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“Impeccably clean and comfy, great value, Sierra books!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ray's Den Motel

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Ray's Den Motel
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405 North Edwards, Independence, CA 93526   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Independence
Los Angeles
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
“Impeccably clean and comfy, great value, Sierra books!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

Sparkling clean, everything worked, free wifi worked perfectly.

Charming wooden armchairs and table outside the door, but we didn't sit in them because it was too hot outside. In the morning it was cool, but we were driving away.

Bed firmness: 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Pillow firmness: 3 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Bright lights over beds and between armchairs--nice! Not to be taken for granted.

Fridge unusually large for a motel room, 3 feet tall, froze our blue ice--nice! Not to be taken for granted.

Noise: at bedtime, we turned off the power strip into which the air conditioner, microwave, and fridge were plugged in, to turn off the noise of the air conditioner and fridge, and the bright-light display ("0") of the microwave, and sleep better. On Friday night, we could hear trucks rumble by on 395, but not too late into the night. I slept fine, even though when I was occasionally awake, I could hear air conditioners rumble in neighboring rooms, as well as road traffic, like white noise. My hearing is more sensitive than average.

BOOKS! A shelf-ful of books about the area, i.e., the Eastern Sierra, is available in the office. You can borrow them while staying there. What a great idea and what a fantastic service!!! I borrowed and read half of The Land of Little Rain by Mary Austin, who published it in 1903 and whose house in Independence still stands. I had long dreamed of staying in Independence and reading this book (and other Sierra books, by John Muir, etc.), and now I have! Reading about areas visited, before, during or after visiting, so-o-o enriches travel experiences.

For dinner we looked at Dugan's (interior surprisingly sparse and more modest than the exterior), Still Life Cafe (white tablecloths, stem wine glasses), and ate at Jenny's Cafe and enjoyed the local all-American color and flavor.

On Saturday we drove 30 min to the Onion Valley Campground and trailhead, then hiked the ~5 miles in 2 h 55 min, past several gorgeous lakes, to Kearsarge Pass (~11.823 ft). From there the view into Kings Canyon Nat'l Park is heavenly: green valley, six lakes, and the promise of more valleys, canyons, streams, and lakes. They film western movies out there! In 11 h 20 min and 18.5 miles of hiking that day, we saw 3 rabbits, 1 hare, 9 deer, 1 marmot, 1 woodpecker, and many golden mantle squirrels.

The Eastern Sierra Museum and Manzanar are both rich in info about the history of the area.

I would stay here again before or after hikes or backpack trips into the Sierra.

Room Tip: I'm glad I asked for a room away from the main road, to avoid traffic noise--even though the roo...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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92 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    68
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    4
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    3
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17
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
England
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

We stayed for one night and was extremely impressed by Ray's Den. The room was absolutely spotless with a stack of immaculate towels in the excellent bathroom. The two beds were very comfortable with crisp, like new, bedding. My only observation was the external air con unit was attached, I believe, to the wooden building which made it a tad too noisy. Some light sleepers could find it intrusive, but as we come from England were air con is not needed, it takes time to adjust to the constant hum of the device.
Lynda was very friendly and welcoming which made our stay all the better.
One of the previous posters said "why stay in Independence" which suprised me as we found it a quaint little town that was obviously very proud of it's imacculate surrounds. We had a brilliant burger at Dugans which was a couple of small blocks away. All in all for the money, outstanding.

Room Tip: Try Dugans for a beer and a burger
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Sacramento
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012

Stayed here on the way to Death Valley for the night.

The rooms were clean and comfy. I stayed there in July and the air conditioning works great there was free wifi. Kinda of expensive for the night at $84 but for the area i understand it. I would stay there again if i pass through.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Death Valley, CA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2012

This charming motel is clean as a whistle and as cozy as it can be! No matter the season, or the reason you might find yourself in Independence, you will sleep like a baby and wake up ready to take on the day. Always the perfect place to relax and unwind when road weary. Great fishing nearby and the Eastern Sierra Museum has GREAT exhibits. Both the owner, Linda, and the place itself are gems.

Room Tip: Not a bad room in the place!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 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.
Northern California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2012

We stopped here en route to Death Valley. Very modern inside even though it has the quiet charm on the outside of a 1950's Route 66 motel. Rooms had very comfortable beds, a clean and modern shower, fridge, and TV not to mention the comfy adirondack-type chairs outside each room where you can sit in the eveing and watch the sun go down. The owner, Linda, was very low-key, kind, and accommodating. They have lots of books in the office regarding the surrounding sights - books on the Eastern Sierra Museum, Death Valley, and Mt. Whitney.

We will definitely stay here again on our way through the Eastern Sierra!

  • Stayed April 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Pedro
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2012

Went up to help out at the Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery Interpretive Center and pick lilacs, meet old friends and enjoy the OV. Great stay at Ray's!!!!!! Always perfect.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Saillon, Switzerland
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2011

We stay 1 night at the Ray's Den Motel during our trip between Yosemite and Death Valley. The owners were very nice! They help us for printing a document and they give us very good tips for visiting Death Valley and were to go to eat in Independence (they give us coupons). The motel is close to main street but it isn't noisy. The room was big enough, very clean with an efficient fridge (important during hot summer).

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ray's Den Motel

Address: 405 North Edwards, Independence, CA 93526
Location: United States > California > Independence
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Independence
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
Ray`s Den Hotel Independence
Rays Den Hotel

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