Mountain HomeEstablished: 1946
Area: 4,807 acres
Elevation: 4800 - 7600 ft.
Precipitation: 42 inches per year
Temperature: Max: 78 - 45 F - Min: 45 - 20 F
Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest (MHDSF) is located in Tulare County in the Southern Sierra Nevada range, 22 miles east of Porterville, California. Mountain Home has several of the largest and oldest giant sequoia trees in the world with some reaching 240 feet tall and 27 feet in diameter. Many of these specimens are more than 2,000 years old. In 1946, the State of California acted in an effort to conserve the huge redwoods on the Mountain Home tract that John Muir called "the finest in the Sierra," and purchased the land from a logging company. The result has been the preservation of more than 5,000 old-growth giant sequoias through active management of the mixed conifer forest that surrounds them. The giant sequoia flourishes among ponderosa pine and sugar pine, white fir and incense-cedar.
The local Native Americans used this area in the summer to camp, hunt and gather food. An interpretive exhibit at Sunset Point leads visitors through an archaeological site with evidence of occupation dating back 8,000 years. The California Department of Fish and Game stocks three ponds in the area with trout for public fishing. Two of the ponds are located at Balch Park (owned and operated by Tulare County) while the other, Hedrick Pond, is part of Mountain Home. The Wishon Fork of the Tule River is also popular with anglers. Backcountry lakes can be reached by foot or by horse. Overnight camping in the Golden Trout Wilderness requires a wilderness permit that can be acquired at the USFS Tule Ranger District office in Springville. Guide service and rental horses are available at the pack station located near the Shake Camp Campground. Informational brochures with maps of one to two mile interpretive hikes and a motor tour are available at the forest headquarters. Off-highway vehicle use is limited and not recommended. The forest is closed during the winter.
Campsites are open from May through October, depending upon snow conditions. There are 5 public campgrounds with campfire rings, tables and bear-proof food lockers provided. Campgrounds have potable water and pit toilets. Camping at MHDSF requires a camping permit and payment of a fee. Permits and payment information are available at the entrance to each campground. Pets are welcome but must be controlled by the owner at all times. Horses and pack animals are not allowed in campgrounds but may be kept in the public corrals near Shake Camp. Hunting is permitted under applicable State game laws and regulations.
For More Information
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest
P.O. Box 517
Springville, CA 93265
(559) 539-2321 summer
(559) 539-2855 winter