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“Just like ma's house”

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Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 8, 2013

This place opened the doors to my fire crew. Every breakfast and dinner was a meal to remember. I never been so full in my life haha. The ranch was well kept and had lovely dogs to greet us every time we arrived. This place had hard to find hospitality. Don't tell my mom but the food might be able to compete with her cooking. The room review is a four due to the fact we Didn't Lodge there. Phil Hernandez

  • Stayed: October 2013
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1  Thank Kyrouge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
randomaxeoflove, Owner at Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2014

What do ya mean?! This IS ma's house! Now get back home at git them chores done son! Kidding aside, your fire crew was an honor to serve. Please be safe, and we hope to see you again under less demanding circumstances.

Doug and Heidi

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75 - 81 of 151 reviews

Reviewed August 25, 2013

There seems little point repeating other reviews - they are all accurate. I would mention the riding - it is an equaliser to ride western style because our English style riding, in fact, was no advantage, at least in the arena. But what fun!

The days are full, riding and shooting in the morning, the river or fishing in the afternoon. I would mention the hike to the waterfall which is both challenging and rewarding. Despite the difficulty it is a highlight and worth doing.

The ranch itself has a pool (which we didn't have time to use), zip wire, and games room. Also some toys for very small children. We were fully entertained when we had free time, which wasn't often.

The food is to die for, very American but with a flavour of Danish courtesy of Heidi. Thank you, everything was delicious!

The cabins are comfortable and quiet (bliss for us). At first we wondered why the was no TV - we soon found out - there is no time and we didn't miss it either. Neither did we miss the mobile network (there are phone facilities though) and the limited wifi. We simply had no time and, more importantly, no wish to communicate with the outside world.

It's worth mentioning the river rafting which is available every afternoon, either in a kayak or a bigger boat (where you paddle or are simply a passenger). This is a true experience. My husband and daughter were naturals, I had a go and had the experience of being dumped out. Here's the important thing though, we'd been given instructions, which I followed to the letter and I was fished out of the water by one of the other boats. So no problem. The message is safety in all activities; all you have to do is follow instructions and you'll come to no harm whatever happens.

The highlight for us was meeting the other guests and the family. You get close, you look after one another. Maybe friends for life, at least I hope so. The family are AMAZING. Lovely people, from Doug and Heidi, to Jason and Adam who did the shooting and rafting, then Chelsea, Cierra, and Rachel. I am still trying to work out how they provide such a complete timetable of stuff, plus look after themselves and their own families. Of course, not forgetting Zac and Ken (Animal). Anyway - my recommendation on karaoke night is to get Cierra to sing - I still have tears in my eyes when I think of "I Dream A Dream". I defy anyone not to be moved by this. Sorry - a second recommendation is to try Adam's honey.

I didn't mean to write an essay, but there is so much to recommend this ranch. It is absolutely worth the travel.

Room Tip: We also stayed at Sleepy Hollow,which was blissfully quiet and spacious. The views are fabulous. T...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Meercat_chipmunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
randomaxeoflove, Owner at Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2013

Hello Meercat_chipmunk! I hope your return home was pleasant and uneventful! Thank you for all of your kind comments. As for the repeating of past comments - you just may show enough aptitude to be sponsored into the Somes Bar department of redundancy located in Somes Bar. As you may know, this was the precursor to the Somes Bar Liar's Club...of which you we regularly sampled from during your week stay. I hope you enjoyed the american humor as well as the food. A final comment about the T.V. We actually have many parents and grandparents who more eagerly book with us upon finding out that we offer a "disconnect" from the modern technological trappings. I hope you enjoyed your brief time away from the screen as well. The WiFi in the lodge seems to be adequate for our guests as they enjoy their time in a remote wilderness setting.

