Special Events at the Historic Balch Hotel

Come, celebrate with us


Upcoming Events at the Balch

Upcoming Events at the Balch

Doing interesting things makes life richer

Check back often: we're always adding new experiences to excite & inspire you.


Temple Sophia Women's Circle: September 20, 6:30 - 9 p.m.

Plein Air Painting - Fall Art Retreat: September 21-23


Sisterhood Supper October 17, 6:30-9  p.m.

Oregon Trail Tour: Along the Barlow Road : October 19-21


Magdalene Path Retreat: Awaken Your Feminine Soul:  November 2-4

Healing for Empaths with Dave Markowitz:  November 16-18

Plein Air Painting

Plein Air Painting

September 21-23

Fall is the perfect timing to get you easel out, pack your brushes and head east along the Columbia River Gorge to sunny Dufur!

Join Portland artist, Nancy Klos for 3 days of painting outdoors with views of rolling hills, Mount Hood and the historic, charming  (and award winning) Balch Hotel!

Learn to sketch your visual memories while visiting the Gorge, try your hand at oil painting, bring home a true memento that you paint yourself.

Nancy will guide you in setting up a painting, color theory and practice. She'll share the details to decide what makes a good composition. You'll explore using both brushes and palette knife. Make the marks that capture your impressions of this tiny town along the BArlow Road of the Oregon Trail.

You'll have uninterrupted time to relax, concentrate and produce an original painting all your own…!

Date: September 21-23

Workshop fee: $295.00 Food and lodging are required, but not included.

Materials list and weekend itinerary sent to workshop participants upon registration

To register for this 3 day workshop: contact Nancy Klos: nancyklos@gmail.com or 1.503.957.9938 / or www.ateliernangallery.com

After registering reserve your room: 541.467.2277 or online at BalchHotel.com

About your workshop leader: Nancy Klos is a Professional Fine Artist and skilled plein air painter and teacher. She has made her home in Portland, Oregon where she established Klos Studios in 1990. Although Nancy has lived in many parts of the country she considers the Northwest her real home.  In her studio,  she creates drawings, paintings, mixed media and commissions for a national clientele. Nancy has offered workshops throughout the Northwest, Idaho and California.  She focalizes “Plein Air Visions” NW Impressionists Group Show at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral from through July 1, 2018. See more at: www.ateliernangallery.com



Sisterhood Supper

Sisterhood Supper

Women’s Dinner Party

Do you crave more time out with a few girlfriends?

Join a  gathering space to connect, laugh and have inspiring conversations that matter. Feel safe and supported in a circle of sisterhood, where you belong and your voice is heard.  

Join our big table for  a curated conversation led by Balch owner, spa/retreat director and art therapist Claire Sierra. Savor  sweet synchronistic connections over food, wine and dessert for a sweet time with new and old friends.  Bring a friend or come alone.

Feminine energy is a powerful positive force that's needed right now--let's cultivate it together with our Gorge neighbors.

Dinner is available from our local/organic Light Fare menu (plus specials), along with locally sourced wine, beer, teas and coffee.

FREE (Dinner and drinks not included.)

August 16   6:30-9 pm  (please, arrive/leave as your schedule allows)
RSVP, PLEASE! (So we have tables and food ready for you!)
CALL  541.467.2277 or
Email your RSVP: info@BalchHotel.com

Temple Sophia

Women's Circle

Are you yearning for deeper connection to your feminine power and magic? 
Looking for a sacred space to access higher guidance & express your authentic self?  

Sisterhood is huge—our strength as women is together. Gather for an evening women’s temple and explore your Sacred Feminine through an embodied spiritual connection with your inner priestess.

This Red Tent circle is a place to access your dreams, find your voice, and gain confidence and courage to go for your soul desires.

Enjoy deep-dive connection, soulful exploration, delicious conversation, and creative ritual that spans religious traditions, guided by Claire Sierra, MA (Art Therapist, retreat leader, Balch Hotel owner/spa director and author of The Magdalene Path.)

