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“A Rustic Paradise” 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
Northern California
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“A Rustic Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2009

No phones, newspapers, Internet; or even electricity in the rooms (kerosene lamps are provided), and a few have bathrooms down the hall. Located at the end of an unpaved road from the town of Chester in northeast California. But luxury of a dusty country sort, with three excellent meals a day included, a small heated pool, ping-pong table, croquet set, volleyball court, and two wonderful generous innkeepers and staff. Drakesbad's isolation within Lassen Volcanic Park makes it a great spot for hiking around and out of the Warner Valley, or riding horses you bring or rent at the adjoining stable. Reservations fill up quickly with families who come back year after year, though the occasional cancellation leaves cabins and rooms available on shorter notice. The Pacific Crest Trail passes less than a mile away, so thousand-mile hikers occasionally drop in for a meal, a shower, laundry, or all of the above. It's easy to see why people return here. (The National Park Service is considering making changes to the facilities and the valley ecology, but none of the proposed alternatives appear likely to have a major effect on the ambience of the place, which the NPS says it wants to retain.)

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 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 (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
piedmont california
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
73 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2009

We stayed four nights at this out of the way down a dirt road retreat. The cabins and bungalows do not have electricity (great kerosene lanterns) so put those cell phones and computers away. They are charming wood cabins with fantastic views over the meadow with the deer roaming by. A great hot springs heated pool which we used every night.
The price includes three meals that are very ample and they aim to please. If you don't want something they will substitute something else. As a vegetarian the meals very delicious and varied. the hiking is marvelous and few people are seen on any trail
Come here isfyou want privacy and isolation. Do not come here is you want the comforts of home.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Sacramento CA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2009

Just spent four nights at Drakesbad with my husband and two teenage children. No electronics, little electricity, and not a complaint all week. Great food, fantastic flora, fauna, and vista, geothermal marvels, including but not capped by a hot spring fed pool that sat at about 94degrees. We hiked, rode, fly fished (1st time), and played games. We even enjoyed a massage. I would go back in a hot minute if I could and I think my electronically connected family would too. Rustic comfort and charming help.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, CA
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2008

This was one of the best vacations we have EVER taken. We went with our two little girls (2 and 4) who LOVE horses. They had a ball feeding the horses carrots, going on pony rides and exploring some of the hiking. The trails are well maintained and easy for little ones as long as you plan to take breaks. They have babysitting available so parents can go for a ride or hike. Guests are friendly and the food is fantastic with great vegetarian options. We will definitely be going back. It is a great place to unplug and spend time with your family.

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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California
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2006

My two sons and I stayed at Drakesbad Ranch a couple years ago. It was rustic, but clean and great fun! We hiked to a boiling mud lake, canoed in a pristine pond, went on a horseback ride, swam in the hot spring swimming pool while we watched deer and other animals roaming around the ranch! There were no t.v.'s, radio's or lights in the rooms. We used kerosene lanterns and flashlights! It was great to really just spend time together as a family! I really liked that this was all inclusive! The meals were included and the food was gourmet! I loved the food! Very fresh and flavorful! The staff were wonderful! Lots of different nationalities and very friendly! They even had s'mores for the kids by the BBQ and stories by the fire too! This was one of our more memorable vacations! I would love to go back and take my husband this time! He was unable to go with us last time. Oh, and Lassen is such a cool place to see! It was July and about 98 degrees and they still had a pile of snow and we had a snowball fight! I would definately recommend Drakesbad! I heard about it in the Family Fun magazine originally!

  • Liked — That it was rustic and there were no t.v.'s! It was like Little House on the Praire, but w/gourmet food!
  • Disliked — Had to drive up dirt road towards the end to reach the ranch.
  • Tips/Secrets — Take comfortable shoes and flashlights! They will even pack you a lunch for your hike! Enjoy!
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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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:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
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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