Horseback Riding in Piute Meadow, Sonora, California USA

10 mi/16 km
Elevation gain:
1000 ft/304.8 m
Sonora Pass is located near Pinecrest, Tuolumne County, California, USA. It is off of Highway about 60 mi/96.5 km east of Sonora.

In Sonora Pass there are some very popular trails for horseback riding. One of the best trails is Leavitt Meadow to Piute Meadow. It is a turnout,  located opposite the highway and west of Leavitt Meadow Pack Station and provides a place to park horse trailers before you set out at Leavitt Meadow, on the east side of Sonora Pass.

Across the highway from the turnout and between the private campground and pack station is an access trail. Best time to do this trip is mid-summer to fall. At the beginning of the year the West Walker River is too high to ford. The trail to Piute Meadow is about 10 mi/16 km with a 1000 ft/304.8 m elevation gain.

Piute Meadow is a magnificent landscape with Tower Peak looming above. There is a ranger station at the Meadow. You should visit Leavitt Meadows Pack Station, located beside Highway 108, in Leavitt Meadow, on the east side of Sonora Pass. One of the trail rides offered is The Meadow Ride, an one hour loop around Leavitt Meadows.

You pass through the magnificent meadow and alongside the river. If you want a little bit of time in the saddle, this is the perfect ride. The Secret Lake Ride is a 2 hours long ride, that follows the pack trail and then heads to Secret Lake. During the ride you overlook Pickle Meadow and Leavitt Meadows.

The Falls Ride is an approximately 4 hour ride, that follows the pack trail past Lane and Roosevelt Lake. One of the pack trips available is Spot Pack Trips, on which you ride with a packer to a campsite and then dropped off for as long as you like.

On Backpack Drop trip, you and your backpacking equipment are taken in the backcountry and left to continue your backpacking trip. Last on Base Camp Trip you are packed in with your equipment to a base camp, set up by your guide.

How to Get to Destination

164 mi /264 km, 3 hrs 5 mins
Follow I-880S to San Jose. Take the exit 31 for I-238 to I-580/Stockton/Fresno. Follow the signs for I-238/I-880/Castro Valley/Stockton Fresno and enter I-238 S. Enter I-580E. Go straight for I-205E. Enter I-5N. Take the exit California 4E to Downtown Stockton. Enter CA-4 E. Enter CA-4 E/CA-99 S. Take the exit 252B to enter CA-4 E to Farmington Rd. Turn right to CA-4 E/Farmington Rd. Go to CA-4 Bypass E/Angels Camp Bypass. Head straight for CA-4E. Turn left on Bear Valley Rd.
BY CAR FROM Central Valley
89.6 mi / 144.2 km, 2 hrs 4 mins
Follow CA-108 E/E F St. Continue to follow CA-108E. Enter CA-49 N/W Stockton St. Turn left on CA-49 N/Golden Chain Highway N/S Washington St. Make an open right turn to Parrots Ferry Rd. Head straight to Parrots Ferry Rd. Turn right to CA-4E. Turn left on Bear Valley Rd.
BY CAR FROM Sacramento
125 mi / 201.2 km, 2 hrs 41 mins
Follow CA-99S. Take exit 273 to Liberty Rd. Turn left on Liberty Rd. Turn right to CA-88W. Turn left to CA-12E. Continue to CA-49 S/Golden Chain Highway S/W St Charles St. Turn left to CA-4 Bypass E/Angels Camp Bypass. Continue straight to CA-4E. Turn left on Bear Valley Rd.
Columbia Airport,
50.6 mi / 81.4 km


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