Register in advance for $6 off HERE and if you're a newcomer, bring a friend for FREE.

  • Relax and recharge in a supportive circle of sisters.
  • Express your own authentic truth and sovereignty. (Be seen and loved for who you really are!)
  • Explore and express your soul yearnings.
  • Access deeper spiritual connection and sense of belonging with other like-minded women.
  • Feel supported to be more on-track with your purpose.
  • Maybe even do a little art & meditation, as you enjoy tea & treats...

Come early to have dinner, then relax in the parlor:

Thursday, September 20, 6:30-9pm at the Balch Hotel

$19 in advance* $25 at the door  
Reserve your spot through PayPal  HERE

*First time attending? Register Ahead and Bring A Friend for FREE (2 for 1)

Questions? Claire@MagdalenePath.com (Inquire about barter or scholarship opportunities.)

Details: www.MagdalenePath.com

Registration link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=UMDHT5XGZWVAW


Oregon Trail Tour: Barlow Road

Oregon Trail Tour: Barlow Road

October 19-21

Tour & Workshop with Wendell Baskins

Overland pioneers travelled over 1800 miles on the Oregon Trail before getting to the most difficult leg of the journey through the Gorge. One perilous option was traveling on makeshift rafts from The Dalles, down the whitewater of the Columbia—many often did not survive.

In 1848, An alternate route was created: the Barlow Road. Starting in the Dalles and traveling through Dufur to Mount Hood to Oregon City, this rugged overland toll route was not much easier, often taking 2 weeks to cover 150 miles of rugged terrain.

The silent reminders of this journey are in evidence today if you know where to look. Join the curious to explore the surviving remnants of this last section of the Oregon Trail from The Dalles through Dufur and beyond.

Join expert Oregon Trail and Barlow Road storyteller and tour leader Wendell Baskins for a fun weekend as you actively explore the trail in this region that is often hiding in plain sight.

Friday you'll gather in the evening and meet other tour participants over dessert followed by an engaging presentation by Wendell Baskins.

Saturday you’ll roam the area by tour bus, reviewing the journey on the Barlow with fellow adventurers. Box lunch is provided for a picnic lunch along the trail.

Sunday after leisurely breakfast and check out, you’ll travel by caravan to The Dalles. You’ll deepen your understanding of the Oregon Trail and Barlow Road, exploring the history and lore at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Museum and Wasco County Historical Society Museum.

Lunch is on your own as you travel back home at your leisure.
All other meals and activities included. Some light hiking may be necessary.

Weekend Itinerary (*Schedule is approximate and subject to change.)

Friday Evening 

Check in any time after 3 pm.

7 pm Complimentary dessert will be served, with local beer & wines available.

After dessert Wendell Baskins will deliver an interactive lecture presentation, to outline the trip and what will be covered during the weekend.


Barlow Road Tour 10am -4 pm*
Immerse yourself in the exploration of this rich history study as you are traverse the region. You’ll be transported by tour bus. Explore local locations with stops, story and discussion.

Box lunch is provided for picnic stop along the way, then return to the Balch for dinner and evening presentation.

Relax in the afternoon back at the hotel. Enjoy a class of wine, write notes in your journal, maybe get a spa treatment? Then convene for dinner.

Dinner at 7* is included with wine and beer available at the hotel. A 3 course rustic artisan meal will be served. (Contact the hotel for menu update or with any food sensitivities.)

Evening: Lively storytelling with Wendell, an open discussion and Q & A.


Museum Tour (11 am- 1 pm*)

After breakfast and leisurely check out from the Balch, you'll caravan to The Dalles and the Columbia Gorge Discovery Museum.

Expand your understanding of the route and trip. You'll tour the Wasco County Historical Society museum there, which has an excellent exhibit about this section of the trail. If you’ve visited this before, you’ll see it with new eyes after your day out on the trail.

Lunch on your own in The Dalles or elsewhere.

