Old-Fashioned Packing Services


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.

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.

A Few Guidelines

The first thing to address is food. Recyclable shopping bags or cold storage bags are ideal, but if you use plastic bags, please double-up for strength. 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.

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! Please take a few minutes to properly pack your gear so that it 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, and dust all can drop on the saddle bags.

For Sturtevant Camp packing, please have your items at the pack station by 7 am on Friday morning. You can arrange for a drop-off earlier in the week if that would be helpful. The pack station has refrigerators and freezer dedicated to storing your food.  If you decide to drop off, 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).  Put all items on top of the 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.

Packing rate is 50¢ per pound each way. Packing out of any garbage generated at camp is included in the price of your stay. Please call Deb Burgess at Adams’ Pack Station with any packing questions at (626) 447-7356.