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“Roughin' it at the Niobrara River Ranch”
Review of Niobrara River

Niobrara River
Ranked #93 of 458 things to do in Nebraska
Attraction details
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Roughin' it at the Niobrara River Ranch”
Reviewed July 31, 2011

My husband, myself, and two other couples spent 3 days camping in tents at the Niobrara River Ranch. I read the other reviews and decided I would still check it out on my own and l don't regret it at all! Lee is definitely rough around the edges but if you do your job as a respectful camper- Lee does his job as owner/host. #1- Follow the rules...if you're supposed to be at "pick up" at 9:30 AM...BE THERE. Don't show up 10 minutes late and then be ticked off that you have to wait an hour for a tubing shuttle. If he tells you to get out at Conner's Landing...GET OUT! #2 The lady that runs the concession is SUPER sweet if you're nice to her...try treating her w/ a little respect before you scream at her for an honest mistake.
TIPS: Be nice to his dog Jessie (she's a sweetheart); don't whine about the bugs...YOU'RE CAMPING NEXT TO A RIVER! If you can't stand the bugs you need to leave the midwest. Bring your quarters if you plan to shower 50c/minute...if you don't like it don't shower. If you can't go a whole weekend w/out showering then you shouldn't be camping.

Visited July 2011
1 Thank KayeGriff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 reviews from our community

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English first
Omaha, Nebraska
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Facts and Niobrara River Ranch”
Reviewed July 18, 2011

Ok people here is the hard facts about the Niobrara river ranch.

The cabins are old and kind of dirty. They havent really been upkept the greatest b/c they are strictly rentals. Yes the carpets are stained up and the window a/c unit looks like its about to fall apart, and there are plenty bugs, but it is a cabin out in the middle of nowhere people. I have never had plumbing problems, the Cable TV has always worked fine, and I never tried to use the vaccum b/c honestly a vaccum ist going to help that carpet situation (however it woudnt surprise me to see any of these issues) If you are expecting something facy, or even "nice" then stay somewhere else. However if you have stayed in the area then you know there isnt a whole lot of options if you want indoor plumbing and want to stay really close to the river. There ARE other options if you are willing to stay a little further away and they are much nicer. This is what I would suggest if you are expecting a hotel type atmosphere. On a side note if you are going to camp, which we have done several time, I wouldnt suggest Sharps campgrounds unless you really like roughing it. It makes the Cabins at Niobrara River Ranch will seem like the hilton. Sharps is a dump, and the old lady working the trailor for tubing and supplies is the most hilarious thing you will ever see. She sits in her muu muu on the couch all day and once actually asked one of us to answer the phone when it rang while we were signing in for camping a few years back. Our group has nicknamed her "Pretty Early" (long story behind it) and every year we make sure to pull our tubes aside at the campground to make sure she is still around and reminisce and laugh about all the ridiculous things that she had said and done the 3 years we camped there.

The Management:
What people have said about Lee is true. He is a hot head. And he is the type of guy that says "its my way or the hi-way" and "if you dont like it then too f-in bad". I have definitely had my battles with Lee, however if you know how to handle him you can get what you want with in reason I completely understand why people would never stay here b/c of him, he posses the worst customer service skills of any one i have ever met. But again I have learned that if you present things to him at the right time and in the right way he will be resonable. (again as a customer you shouldnt have to do this, but for me its not that big of a deal, I actually enjoy getting what I want from people who are a challenge to deal with) During last years trip we had some issues with the Tubing portion of our trip. I talked to Lee about it and he not only gave us a discount, he actually gave a discount on this years cabin rental!

With all that said the views are beautiful. Its a really nice part of Nebraska. We always have an awesome time on the river all day and then campfire all night. If you arent scared away by what I stated above then go ahead and stay, Just be aware and prepared and dont be shocked.

Visited August 2010
6 Thank thefactsonly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loveland, Colorado
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great place to get away!!”
Reviewed June 11, 2011

I have stayed with family and friends at the Niobrara River Ranch several times. It is beautifull and I would recommend this place to anyone from two people to 50. We have alot of fun and always make good memories.

Visited August 2010
2 Thank NancyG073
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, Nebraska
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Niobrara River Ranch is rip off”
Reviewed May 22, 2011

The advertising says it has "All the conveniences of home". That's only true if your home is a pigsty. The cabin we stayed in had a beautiful view (that's the only good part). It was covered in dead bugs and some type of feces (probably mouse). When I tried to vacuum I found the vacuum was packed with a moldy cake of dead bugs and was completely unusable even after I cleaned it out. The dishwasher was moldy with standing water and didn't work. The kitchen sink plumbing leaked into a bowl beneath it and the bathroom sink poured water all over the countertop every time it was turned on. I had to sweep the bugs off of my kid's beds before they could sleep and most of the pillow cases were stained and gross. It was one of the most uncomfortable nights my wife has ever spent. I've had worse but only in the military. If I had brought our sleeping bags I would have slept on the porch. One of the reasons we went was that my 8 year old son loves to fish and the website says: "We have 5 private fishing ponds in the growth stage easily accessible from either the campgrounds or cabins!" and "You are free to fish from dawn 'til dusk. We grow them huge! Make sure your cooler is long enough!" This is a total lie. After walking the hills near the cabin and finding no ponds I did a google earth search of the property and couldn't find a pond anywhere near the property. The owner later told me that they were inaccessible due to the rain. The website also boasts woodburning stoves. Unfortunately you will have to bring your own firewood, kindling and matches. Who knew? The TV worked but had 113 channels of snow. When we finally got ahold of Lee and politely showed him the state of his cabin he showed us another bigger cabin that had just been cleaned. It was less filthy but definitely not "clean" and he suggested that we move to that cabin and pay him an additional $100 on top of the $300 deposit we had already paid him for a total of 3 nights. When I told him I that I wasn't willing to accept those terms he flew off the handle. He told me he didn't care what I did. He said: "I'll just keep your check and if you don't like it sue me!" We packed up and left because staying in that cabin for any price was still a rip off . We stayed at the Niobrara lodge (which was nice) for 90 bucks a night. I hope you read this review before it's too late.

Visited May 2011
45 Thank sweldon487
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fremont, NE
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Niobrara River Ranch”
Reviewed August 1, 2010

We stayed at the Niobrara River Ranch this weekend and floated down the Niobrara. The "cabins" are GORGEOUS! They are all made of logs from the Niobrara River area and have full kitchens with everything you need. There is even a private burn pit at each cabin with all of your wood cut for you- for free. My children have traveled to many beautiful hotels and condos throughout the world, and they were in awe. The view is amazing too. The owner, Lee, was very friendly and helpful.

Book early though- we had trouble finding an open date since there are a limited number of cabins.

8 Thank hitd01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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