Travel home at your leisure, feeling safe and sated in your comfy modern vehicle, appreciating the richness of this region and all the conveniences that were missing with the original overland travelers.

*All tour times approximate and subject to change for the needs of the group.

About your trip leader, Wendell Baskins:

Wendell is an avid storyteller and trail walker, leading tours of the Barlow Road since 1989. He helped develop and initiate the Oregon Trail teacher exchange between Oregon City, Or and Independence Mo.  In 1991, he was appointed by Governor Roberts to the Oregon Trail Advisory Council and then by Kitzhaber to the Oregon Historic Trails Advisory Council, where he’s still active. He's a lifetime member of NW OCTA. When not exploring the back woods of the Barlow Road he can be found at the Rose Farm at Holmes House in Oregon City, where he volunteers.

Price for this adventure on the Oregon Trail's Barlow Road: 

This weekend for two includes lodging for 2 nights, all meals listed above, transportation and workshop presentations and museum admission. Based on double occupancy. Inquire at Balch Hotel for single rate.

  •  Traditional room (European Style): $429 plus tax (more than $469 value) for 2
  •  Signature room (with Bath en Suite): $549 plus tax (valued at more than $605) for 2

Call 541.467.2277 or go to www.BalchHotel.com/events

Reserve your spot in this unique exploration of the history and geography of the Dufur area.

Book your package today:



Magdalene Path Retreat

Magdalene Path Retreat

Reclaim Your Sacred & Sexy Self

Are you ready to live your Divine Feminine magic on a daily basis?  

Explore deeper mysteries and lost stories of Mary Magdalene that tell a deeper truth about this Goddess in the Gospels, called the Apostle to Apostles.

Unlock the Magdalene Codes--Her hidden wisdom that lives within you.

Activate the priestess within, get clearly connected with your soul guidance to so your life feels aligned.

Discover Mary Magdalene's teachings to shift from stress and struggle to activate your feminine magic, for more ease, grace and joy.

Awaken lost & stolen gifts of sacred sensuality so you feel sexy and spiritual, alive in your body again.

Explore Wisdom teachings, Herstory and tools from The Magdalene Path to discover a Sacred Feminine Goddess hiding in plain sight.

You'll tap your inner guidance to access practical soul wisdom and guide your career, love, health and more. You'll clear blocks that get in the way of manifesting your joy. 

Join author, art therapist, Balch Hotel co-owner & spa priestess Claire Sierra, in a sacred circle of support, to marry the sacred and sexy in you.

During this  weekend retreat you will: 

  • Encounter Mary Magdalene as Sophia--the Sacred Feminine guide, goddess, and portal to sacred sexuality and Divine Union
  • Experience Temple Dance: Simple sacred movement to awaken (& thaw) your feminine body connection
  • Make Sacred Art  in an easy, gorgeous, soul-centered process to create your Magdalene or Divine Feminine guide.
  • Explore  your Feminine Essence through art, meditation, ritual and anointing with essential oils.

About the Retreat Venue:

Lodging: You'll stay at the historic and award-winning Balch Hotel in the Columbia River Gorge, just 1 hour and 40 minutes from PDX and 15 minutes south of The Dalles.

Your traditional room is appointed with Queen pillow top bed, vintage furnishings, cozy quilts, original art and a sink. European style with charming clawfoot tub bathrooms across & down the hall. Upgrade to Signature room with bathroom en suite for additional fee).

Enjoy complimentary local artisan teas and locally hand-roasted coffee along with hot hand-crafted chocolate chip cookies. Experience spa and wellness services at Bliss at the Balch Spa.

Food: A full and glorious Breakfast is provided with lodging. Our meals will be offered as a group--though you are free to take them privately if you need some quiet time for reflection and processing.

Meals are offered ala carte, to give you the greatest options. You can see the Light Fare menu HERE.  (There will be specials, too.) There are also options for eating in the village of Dufur. 

