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“Friendly staff, great food, beautiful hotsprings” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Muir Trail Ranch

Muir Trail Ranch
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Muir Trail Ranch
P.O. Box 176, Lakeshore, CA 93634   |  
Hotel amenities
Bishop, California
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Friendly staff, great food, beautiful hotsprings”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2011

We ran to the Muir Trail Ranch from the east side of the Sierra and stayed for two nights. Our accommodation was the "Penthouse Tenthouse", which is pretty basic, but plenty comfortable. We were amazed by the excellent food in such a remote location - lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, really delicious entrees, and super friendly and hard working kitchen staff. The lounge next door is a great place to hang out - fireplace, sofas, books, games, and nice views out the window. The restrooms are all clean and fresh smelling. And the hotsprings -- one hot and one warm -- are just delightful. We also enjoyed interacting with the ranch's well-loved horses and watching them joyfully head out to pasture at the end of each day. This place has a great vibe and is a lovely, relaxing place to hang out. And did I mention the incredible food?!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
St. Paul, MN
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2011

We stayed there as part of our John Muir Trail hike. We reached MTR after 5 days of hiking on the Trail. We had a tent-cabin reservation and also, had a resupply bucket sent to them. One of our party had stayed here in the past and had highly recommended it; and believe me, it was the right recommendation. The cabins are pricey, but, it includes dinner, breakfast and a packed lunch, as well as free use of all facilities which includes satellite internet access (not trivial, considering there is not even a phone line or a cell phone signal), lounge with lots of books & nice couches, hammock, and perhaps the best of all, the 2 hot springs! Don't expect this to be a resort in the traditional sense - remember it is in the middle of some spectacular wilderness and that is the charm of it. Quality of meals was good, but not great. Service was quite decent and the staff were quite friendly.

Room Tip: Get the newer log cabins, if you can. There is electricity in all cabins.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2010

The High Sierras ARE breathtaking; just one large open-air Cathedral; Staying at the MTR was a treat; excellent food...TOO much of it (?!); staff were friendly; family-run and oriented. Proper human beings ! Facilities were fantastic; this IS the middle of nowhere; and yet civilized in a not gawdy sort of way. You could do as much....or as little as you want.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Findlay, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2010

As we were hiking with a 3 month old baby and a backpack each up from Florence lake and neared Blaney Meadows, we heard a vehicle. Our first response was, on this terrain? Although there was a road of sorts bearing the imprint of tire tracks - where there weren't boulders, etc., from which the trail meandered from time to time, much of the area seemed inhospitable to that type of travel. Sure enough, around the corner and over some boulders a Jeep in low gear labored up to where we stood. The interior was crammed with items with which the driver had just picked up resupply 5-6 miles back at the lake. He stopped and kindly asked if the momma and baby would like a ride up to Muir Trail Ranch, our immediate destination prior to heading up to camp on the JMT, where we hoped to meet a friend. When answered in the affirmative, he moved things that had been in the front passenger seat around, so she could step in with her baby and backpack. Then he slowly, carefully drove the remaining mile or so to the ranch, where he deposited them under the canopy, right beside the bins we had been planning to look through, as the first night, our stove had broken.

On the way he told her @ the ranch, the sawmill, the horses, which incidentally were in beautiful condition, the cabins, the self sustaining operation they'd carried on since the 1930's. The whole area was beautiful, and had been carefully tended to maintain the pristine look that the forest originally had. He opened the gate and told us that we were among the very few that had used this private entrance. The cabins fit perfectly with the surrounding area, and we put this location in our mental rolodex file for future stays. The benefactor of the Jeep ride told us that he was the owner himself, Lloyd Ross.

When we got to the bins where they store food that either has been dropped because it wasn't needed, or people who had planned to resupply had mailed and failed to pick up after a week or so, we found a plethora of items, from batteries to full dried meals, snacks, trail bars, and even foil. What a great service for either starving backpackers or those absolutely tired of their own fare. They had even carefully paid close attention to sell by dates, and discarded food that was unwholesome looking, due to appearance. (As we passed there the next am, we found a number of empty bins from which the questionable food had been removed.) There was a hose connected to piped spring water where we were able to refill our dwindling water supply. We were given a 15 minute warning prior to the 5:00 pm re-storing of the bins, in a bear/varmit proof attractive shed built of stone, until at precisely 8:00 am, it would reappear, having had all defective items culled - all for $0.

2 of us went into the building, were able to see the weather report, and check re: several questions we had. They had passed there on a prior JMT through trip and had fond memories of the pleasantness of the people and the services offered. This is quality! It is even helicopter accessible as well as reachable using the services of a packer - or as in our case, our own feet.

In our opinion, this is a true find, unlike other similar areas where people take definite advantage of all that the traffic will bear.... THANK YOU Lloyd Ross and Muir Trail Ranch!!!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2010

This is the most amazing way to drop in on the John Muir Trail without having to walk 200 miles. The three hour hike from Florence Lake is the perfect way to ease yourself up into this wonderful camp. Used mostly to resupply backpackers, the Ranch accommodates visitors in a variety of ways--pack trips, day rides, day hikes (we did several fantastic 13 to 15 mile walks up to the 10,000 foot level and back). The Ranch's hearty mountain food is especially welcome to those coming down from 10 days of freeze-dried food, but our family loved it too, even if we didn't really deserve those huge portions. And the breakfasts--good god! We stayed in the log cabins--toilets and a sink in each small cottage(recommended)--and there are also campsites and cabin tents. But the best part of the whole thing, by far, are the natural hot springs--set up Japanese style in log cabins with open roofs so you can enjoy the mountain air. You lock the door behind you and have a choice of a 95 or 107 degree rock pools. We used them both, privately and with the whole family in swimsuits. Amazing. Played the house guitar around the bonfire, Scrabble in the lounge. Roamed to the other less organized surrounding hot springs. Watched the summer night sky from a big flat rock--in awe. As for complaints about service--we have NONE. The third generation owner-family were gracious and accommodating and made us want to stay and move in. We loved the whole experience. Go!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2009

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by, "Can we help you?" with a caustic tone. No hi, how are you, No welcome to Muir Trail Ranch.....just two grumpy older women who pointed to the cabins, and continued to work on their own business - one surfing the internet, the other wandering around the grounds!

They were rude, unaccomodating, and all iIcan say is they must work for their daddy because no one would tolerate this level of customer service! We were not impressed!

Spend you time and money elsewhere. There are options other than this ranch!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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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Additional Information about Muir Trail Ranch

Address: P.O. Box 176, Lakeshore, CA 93634
Location: United States > California > Lakeshore
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty lodging in Lakeshore

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