Mountain Home State Park
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Snowshoeing in the beautiful Southern Sierras.
Relevant Guidebooks & Maps
Self-Propelled in the Southern Sierra (trip 60), Camp Wishon USGS Provisional Map (7.5')
Take 210 West to 5 North. After you go over the Grape Vine take 99 North. When you get to 190 take it East towards Springville. Turn North on Balch Park road at the left just past Springville, then head East again into the mountains on Mtn Road 296. This takes you to 5400' near the upper part of the loop. The road is plowed in winter.
Two options are available from the parking lot. When warm, take the higher road that comes in from the Northeast. When snow is in the forecast you might want to think about Mtn Road 220 (4000'). JC Jenkins' Self-Propelled in the Southern Sierra provides an excellent description of history, trees, and the trail. Camping must be done in the campgrounds: Frasier Mill, Shake Camp, Balch Park, Hedrick Pond, and Sumset Point are all spacious and deserted in winter. All have water except Shake Camp. It can be slightly difficult to get water from streams if there is a lot of snow. Although 4 full days can easily be spent, the trip could also be done in 3 or even 2 with skis.
Leaders should have skill in winter camping and the weather should be carefully monitored. Bears are about so string up food. Balch Park Campground has a working phone. Mountain Home State Forest Ranger Station - winter number - (209) 539-2855.
Edited by (in order): OTL Staff
Last updated: 05/22/2009