The Balch is versed in Vegetarian and gluten-free fare, and is well known for accommodating various dietary preferences. You'll need to discuss yours before arriving to make sure we are prepared to serve you. For those with very special dietary needs there is a small shared fridge and microwave available for your use in the dining room.

About Your Retreat Guide:

Claire Sierra, MA LFT, is the author of The Magdalene Path – Awaken the Power of Your Feminine Soul ©. An Arts Therapist and Certified True Purpose® Coach, Claire has guided thousands of frustrated women into lives of deeper meaning, ease and new direction. Claire uses art  and creative practices to help women connect to their divine guidance for clarity & confidence about their true path. She’s led Feminine Soul-centered workshops, retreats and private sessions for over 2 decades.  

To support greater re-connection & rejuvenation of mind, and spirit, she and her husband became proprietors of the award-winning Balch Hotel, a boutique destination retreat in the Columbia River Gorge, in Oregon. (visit BalchHotel.com) For free resources on your path, go to: MagdalenePath.com for sample chapters, meditations, audio interviews and more.

November 2-4 

Friday through Sunday (See Itinerary, below)

Retreat fee:  $397

(Meals & lodging not included but required for a full retreat experience)

Early Bird: $297  Register by October 1

Reserve Your Retreat HERE*

Now book your lodging HERE

*To pay via check or cash, contact Claire@MagdalenePath.com

This is an inclusive space so if finances are an obstacle, email me and we caan explore an exchange that is abundant for all.

I am offering  IDEA Scholarships (Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity Accountability) as reparation from white privilege so if you identify as Black, Indigenous, person of color you can attend for free. Please spread the word. 



3 pm or earlier: check in  & settle into your lovely room, grab a complimentary glass of wine and relax as you explore the Balch Hotel grounds.

5 - 6 pm Dinner on your own or with other participants. (Not included)

7 pm Welcome Circle with Hors D'oeuvre or Dessert:  Opening ritual and intention-setting


8:30 am Breakfast (included with lodging)

9:45 am Opening circle: ritual and anointing

11:15 am break for tea

11:30 am Unveiling Magdalene Who was She? Re-visioning Mary Magdalene as Sacred Feminine goddess: Portal to sacred sexuality and Divine Union

12:30 pm Lunch (on your own or with group)

2 pm Temple Dance: Explore simple sacred movement to awaken your feminine fire (or Share to deepen what's moving in you)

3 pm Break/Integration: journal, nap, walk, spa treatments...

   Spa & wellness sessions available, (to be assured one of these limited    sessions, book in advance). See offerings HERE

5 pm Sacred Art - You'll be guided in a simple yet sacred process to paint or create your Magdalene or Divine Feminine guide.

6:30 pm Dinner (group dinner offered, not included)

8 pm Temple Time: Ritual with Teaching &/or Discussion based on group energy & flow


8:30 am Breakfast (included)

9:45 am Guided Visioning with Journaling & Drawing

11 am Embodying Magdalene Mysteries- Teaching/Discussion/Practices

1 pm Lunch (group or solo)

2  pm  Closing  Circle & Ceremony - a potent way to capture and continue what emerged for you this weekend

3:30 pm  Depart at your leisure or enjoy spa treatments for completion & integration
         To be assured one of these limited sessions, book in advance. See Bliss at the Balch Spa offerings HERE

^Subject to shifts and adjustments with needs of the group

Questions:?  Email Claire@ MagdalenePath.com or call 541.659.7284

Sign up and Reserve Your Retreat HERE






Healing for Empaths

Healing for Empaths

Are You A Highly Sensitive Person?

Do you feel fatigued, anxious, or depressed?
Do you suffer from tight muscles, procrastination, or energetic overwhelm?
Are you frustrated because despite your best efforts, you haven’t yet healed? 

If you’re an Empath or Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), your sensitivities may be the root cause of your physical, emotional, or energetic blockages that have resulted in pain or illness. 

You are not alone.
Confusion and symptom overload are the norms for untrained empaths.

Discover the time-tested tools and healing exercises you need, specifically designed for Empaths and HSPs!

