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“Heaven is in the Arizona High Country”
Review of Cherry Creek Lodge

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Cherry Creek Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Young
Reviewed March 13, 2013

Right up front, you should know that we are locals. However, we are in no way affiliated with the Cherry Creek Lodge and I can promise you an unbiased review. The Cherry Creek Lodge lies about 9 miles to our south in a very remote and secluded part of Arizona. The reviewers who warn you about washboard roads aren't kidding, and 4-wheel drive is recommended, if not required, as Cherry Creek is known to flood at times due to snow melt and monsoon activity, and you cross the creekbed several times on FSR 54A. During dry weather, regular vehicles can get you there just fine (I've driven it in my Mini Cooper several times), and the spectacular scenery along the way makes up for the slow, bumpy drive.

We have been to Cherry Creek Lodge for horseback riding, and book family and friends there when our home is full of visitors and we run out of bedrooms. We have also stayed there overnight, and it is a wonderful experience. Holly & Rick are warm, friendly and accomodating hosts who make you feel right at home. The food is delicious, and Holly makes an apple dumpling that is to die for! The Lodge itself is clean, cozy and high class. You might think you took a wrong turn and ended up in Aspen when you walk through the door and see the inside of the Lodge! Some rooms have their own baths, and some share a bath, but all are worth a stay.

Activiities abound for both kids and adults. Horseback riding, fishing, paddle boats, feeding the goats and the chickens, reading, visiting, hiking, photography . . the list goes on. They boast an archery & target range, but we have used neither. Also, be sure to check their website as they have Special Events such as wine pairings, Scoot & Shoot, music festivals, etc, from time to time.

Gotta say, Cherry Creek Lodge is a rare find, and we feel VERY blessed to have it so nearby!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Jaci&Kevin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 17, 2012

I’m only here to acknowledge the 5 star reviews are 100% true!

Just a side note, I do want to point out that either way into Young has a good stretch of dirt washboard roads, which rattles the bones a bit…but as long as you take it kind of slow it’s not all that bad. There are also some washes that were partially dried out with some deep puddles; I wanted to mention this just in case you have a vehicle with a low clearance.

My husband and I stayed Thanksgiving weekend, and are only complaint is that we couldn’t have stayed longer! When we arrived, we were greeted right away and we were shown around some of the property and introduced to most of the “family”.

We stayed in the Owner’s Hideaway, definitely a jaw dropping room in my opinion. It had its own fireplace, a huge bathroom and tub, a large TV and the most comfortable bed we’ve slept on aside from our own! So many little details to the room make it so cozy and welcome. We peeked at the other rooms in the lodge, all just as beautiful as the next. The décor is very suiting, even with a full working jukebox in the family room! A large TV and melt into leather couches with several fireplaces going, absolutely romantic!

The food was phenomenal! It didn’t matter if Holly was cooking or Heather, both know how to work that kitchen! We never had room for lunch because breakfast filled you up for quite a while, and if we needed a little something, there were snacks and drinks available on the counter, we just had to remember to save room for dinner! The steak dinner was unbelievable, coming from a couple of city slickers that go to the local Outback for steaks; they couldn’t hold a candle to what you get here! I’ll have to stop here about the food because I’m just salivating as I’m reliving those wonderful meals!

We enjoyed the horseback riding, fishing, hiking and our favorite…the shooting! Caleb was our great guide for the horseback riding; he’s laid back and tells you stories and some history of the ranch. The horses are not your typical trail ride horses in the city; they will listen to your commands and walk of trail if you really wanted to. They take great care of their animals there, even the goats that are just as loving as all their dogs were!

Rick was a gun instructor; he took great time on showing us how to handle the guns and reminding us to have fun in the process. My husband and I never shot a gun before, so we were thankful that Rick was such an expert and so fun to have around to take the stress off!

Although we had no luck catching fish (and I just can’t use live bait or let my husband for that matter lol) there were other families catching one right after another, even in the cold weather we had. The weather in the morning had frost, but the afternoon you didn’t even need a jacket. But when the sun set, you felt the temperature drop drastically! But that’s okay; you head inside and warm up right away in front of the fire!

You can move freely about the lodge at any time, they have drinks and treats out 24/7…most of them stay up later than we did so if you’re a night owl you’ll have plenty of company! You really do feel like you’re staying with relatives (without the headaches lol), and its nothing like staying in a hotel or somewhere that your treated only like a customer. Take a moment to talk with them and you will realize that these people are genuine and down to earth; you’ll miss out if you don’t find out that yourself.

This place has moved to #1 on the best places we’ve stayed, and we’re looking forward to coming back as soon as possible!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank CampAdvisor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2012

This is by far the most unique place we have stayed in AZ. We live in Scottsdale/PHX and had a great experience with this hidden gem. Holly and Rick were simply the best hosts. Very gracious and welcoming. They indeed make you feel like family. Worth the drive. Come casual and plan to ride horses, fish, paddleboat or simply unwind.

Room Tip: Strongly recommend the 'Owners Hideaway' which has a beautiful soaking tub. Super comfy bed!
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 4Lyss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2012

I have been to Cherry Creek 3 times now, and it gets better each time I go! This is a perfect get- away from the grind of the city, and although it is truly "off the grid," it is just a couple hour drive from Phoenix.

