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. 

Academic Units
Section Number
Instruction Method


Benton - Benton Hot Springs

55137 California 120, Benton, CA, 93512

Benton - Benton Hot Springs

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 of the class. Participants will spend approximately six hours in the saddle each day.

Given the “hands-on,” highly experiential nature of this program, we are currently planning to run it in person, as scheduled. Circumstances are constantly evolving, however, and based on guidance from state and local officials and UC Davis leadership, that may change.


Enrollment Policies

Refunds less a $150.00 processing fee will be given only if we receive written notification prior to May 14, 2021. No refunds after May 14, 2021