At the Healing for Empaths Workshop, you’ll learn specific tools and techniques that teach you how to effectively protect yourself from incoming energies. You’ll also be led through several exercises that can permanently release what you’ve already absorbed! 

 In the comfort and serenity of the Balch Hotel in the Columbia Gorge, you’ll receive customized instruction, in-depth readings and consultation, and remarkably effective energetic transmissions to heal your symptoms at the root level. 

Take advantage of group energies to go deeper than possible on your own. And learn how to make a difference in the world by sharing your unique gifts in a whole new way!

(See workshop itinerary below. )

November 17-19, 2018

About Your Workshop Leader:

Dave Markowitz is an intuitive health facilitator, dynamic speaker, and the bestselling author of Empathipedia: Healing for Empaths and Highly Sensitive Persons, and Self-Care for the Self-Aware: A Guide for Highly Sensitive People, Empaths, Intuitives, and Healers, and Healing with Source: A Spiritual Guide to Mind-Body Medicine. His work is endorsed by bestselling authors Shirley MacLaine, Lynn Andrews, Dannion and Kathryn Brinkley, and Dr. Meg Blackburn Losey. Dave has shared the lecture bill with Deepak Chopra, Gary Null, and many others. 

November 16-18, 2018

 "Dave is a master healer for empaths and sensitives. His gifts, knowledge, experience and humor make him a real change agent and a balm for the weary soul." Lee Harris, Energy Intuitive, Channeler and Healer

Workshop Fee: $279*

Early Registration Discount:

$229* (Before Oct 23)

 Register for the workshop HERE

What's NOT Included:

This price does not include lodging and requires a 2 night stay.

For your convenience here are the rooms rates. 

Traditional $84 x 2 nights = $168  (plus 1.8% rooms tax)                 
Signature    $123 x 2 nights = $246   (plus 1.8% rooms tax)
Suite        $155 x 2 nights =  $310   (plus 1.8% rooms tax)

Please register for the workshop before booking your room. See details at Balch Hotel.com/accommodations

Lodging Includes Gourmet Breakfast Saturday and Sunday, along with free WIFI, free on-site parking and other amenities.   You can see more and reserve your hotel room here or call 541.467.2277.      

Lunch and dinner are not included, but offered  A La Carte to meet various dietary needs and preferences. In addition to the simple healthy delicious food offered at the Balch Hotel, there are a few options in the nearby village of Dufur. You can see the Balch Hotel menu HERE


Workshop Itinerary:

(Subject to change and adjustments due to the needs of the group.)


7:00pm to 9:00pm      Introduction: 

Learn what it means to be an empath or HSP and how that can be the cause of both your deepest frustrations and greatest joys.             



7:30am to 9:00am      Breakfast (included)

9:00am to 11:30am    Session 1    

Deepen your understanding of preventing incoming energy. Learn to open to only what is meant for you to grow, expand, and heal.                                 

11:30am to 1:00pm    Lunch (on your own at hotel or local options) 

1:00pm to 3:00pm      Session 2   

Learn how to heal empathically absorbed symptoms, pain and illness at the root level for permanent transformation!                   

3:00pm to 4:00pm      Break

4:00pm to 6:00pm      Session 3   

Strengthen  your interconnectedness with yourself,  each other and the Divine using group and individual activities                                                     

6:00pm to 7:30pm      Dinner (on your own or local options) 

7:30pm to 9:30pm      Session 4    

Dive even deeper into the causes of all of your miseries, challenges and blockages and then step into freedom and vivacity!                  



7:30am to 9:00am      Breakfast (included)

9:00am to 11:30am    Session 5          

Experience a shift in consciousness about what it means to be an empath or HSP and practice the tools in a guided, supported format that will allow you to break through any barrier to experience your joy and vibrancy at will.            

11:30am to 1:00pm    Lunch (optional) or Completion.

40 South Heimrich, Dufur, OR 97021, United States  
P: (541) 467-2277  
E: info@balchhotel.com