weather is unpredictable, especially in the mountains. We have seen it snow in May and hail in July. Trail conditions can change. Trees do fall on their own and whenever they feel like it. In late Spring when snow in the high country is melting, can result in a shallow creek crossed in the morning becoming almost impassable in the late afternoon. It is always advised to contact the local forest service office for updates on conditions and weather. Use common sense and your instincts. Ask questions. Do your homework before you go. We claim no responsibility for damage or injury to you, your horse or your rigs while using these trails or roads. We cannot be responsible for weather, trail or road conditions, including fee changes or trail closures. We have ridden these trails literally dozens of times because we live here and this is where we ride. We have described to the best of our ability conditions and levels of difficulty for each and every trail listed in our book, including driving instructions and contacts. It is our hope that you will find them as enjoyable as we have and that this will be a positive experience and one that you will remember for years to come. Happy Trails!