Our extended family (7 adults, 4 young children) stayed at Sun Mountain Ranch for 3 nights (4 days) and it wasn't nearly enough. My niece hugged me as we were leaving and said "Thank you for bringing us to such a magical place.." Here's why:
1. Proximity to Crater Lake
The Ranch is a 20 minute drive to the entrance of Crater Lake. I'll write up Crater Lake in another review.
2. The Ranch itself - a.) the lodging; b.) the surrounding ranch property...and c.) the friendly, helpful owner, Cindy Clark.
a. The "Bunkhouse" as the lodge is called is perfect for large groups. The main floor is an open floor plan, with western motif. All wood - walls and floors - making a perfect indoor play area for the children. And because the main floor is so large, even when the kids were playing with the hula hoops, they didn't get in our way. A full bathroom, a 3/4 bathroom, and a half-bathroom are on the main floor, as well as a sleeping alcove with two double beds. ("Alcove" because there is no door - instead there are two woven hangings for privacy.)
This place is amazingly well-stocked - there is EVERYTHING you could ever want. Not only an astounding amount of kitchenware, appliances of all types, and every type of utensil, but also all manner of plastic containers for leftovers, an overwhelming amount of toilet paper and paper towels, zip loc bags, aluminum foil - as well as tons of board games and puzzles, hula hoops, etc. There are also baskets of mosquito spray, shampoo, conditioner, soaps - there is absolutely nothing that isn't supplied except for food. And even there - lots of condiments available so you don't need to bring spices. There are two refrigerators, one in the house and one in the garage. Hot water comes on instantly in showers (which have wonderful "spa-type shower heads, and plenty of water pressure,) as well as in the kitchen sink, and the hot water is plentiful. We loved having horseshoe "hanging hooks" absolutely everywhere, in every room. And did I mention the towels and washcloths - many more than our group of 11 needed.
There are three tables in the dining area, each with 6 chairs, and there is room to add additional chairs.
We didn't use the huge stone fireplace, but wood is supplied. We also didn't use the golf cart or the 2 snowmobiles that are available.
The upstairs can only be reached by an outdoor staircase. That wasn't a problem for us, since the weather was in the mid-80°s when we were there, but it's difficult imagining doing it in winter with lots of snow - or if there's a lot of rain. It is a "gallery style" - with a railing so that you can stand upstairs and talk to the people on the main floor. There is one extra-large bedroom with enough beds for 6-8 people. This is the only bedroom with a true door. The other sleeping areas are alcoves, with woven hangings to close them off. So there is no sound barriers for these alcove sleeping areas. Two of the alcoves had hangings that didn't provide total privacy. We didn't find that to be a problem, but some might not like it. Beds were comfortable and had there were plenty of blankets. Upstairs there is also a ping pong table with plenty of paddles and balls. Windows are all screened.
There is intermittent cell phone service (only those of us with Verizon were able to use our cells, and sometimes we lost calls,) and there is no WiFi. There are two land line phones in the lodge, although we used them only to call Cindy.
b.) The ranch property. I wish we had more time to explore the 200+ acres. The children loved playing in the fine dirt with the buckets, shovels, and Tonka toys that we had brought with us. I enjoyed relaxing on the hammock, listening to the rustling leaves of the quaking aspens. Annie's Creek is a 3 minute walk - a cold, fast-flowing creek with a lot of frogs which delighted the children. My husband and granddaughter tried fishing, without any luck. Another 10 minute walk led us to an "observatory" - a small structure with a dome roof, where you climb up a ladder to get inside a small room and open a hatch to see the sky. Cindy has really thought of everything - there are a lot of whistles on lanyards, so that if you go wandering off and get lost, you can whistle for help! Or use them to stay in touch with each other. We all used them when we got out of sight of the lodge.
c.) I corresponded with Cindy by e-mail and phone. Each time she was friendly and helpful.
We LOVE this place and look forward to going again.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.