Why Carry All That Gear?
Consider using the Adams’ Pack Station pack train to complete your trip back in time. Sturtevant is one of a handful of historic mountain resorts left in the San Gabriels and the only one which still has a connection to a pack station. Having your gear packed in by donkeys is how they did it back in 1893, when Sturtevant Camp first opened. Enhance your Sturtevant experience by having your items pack in for a mere $1 per pound!!
The type of packing they do is called “dunnage” which means freight only, no passengers. They do not offer rides because of the rugged terrain, blind corners and heavy multi-use traffic. Only experienced riders ought to tackle the San Gabriel front country and even then it’s quite dangerous.
Since the camp is fully equipped, you will only be bringing in your clothing, food, toiletries and possibly a sleeping bag if you want your own bedding for the guest cabins. But you would be surprised to know how much trouble these relatively simple and lightweight items have caused in the past. Here is some guidance on how to prepare your deliveries. Keep in mind that packing to Sturtevant Camp ONLY OCCURS ON FRIDAY MORNING.
A Few Guidelines
The first thing to address is food. Recyclable shopping bags or cold storage bags are ideal, please avoid standard plastic bags unless doubled up and tied up. Paper bags rip and get wet so please don’t use them. If you are inclined to box your food please use cardboard boxes around the size of a copy paper box. They are sturdy, they have a removable top, they are the perfect size for the saddle bags, and they are free! Avoid banana boxes. Please do not tape your boxes closed as we may need to rearrange them to get even loads. We have plenty of refrigerated and deep-freeze storage space for advanced drop-off, and one pair of insulated packing boxes for delivery of cold goods. Remember that Sturtevant Camp has propane refigerators and freezers. Your refrigerated items will be placed in these when the food arrives at camp. Label all bags and boxes with your name and your cabin so they don’t get mixed up with another group’s food.
Second is clothing, bedding, towels etc. We provide sheets, blankets, pillows and pillow cases so you don’t need those, particularly when it is warm. However, if you want to bring a sleeping bag, please keep some things in mind. We have had groups drop off these items in garbage bags and pillow cases; sleeping bags not even rolled up! Take a few minutes to properly pack your gear so that it is ready to be loaded and does not get dirty on the travel up. What does that mean? Protect your items from the dust of the trail. Duffel bags and internal-frame packs are good; just make sure you pack in something sturdy and secure. Remember that the donkeys walk along the brush on the trail. We do our best to get your items to Camp as clean as possible, but leaves, berries, sap, poison oak and dust all can drop on the saddle bags. Label all items with your party’s name and cabin number.
For Sturtevant Camp packing, please have your items at the pack station by 7:30 am on Friday morning. You can arrange for a drop-off earlier in the week if that would be helpful (Thursday is a particularly good day). The pack station has refrigerators and freezer dedicated to storing your food. If you decide to drop off your items earlier in the week, and if no one is around, you will put the items in the “loading dock”. It is the open building with a sign “Canyon Truckin’ and Trash Company” (to the right of the barn). There is an electric fence across the front to keep bears out. You can either step over it or turn it off. It is attached to an electrical strip to the left behind the scale. Just turn it off. Put refrigerated items in the refrigerators and all other items on top of the non-working freezer. If you have refrigerated items, please be sure to let the pack station know when you will be dropping off so that refrigerators can be unlocked. Items left will be secured until packed in. Label all items with your party’s name and cabin number.
Packing rate is $1 per pound each way. All items are weighed at the pack station before they are loaded on the donkeys. Please pay for your packing in, prior to hiking in. For packing out, you can pay for it when you pick up your items. Note: Packing only occurs on Fridays so any items to be be packed out will come out the following Friday. Packing out of any garbage generated at camp is included in the price of your stay. Please contact the Adams’ Pack Station with any packing questions at (626) 447-7356.