Honor the life and legacy of Herbert M. London, wilderness advocate and longtime owner of the the Rock Creek Pack Station.
Donate to support trail maintenance on the Mono Creek Trail System through a special fund that has been set up in his honor.
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Honoring the Life of Herbert M. London -
Mono Creek Memorial Trail Maintenance Fund
Imagine driving slowly up Rock Creek Canyon, mesmerized by the gorgeous eastern Sierra scenery, en route to the beginning of a pack trip vacation. Your vehicle trip culminates at a cluster of rustic buildings with corrals off to one side, one filled with mules and the other, horses. Upon parking your car you walk toward a small building that proclaims itself “office”. You have arrived at the Rock Creek Pack Station, elevation 9500' located in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas between Mammoth Lakes and Bishop California. In the rather gloomy office interior stands a large old fashioned desk, with an even larger and older gentleman behind it. He turns and smiles, with blue eyes twinkling, and says, “Hi. I’m Herb London. How can I help you?”
A similar scenario was played out many, many times over more than fifty years, as Herbert M. London dedicated his adult life to enhancing people’s lives by exposing them to the wild beauty of the Sierras. Herb’s life was centered around Rock Creek Pack station, Inyo County, and the Eastern Sierra. Those who thought he was “just a packer” found themselves in awe of this larger-than-life, complex, and very intelligent man with well thought out and frequently inflexible opinions.
As a advocate for wilderness, Herb was also adamant that there be use of the wilderness for all types of people: those who hike, and those who ride. In working with the Forest Service, he always emphasized the need to make Wilderness areas available to everyone who wanted to enjoy the natural beauty, Around the evening campfire, Herb was a story teller unequaled by any; was funny, knowledgeable, and entertaining, especially when playing his guitar.
In honor to Herb's life and legacy, Aleta London, Herb's wife, suggested that the most fitting memorial to Herb would be to establish a trail maintenance fund on the Mono Pass Trail to honor his life. The Mono Pass Trail, particularly from Trail Lake to Golden Creek, needs extensive maintenance. The London Family and friends with cooperation from the Forest Service have established a plan to accomplish this goal.
Contributions to the 3-Forests Interpretive Association will be passed to the Sierra National Forest with the intent to spend the money on fixing those sections of trail that need heavy maintenance. The Forest Service will conduct the work utilizing their own trail crews, specialists who conduct the NEPA analysis and others in the agency that coordinate work within the Sierra National Forest.
The London Family's participation will be in helping the Forest Service identify those sections of trail that are in most need of work. Craig London, Herb's son, will provide guidance on how to construct trail that is hopefully going to last for generations and be a safe and enjoyable trail for hikers and riders that travel over Mono Pass.
There is over 60 years of letters written by Herb to the Sierra National Forest asking for more trail work and money to be spent fixing, building and maintaining trails in the National Forest. Through the years, many a District Ranger and Forest Supervisor on the Sierra National Forest have tried to get proper funding to get the work done. Unfortunately, money for new construction and maintaining the existing trails has been a low priority of Washington officials.
This Herb London Mono Pass Trail Fund will be a fitting memorial to Herb London. He was a permit holder for 64 years and in partnership with the Forest Service provided packing and outfitting service to generations of Americans. What better way to honor him than to repair water bars, fix dangerous rocky jump offs and gullied rock chutes?
Click here to donate to support the mono Creek Memorial Trail Maintenance Fund.
Arch Mahan, Ronald Reagan and Herb. Taken when President Nixon stopped the possibility of the trans-sierra highway planned to cross from the Westside over to Mammoth. Picture was taken at Summit Mdw.