Mustangs: A Living Legacy | UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education

UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education

Secondary menu

Mustangs: A Living Legacy

Track and observe wild mustangs in the last remaining herd area not managed by man in the barren and remote high desert area of Pizona in Inyo National Forest, which plays host to North America’s wildest bands of mustangs. This trip combines a superb outdoor adventure with a unique educational experience.

Spend four days observing and photographing the free-roaming herds, blooming wildflowers and other resident wildlife. Enjoy awe-inspiring vistas with their rugged beauty and stunning mountain sunsets. Experienced guides and instructors will lead evening discussions on the history, social behavior and uncertain future of these proud animals. While this adventure is open to any level rider, you should be prepared to ride three to six hours a day with a break for lunch. The group will operate from a base central meadow camp and ride out each day to open range.


The program site is the Montgomery Pass Wild Horse Range, a Pinyon pine forest and high desert region northeast of Bishop, Calif. This area, on the Nevada-California border, is nestled in view of the Sierra to the west and the White Mountains to the south.


The program consists of a series of informal but structured presentations and discussions spread throughout a wilderness horseback camping experience. The mixture of organized and free time permits you to enjoy the full spectrum of this pristine environment. Throughout this trip, you will be riding with the instructor and his staff members. The group stops periodically for observation, food, informal discussion, rest and seminars. Be prepared to ride at least six hours each day.


  • The historical background and political evolution of wild horse populations
  • Aspects of the physical environment of the horse range, including climate, geology, water and seasonal changes 
  • The relationship between wild horses, other animals and plant life in the ecology of the horse range 
  • Aspects of physiology, reproduction, behavior and nutrition of wild horses 
  • The principles of wild horse management and the current policies of the federal government 
  • You will also learn practical skills such as:
  • Backcountry and range riding
  • Interpretive field observation and wildlife tracking

Download the itinerary. 


Craig London, D.V.M., is co-owner of Rock Creek Pack Station and Mt. Whitney Pack Trains in the southeastern Sierra Nevada mountains. He practices veterinary medicine in Bishop and has taught many UC Davis Extension courses on veterinary care and wilderness horsepacking.
Janet Roser, Ph.D., is a professor with the Department of Animal Science, UC Davis. She directs and teaches the equine program and carries out research in the area of hormone regulation of reproductive function in the stallion and mare.


Sun., Mon., Tue., Sat., 7:00am to 3:00pm, Jun 08 to Jun 11


Benton - Benton Hot Springs 55137 California 120, Benton CA 93512

Section Notes

Participants will pack into a base camp in the Pizona Springs wilderness where they will spend the duration of the class. Participants will spend approximately six hours in the saddle each day.

These programs are open to anyone 18 or older. Those under 18 may attend only by special permission from Craig London. Although riding experience is not required, the trips require riding up to six hours some days, so you should be in reasonably good physical condition.

Prior approval is required for persons weighing more than 200 pounds or those who are very heavy for their height, and for persons with physical traits or disabilities that may pose a safety risk to themselves.



Fee $900.00

Enrollment Policies

Refunds less a $150 processing fee, will be given only if we receive written notification prior to May 10, 2019. No refunds after May 10, 2019.

This course does not offer any form of discounts.

Section Number



"This course provided a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The instructors and staff went above and beyond.”"

June Wynhoff