Back Country Horsemen of Nevada


Caples Creek Equestrian Trailhead Update, October 2014
Back Country Horsemen Caples Creek Equestrian Trailhead

Progress Report from the Mother Lode Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of California.

The trailhead consists of 15-20 trailer parking spaces located 10 miles South of Kyburz CA off Hwy 50 on Silver Fork Road. 

It is an equestrian community project funded by donations and developed by local volunteer labor. 

The planning and construction of this site resulted from an extended partnership between the Elegant Ears Mule Association, the Mother Lode Unit of BCHC and the US Forest Service.

PHASE I – Project Manager. Jere Schaeffer
2011-2012:  study & approval processes
2013:  survey, grading & trail extension to new trailhead
2014:  gravel 12 spaces & bridge repair  

The trailhead opened in June 2014 after $20,000 was raised to pay for grading & partial gravel & signage & bridge repair.  All funds were donated and used to purchase materials.  In-kind donations of heavy equipment usage totaled another $4665.  A total of 1284 hours of volunteer labor was contributed.

PHASE II:  Current efforts are seeking an additional $15,000 funds for completion of the gravel, developing a water source and other improvements to the trailhead.

Individuals or organizations wishing to contribute funds or join in the work projects can contact the Phase II Project Manager:  Lucy Badenhoop at 916-216-7040 or

All contributions will be acknowledged with a letter citing the amount and our nonprofit tax ID number. Checks should be made out to BCHC-MLU and mailed c/o Lucy Badenhoop, PO Box 258, North Highlands, CA  95660.

CLICK HERE for a Google Maps page to this location.

Enter these coordinates, 38.693897 -120.205643, in Google Earth for more pictures or plug them into your GPS.


Directions to the Trailhead: (elevation 6000 ft)
1. Hwy 50 to Kyburz CA
2. South on Silver Fork Road; go 9 miles
3. Cross Fitch Rantz Bridge; go .2  mile
4.  Right on dirt road 10N94; go .3 mile
5.  Gravel marks the completed parking area


CLICK HERE for the Promotional Flyer


The Mother Lode Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of California has joined forces with the Elegant Ears Mule Association, also of California, to create the Caples Creek Horse Camp shown here and provide the following information:

Fellow Equestrians:

Attached are several pictures, a map and a letter telling you about the creation of a new Equestrian camp - Caples Creek Horse Camp - located off the Silverfork Road which is just beyond Kyburz.  To reach it you go south of Highway 50 9.2 miles on the paved Silverfork Road.  El Dorado National Forest in conjunction with Elegant Ears Mule Association and the Mother Lode Unit of Back Country Horsemen are putting in this horse camp that will provide 15 camping spaces and several day-use parking spots.  This camp accesses miles of beautiful trails.  The attached letter gives information about the camp and what stage we are at in its development.  We are asking clubs and individuals to donate to this project.  Money is needed to pay for the road base that will be spread on the already graded camp road loop and the parking and camping areas.  These camping areas are meant for large rigs with lots of room to maneuver rigs and park them.  Doug Veerkamp and others volunteers from the clubs have already prepared the site by removing trees, rocks and grading and compacting the area.  This camp will be ready for use this year (2014)! Please help by donating dollars to this great project.  Clubs can make donations as can individuals - all of which are tax deductible.  If your club doesn't have a large treasury, pass the hat at your meetings and send the money collected as the donation.   Between a grant and donations collected so far, we have $13,500 but need at least $18,000, so please help by contributing so we can complete this project!!!  Elegant Ears with the help of Back Country Horsemen already established the Sayles Canyon Horse Camp which is open for use.  Help us add this camp that opens up even more access to trails in the beautiful Sierras.  Hopefully all your questions will be answered in the following attachments.  If not contact Jere Schaeffer, Service Project Coordinator for both clubs at 530-626-4195 or email

Thank you for your donations and support.

You are encouraged to visit and enjoy this beautiful new equestrian centered trailhead and camping area.


Hobart Trail HeadHobart Trail Head
Hobart Trail HeadHobart Trail Head


Hello Fellow Equestrians,

Elegant Ears Mule Association and the Mother Lode Unit of  Back Country Horsemen are writing to you with exciting news for all equestrian campers and trail riders. We hope to gain your support in a project that we are working on with the United States Forest Service (USFS).  This project is to create the no fee/no reservation Caples Creek Horse Camp.  This camp will provide 15 large camp sites for equestrian rigs and several day-parking spots. 

The Pacific Ranger District of the Eldorado National Forest has received approval to develop the new equestrian campground located about 9 miles South of Kyburz, Ca. off of the paved Silverfork Road.  An equestrian camp in this location will provide access to the Caples Creek Trail head, connecting to trails within the Eldorado National Forest including those leading to Schneider's Cow Camp, Sayles Canyon and the Kirkwood area.

As with a previous project (Sayles Canyon Horse Camp), Back Country Horsemen - Mother Lode Unit (BCH-ML) has joined with Elegant Ears Mule Association (EEMA) in supporting the development and construction of the campground.  Both clubs have met with Forest Service personnel to survey and discuss design and project time lines and have already completed several phases of the project as noted below.

Previously referred to as the “Fitch Rantz Dispersed Campground,” this project has been renamed the “Caples Creek Horse Camp”.

The project will have several phases spread out over the next year. It is estimated that the cost to build the campground will be eighteen thousand dollars ($18,000).  Future amenities, such as water and a pit toilet, will be evaluated at a later date as funds become available.  A pit toilet costs about $21,000 plus weekly servicing and monthly pumping.

Construction began in the Fall of 2013 and will be completed in 2014

Projected Phases:

  1. Establish a connector trail (about ¼ mile in length) from the campground to the Caples Creek trail head. The connector trail will allow access to the trail head without riding that distance on the asphalt highway. - This task was completed on October 26, 2013, by volunteers representing three horse clubs and 4H.
  1. Grade the existing campground access road and expand the loop servicing the campground. Grade camping area for 15 horse trailer parking spaces. Grade the day-use parking area along with 5 day-use parking spaces. This grading was completed in November, 2013, using heavy equipment and volunteers.  Final road base on the main camping area roads and parking spaces will be done as soon as the snow melts in 2014.  This is dependent on the amount of donation dollars that come in to pay for the road base.  The spreading of this road base will be done by donated labor and equipment.
  1. Place barrier rocks on perimeter of campground; complete graveling of roadways and install signage. Estimated completion time is 2 days, using heavy equipment and volunteers. Work to resume in spring 2014, when weather is appropriate.
  1. Pack in lumber by mules/horses for bridge repair approximately 1 mile from Caples Creek Trail head. (Spring 2014.)
  1. Pack in trail marker signposts to mark trail intersections on Caples Creek Trail, Old Silver Lake Trail and off-shoots of those trails. (Fall 2013/Spring 2014). Partial completion of this was accomplished on September 29, 2013, by volunteers. Trail posts provided by USFS.
 To read the whole letter CLICK HERE.

Caples Creek Horse Camp donation form.

Mother Lode Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of California.

Caples Creek design layout PDF.

Caples Creek Horse Camp introduction letter.

Map to Caples Creek Horse Camp, (38.6945, -120.2009)




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06.11.2014 15:54   
  ©Back Country Horsemen of Nevada, Carson Valley Chapter