Tim Shew, owner/operator of Balch Park Pack Station, has been in business for over 30 years. Along with his family, Tim's expertise in riding horses and guiding backcountry trips into the southern Sierra Nevada mountains enables them to offer a variety of backcountry experiences to the outdoor enthusiast.
Tim or a member of his family personally guides the majority of trips. Tim is also an outstanding dutch oven cook, which makes for amazing dining experiences in the backcountry. As an avid fisherman he is able to help even the novice have a great time catching and releasing fish. Balch Park Pack Station is a locally-owned and family-run business.
Areas of Service and Expertise
Balch Park Pack Station is located in Mountain Home State Forest in Central California. The Station serves both the Golden Trout Wilderness and Sequoia National Park and offers a chance for high country adventure. We are situated at 6,500 feet amidst over 1,600 year-old growth Sequoia trees. You can find us on the Mineral King Quadrant or a Forest Service Map. This remote area of the Sierra Nevada remains quiet, unspoiled and largely undiscovered. This is the place for experiencing the backcountry at its best.
We are located between Bakersfield and Fresno. Take State Hwy 99, go east on Hwy 190 through Springville. After Springville, go left on Balch Park Road for 3 miles then right on Bear Creek Road. Follow the signs to the top of the mountain. It's a winding road that takes about an hour to navigate.
Types of Experiences and Trips Provided
The station offers a variety of services from one hour horseback rides to fully inclusive backcountry trips. We accommodate each group on an individual basis and all trips are tailored to your specific needs. We offer rides for the novice and the advanced rider. For the one day adventurer, hour rides and day rides are run throughout the summer. "Spot" trips are available where clients are dropped off and picked up at a predetermined date.
Want to hike? Our horses can take your gear to a predetermined site. At Balch Park Pack Station, we specialize in all-expense trips where we provide everything except your sleeping bag and fishing gear. Our guides stay with you, cook the meals and tend the horses. Your job is to relax and enjoy our great backcountry in the southern Sierra Nevada.
Located in the Mountain Home State Demonstration Forest, this station prides itself on taking care of the backcountry. Surrounded by Giant Sequoias, the team at Balch Park spends days each year, clearing trail for hikers, gathering leftover trash from other travelers in the wilderness and offering tours on the forest to explain the Forestry practices of Mountain Home. The State Forest demonstrates how logging in an eco-friendly way can benefit both man and the giant trees we all love.
ADA Accessibility Notes
Balch Park Pack Station welcomes all visitors. If you are physically unable to ride, you are welcome to enjoy the horses by petting them while you view the giant Sequoias.