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“Drakesbad is a refuge to return to year after year” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Drakesbad Guest Ranch

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Drakesbad Guest Ranch
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end of Warner Valley Road, Chester, CA 96020   |  
Hotel amenities
Benicia, California
Level Contributor
89 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Drakesbad is a refuge to return to year after year”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2012

My family goes to Drakesbad every other year. We have been doing this for decades. In the "off summers" (non-Drakesbad years), I MISS the place. It is rustic, you are fed gourmet meals every day, the hiking is great, and the hot pool is hot. Love it!

Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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46 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Santa Rosa, California
Level Contributor
66 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2011

I was at Drakesbad in Lassen for three days and nights last weekend. It was a great visit. The managers there are excellent and take care of your needs, often before you ask for the help. The food served fopr all meals was quite tasty. I highly recommend Drakesbad.

Room Tip: There are some rooms that have limited electrical service, but those rooms are charming cabins with...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bishop, California
Level Contributor
63 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2011

We have returned year after year to Drakesbad because of it's rustic atmosphere and because it has activities for our entire family. We found it ideal as our family grew older as the children could have increasing freedom in a safe environment. The one major downfall is the draining of Dream Lake, a major error on the Lassen Parks part; as it had been there 90 years! Another concern is that long time(21 years)concessioners Billie and Ed are retiring, so that will be an unknown in 2012

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

Yes, it's out of the way. Very much so. But well worth it to enjoy family time, and beautiful surroundings. it is on the expensive side, and quite rustic. However, you feel well cared for, and the staff is very hard working and friendly. Great retreat for the family to relax, hike and enjoy the excellent horse program. My kids did not want to leave their horses.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Menlo Park, California
Level Contributor
149 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2011

My wife, son (9) and I spent three nights last week at Drakesbad, in the Warner Valley section of Lassen Volcanic National Park. We'll definitely come back -- it's a wonderful place to stay for solitude, natural beauty, and really good food.

Drakesbad includes three meals per day, prepared by a very enthusiastic and welcoming staff. The facility is very family and child-friendly. The large pool -- at body temperature thanks to water from nearby hot springs -- is terrific after hiking the trails to Devil's Kitchen or Boiling Hot Springs. We stayed in one of the standalone cabins and one night in a room in the main lodge -- both were comfortable and fun.

Some rooms have bunk beds, making it easier for three to sleep very comfortably. Note that there is no wifi and no cell phone reception at Drakesbad, making it easy to get away for real. If you need an email fix, you can drive 17 miles to the town of Chester, which has several hot spots.

Room Tip: Stand-alone cabins are larger and quieter but some have kerosene lamps; lodge rooms are smaller but...
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Ynez, CA
Level Contributor
55 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2010

I had to laugh at the entire 3-star August 2010 review. That's exactly the kind of person the rest of us who love Drakesbad don't to share a table with either.

There are no phones - cell or otherwise, computers or TVs and electricity is limited. You have to drive in on a dirt road. You may encounter logging trucks. You might not have a shower in your room and you might have to trek to the poolhouse. These are the very amenities of Drakesbad that keep away the riff-raff.

This is a place to soak in A 90+ degree pool at night and look at stars, meet new people at dinner or hang out by the fire or sit and ponder the beautiful meadow and watch the deer go by.

The food at one point was exceptional, had a few problems a few years back, but now has gone back to its previous high standards. The concessionaire is replacing furniture and making some improvements now that the National Park Service has finally awarded them a long-term contract. But the place will always be rustic. Billy and Ed who have been the hosts for years are nicest people you will ever meet and cannot do enough for you.

To say that you can't see Lassen National Park from this location is laughable - true - you need to drive a bit of distance if you want to go to the main park entrance (this is a problem for someone from Los Angeles?) - but amazing, unique hikes take off right from Drakesbad - the Devil's Kitchen, Boiling Springs Lake and Sifford Lakes. And many more locations are available by horseback, so there's no need to leave unless you really want to. Drakesbad is its own destination.

It's not for everybody which is fine by me. If you can't live for a few days without your cell phone without withdrawal symptoms and are horrified by a few potholes, then this isn't for you. The peace, tranquilityand beauty combined by nice people make this a special place. Primadonnas need not apply.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney,Australia
Level Contributor
91 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2010

The place is rather unique with a long history.I stayed here to have access to the South Eastern part of Lassen Volcanic NP.There are some excellent hikes to do from the lodge including Boiling Lake,Devils Kitchen,Kings Creek Falls and Sifford Lakes,also much longer hikes if you are energetic.
Rooms are in a central lodge or cabins.My room{5 in the lodge} was adequate but I was disturbed a few times by guests slamming the upstairs door to go out.I have asked the owners, who incidentally are very nice, to put up a sign to stop this.
They have a great hot soaking pool{too hot for doing laps},campfire each night, good meals especially BBQ night ,horse rides.
There is no TV, Internet or Cell Phone reception which for me was great.You come here for nature and to relax.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Drakesbad Guest Ranch

Address: end of Warner Valley Road, Chester, CA 96020
Location: United States > California > Plumas County > Chester
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Chester
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In 1916 Congress established Lassen Volcanic National Park as the fifteenth national park in the United States. Privately held Drakesbad bordered the park in the southeast corner. The Sifford family continued to run their beloved Guest Ranch as good neighbors of the Park Service each summer for forty-two years. To preserve the Ranch and guarantee continued quality service for generations to come, Drakesbad was sold to the US government in 1958 for inclusion in to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Since that sale there have been three park concessionaires: for the past 36 years Drakesbad has been run by California Guest Services where the emphasis is still on outstanding customer service! All rates include three meals per day and lodging! All accommodations are rustic and quaint, most without electricity. The use of kerosene lamps is a welcome respite from the modern world and adds a distinct and old time ranch feel to your stay. All rooms include a full or half bath and are gas heated. Housekeeping services are provided daily. As a member of the Green Hotels Network, we make every effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle at Drakesbad. General Information Drakesbad Guest Ranch is open (pending weather conditions) June through mid October. The Ranch is closed mid October through to May. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Drakesbad Guest Ranch Hotel Chester

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