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Salmon River Pack Saddle

This was the saddle that started our business! 

The Salmon River Pack Saddle originated in the Scott Valley area of Siskiyou County, California during the Gold Rush Days. It was designed after the Aparajo Pack Saddle from Mexico, to which a solid pack tree was added. This saddle was designed to carry the extremely heavy and bulky loads that were required during that era, and it performed it's job so well that it is still the saddle of choice in the Salmon River area of far Northern California where it is still the most common pack saddle used by both commercial packers and recreational packers in that area.

It consists of: 

  • A wooden saw-buck tree
  • The Aparajo, which is made of Extra Heavy 2/0 Canvas Duck and heavy 10 oz. Leather, with stiffener sticks and padding inside
  • The Solomon's Hammer, is the extra heavy 2/0 Canvas Duck protective cover for the Aparajo, which has an ax-handle attached for the bottom of the boxes and panniers to set against. The Solomon's Hammer is the part that is most visible when you look at the saddle.
  • Salmon River style double britchin and breast strap
  • Traditional breathable and sturdy Burlap cinch
  • Available with extra quarter straps to cinch if desired 
  • All Brass or Stainless Steel Hardware

Solomon's Hammer rolled up to show Aparajo part of Salmon River Pack Saddle.

Inside the slit is a layer of 3/4" dense felt padding, which protects the animal from the packs.
The edges of the Aparajo have a wide border of heavy leather. Inside, along the edges and the bottom are strong but slightly flexible sticks which provide stiffness so that the lash rope can be hooked around the corners of this Aparajo and support the packs from the bottom of the load, and which hold the load away from the sides of the animal to provide room for the animals rib cage to expand easily while working. This is what makes this saddle so unique and so much easier on the animal than any other pack saddle.

underside of saddle 
Underside of Salmon River Pack saddle, showing bottom of Saw-buck tree and under side of Aparajo

Sling Rope ready to be used 
Showing Sling Rope set up ready to be used on the Salmon River Saddle

packin lumber 
This saddle makes it easy to pack just about any type of load and is the most humane pack saddle we have ever found. This is the pack saddle that we use ourselves, exclusively.

Because of the amount of materials in this saddle and the amount of time involved in building them, this is a more expensive pack saddle than most others. However, it's also the ultimate pack saddle available in our opinion.


Complete Saddle priced at $855.00

Measuring for an order:

For measuring instructions go to measuring instructions

To place an order, please email us.
(If the email address in the above link does not work for some reason, please use our alternate email address)


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Contact Information

Postal address
5029 Heartstrand Gulch, Etna, CA 96027
Electronic mail
General Information,Sales & Customer Support:
If the above email address does not work for some reason, then please use our alternate email address:

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