Guided Llama Pack Trips and Treks
These trips emphasize enjoying the general wilderness experience, learning to understand and appreciate the unique aspects of a particular area, and minimizing the impacts of our presence in the wilderness. The use of llamas facilitates our ability to realize these goals. The llamas bear the weight of supplies and equipment that otherwise limit the scope and enjoyment of a wilderness outing. Because of their natural adaptation to the regions we explore, they are easily maintained with minimal impact on the environment. Their packing ability lessens the restrictions imposed by wilderness regulations on those who are physically limited by age, injury, or handicap. Working with, and relating to the llamas adds another dimension to the total experience.
Our treks are formulated on basic wilderness principles, but tailored to individual needs regarding area, distance, pace, interests, activities, and menu. Buckhorn provides all the equipment, food and supplies necessary for the trip except sleeping bags and personal items (toiletries, clothing, daypack, etc.) If more equipment or supplies are required for focus activities (photography, climbing, geology, etc.), additional llamas can be provided. A basic equipment list is available for participants and sleeping bag rental can be arranged.
All trips will be led by a mature and experienced guide. We typically keep a ratio of one guide for six participants. We add wranglers and resource guides to assist the head guide if the ratio grows greater or special activities are planned. Guides employ low impact techniques in all phases of the treks and clients will be expected to follow their example and direction. We emphasize leaving the wilderness resource in a condition that will be enjoyable for those who follow us. Guides are responsible for food preparation, camp setup and camp maintenance. Participants are free to join in this activity or relax and watch. Our menus are planned to provide fresh, wholesome foods that take into consideration activity level, special needs, health conditions, or preferences. Activities such as day hikes, climbing, and photography fill the time not spent on the trail or in camp. These activities as well as special educational programs can be incorporated into the trip format.
It should be noted that even though llamas lessen the physical effort required for these trips; altitude, temperature extremes, moisture, and unfamiliar exercise make physical conditioning and preparation prior to the trip advisable. Any physical limitations or medical problems should be made known in the early stages of trip preparations so appropriate routes, trip lengths, and pace may be incorporated into the itinerary.
The varying geography of the areas we operate in allows us to run a nine month season (March-Nov.) and a variety of formats. The S.E. Utah area offers spring and fall trips that are quite pleasant and enjoyable. The spring season is perfect for the outdoorsman with cabin fever needing a physical and emotional respite from winter’s reign, while the fall desert is the perfect place to absorb the last warm rays of the pack season in solitude. Temperatures above 100 degrees and scarce water sources from July through mid-September dictate moving to the high reaches of the plateau or the high altitude terrain of our Colorado locations during the heart of summer. At timberline, this short interlude between melt out and new snow is the only window of hospitality offered in these high reaches. They are a flurry of plant and animal activity as the many species of both populations flower, reproduce, and feed before the imminent and enduring winter that dominates the alpine landscape most of the year. Our areas of operation are dictated by the land and the weather it endures, as were the activities and migrations of our ancient predecessors. It helps to understand the significance of the cultural ruins in evidence in each area. They bear testimony to recognition or ignorance of these undeniable forces.
Buckhorn Llama Company, Inc. provides guided trips under permits issued by the Arapahoe / Roosevelt, San Juan - Rio Grande, Manti - La Sal, and Kaibab National Forests, the San Juan Resource Area of the Bureau of Land Management, and the Navajo Nation.