What I appreciate most about the lodge is that the staff here is absolutely phenomenal. They have a mantra of making you feel like part of the "lodge family" when you are there, and they live up to this. Holly is a sweetheart and is always smiling and baking up something tasty (blueberry fresh toast, anyone?). Heather is also an amazing cook and whips up something fantastic at every meal. Between these two, you will NOT be left with a growling stomach.

The view is spectacular and the lodge has a rustic, cozy feel. Whether you are looking to satisfy your itch for a true western adventure with a cattle drive up the mountainside or you are just looking for open air with a night sky canvased with stars (you have never seen stars until you see them out here, by the way), this lodge has it.

I always love my time up here and can't wait to come back!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank FreightTrain007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2012

General: My name is Bray M. I live in Phoenix Arizona. I found this gem oh, about a year ago, and I cant get enough. I have a high stress job and this is the perfect getaway for me to just escape.The views and landscaping are something out of an Ansel Adams photo. The lodge is rustic but they spared no expense to make it top notch. If you are looking to getaway and relax, this is it.

Service: Five star. Holly is the sweetest woman with the biggest heart and bends over backwards to make you feel at home and to make sure your being taken care of. The same can be said for Pistol Pete, Heather, Caleb, Rick, Slim Jim and Rodrigo. They all have their unique way of making you feel special and welcome.

Food: Good down home cooking!! The steaks are juicy the mashed potatoes are gourmet and the cowboy beans- Chef Bobby Flay couldn't touch! At breakfast, you have got to experience the cowboy hash!!

Activities: The cattle drive experience is a bucket list item that has to be checked off. If you are looking for something a little more tame, i would recommend the 4 hour horse back ride. That way, you get to see a little bit more of the HUGE RANCH. Bossford ridge is amazing ride if you want an adventure. Shooting- they have an AR-15 that is a blast to shoot and some cowboy guns to play with. My favorite is eating dinner with everyone around the fire and just catching up on everyone's days.

Room Tip: Take the lakeview, upstairs and owners hideaway are the best rooms. If your looking for more rustic...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank outdoorsman4040
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

First let me start out by saying that this lodge is located in a beautiful location. The lodge is absolutely stunning as well. However, this is where the praise ends. The food is hit or miss depending on which of the caretakers cooks your meals. They have snacks to enjoy, however the fruit was actually overripe to the point of rotten during our stay. The shooting range costs and is a joke. They have no formal targets to shoot at and use makeshift clay pigeons hanging or sitting on rocks for target practice. They don't even have shooting stands to shoot from. The skeet range was acceptable but the shooting box was in disrepair and was severely weathered. The little pond they have on the property is great and is perfect for fishing. They have a paddle boat and a jon boat sadly both in need of maintenance. Paddle boat takes on water and the jon boat only had one oar. If you go, stay in the main large as the rooms by the barn are dusty and smell like a barn. Heather and Caleb were really nice and are very genuine. Hopefully Heather is your cook as she really puts in the effort and really tries to please.

The bottom line here is that this place has great potential. However, there is complete oversight on the little things that can really create a great guest experience. We travelled here using a Living Social and that was a blessing as paying full price would have really been a disappointment. In all I would recommend going here once and checking it out for yourself. I am hoping my comments will be addressed as I really would like this place to succeed as it really does have great potential. With a little attention to detail, this place could be improved 10 fold at minimal costs to the owner.

Room Tip: Stay in the main lodge.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank ITravel_LongTime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Words are inadequate to describe just how lovely this place is, but I'm going to give it a shot. The lodge is a beautiful balance of spacious and cozy, and fits in perfectly with the surroundings. The deck is HUGE and looks out over the working ranch, lake, and mountains. But what makes this place extraordinary is Holly, Rick, Heather and Caleb. From the moment we walked in, it felt as if we were family. Excellent meals, inviting hosts, and beautiful surroundings made for a perfect weekend. Whether you want to go for some adventure (horseback riding with Caleb was awesome!) or just hang out on the deck, CCL is the perfect spot.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank ShadowBunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Cherry Creek Lodge

Address: Forest Service Road 54A, Tilting H Ranch, Young, AZ 85554
Location: United States > Arizona > Young
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Young
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Cherry Creek Lodge (Arizona Guest Ranch)/dude ranch) is part of the Tilting H Ranch -- a working 40,000 acre cattle ranch, set in the heart of the Tonto National Forest along the Mogollon Rim in Arizona. Featured on Arizona Highways TV and on the cover of Arizona Highways Magazine, and listed as the #1 romantic getaway in Sonoran Living. A study in rustic elegance, providing all the modern comforts, while staying true to its working cattle ranch history. Enjoy the accommodations at the lodge - the spacious great hall with its fireplace and leather couches, the supremely comfortable bedrooms, the deck overlooking the lake and the patio with its fire pit. The lodge is the perfect place for a corporate retreat, or a small wedding. Of course, it is also the perfect place to just relax when not out on a cattle drive or on the trail on our well-trained, responsive horses, or taking advantage of the many activities around the ranch, including the roping arena, rifle range, 3-D archery course, sporting clay course, four-wheeling, fishing, hiking and more. It is also rich in old west history and culture - the site of one of the gunfights of the infamous "Pleasant Valley War". (A reenactment of the gunfight was aired on Arizona Highways TV). The war is one the most famous of the range wars in the American West, the subject of a number of nonfiction books, as well as the source of a number novels (including one by Zane Grey) and movie plots. ... more   less 

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