Thanks for visitng us and for your efforts to join us from the distant point of England. We hope you can return soon. Doug and Heidi

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Reviewed August 19, 2013

It's true what other reviewers have said, it is difficult to know where to start. We only arrived home yesterday, after a crazy long journey down the 101, but I feel compelled to write about this experience. I am quite overwhelmed by how it made me feel, almost wanting to buy a horse and give up the whole city living and escape to somewhere as beautiful. To say that it caters for the whole family I think is the key. The day is packed full of activities from riding-trails and arena time where real skills can be learned, shooting and white water rafting down the beautiful Klamath River (we saw two bears on one afternoon- the wildlife to be seen there is amazing!). Children of all ages can have an amazing time here-we took a 9 year old boy, 2 girls of 5 yrs and 7 months. We were very grateful to have a slightly bigger cabin with a bath tub to bathe our very little one and the Cole family could not have been more accommodating and welcoming to our whole family, those participating in the activities and those not.
For me the riding was my focus. I knew I liked riding, and have done bits and pieces since I was a child, but this experience made me want to seek out a whole lot more. The horses are amazing, extremely well-trained, characterful and clearly very well looked after. At one point in the week a special advanced, longer ride was organized and I was privileged to be on that ride. It was one of those moments I will never forget-outstanding scenery, a confidence on the horse that I had never quite felt before, due to the excellent training in the arena. The trails really are wonderful, my son and I were both bold over on our last ride, and Doug is always developing new ones in the area.
The whole emphasis on the family, participating in activities together, downtime round the camp fire together, crazy karaoke renditions of 'Tomorrow' and others, and those delicious home-cooked meals was something we really appreciated as a family. That's what we needed, that's what we got, and I can't imagine getting exactly what we were after anywhere else. In fact I won't be looking-this is it for us-we will be back no doubt. Knowing that despite the large gaps between our children, there will be something for each of them for years to come. We will be back! Thank you so much Doug and Heidi and the whole family and team, amazing!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Harriet F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
randomaxeoflove, Owner at Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2013

Hello Harriet! I hope you and your family are well and that you continue to enjoy your memories of your stay with us. I appreciate your points about facilitating a whole family adventure. This is in fact a piece of our business model: to enable generational bonding through shared adventures.

I too enjoyed the advanced ride, although my 59 year-old body reminds me of the ride a while longer after the horses are returned and the tack is put-away. But - for now, we keep riding!

Chelsea and the other wranglers find great satisfaction in seeing the progression of our guests riding skills as the arena time progresses. I am glad that you recognized their efforts in this point.

You had mentioned a possible return for Thanksgiving. My parents will be joining us, and we have several other returning guests who make this an annual event. If it fits your schedule, you might consider the return. You can also check on the progress of our new arena cover if you join us then.

Our best to you and your family. Doug and Heidi

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Reviewed August 5, 2013

Can't say enough about our 5 days at the ranch. So fun. So filled with new experiences and firsts for our family. So filled with laughter and joy and great food and wonderful hosts and their family. As a family, we had extremely limited experience with horses, zero experience with shooting/archery, and pretty limited experience in white water rafting and kayaking. But it was all amazing.

The whole Cole extended family was completely focused on making our trip memorable, safe, delicious, and fun. The safety part is not to be understated. They took great care in not just providing an experience, but in actually teaching us so many things we didn't know. The arena riding program is all about sharpening skills and confidence, and Chelsea, Rachel, and Chloe were so patient in teaching and challenging us every day. The trail rides were similar--we worked our way up from reasonably "easy" rides early in the week to more technical and challenging rides later in the week. And the shooting range (which includes guns, archery, tomahawks) was all about safety first. My two sons (age 9 and 12) were very responsive and responsible to Jason and Adam's instructions and teaching. They were great teachers who focused on creating a great experience for the whole family.

Don't get me wrong--this is an adventure, very physical, exhausting, and your days are full from dawn to dusk. But they take great care in not letting you do anything you're not ready to do or that you can't do safely, whether it's riding, or shooting, or kayaking. So they customize things by age and ability, and make sure everyone has an adventure appropriate for their skill level and experience.

The rafting and kayaking were great too. The Klamath River is beautiful, with lots of different sections winding through the mountains. I think we hit up to Class 3 rapids, and it was super fun. Doug is a very experienced guide on the river (45 years), and he was great with my kids. On one occasion, we were going through a rough-and-fun rapid with my kids paddling in the front. Doug was shouting out commands ("forward one!") and the kids were dutifully responding. Doug expertly steered us through the rapids, and at one point it sort of looked like we were getting too close to one of the rocks. Doug's shouting commands to the boys and they're paddling for all they're worth, and at the last moment with a flick of his oar, Doug steers us away from the rock and on down the river, knowing all along that we were not going to hit that rock. Then he gave all the credit to the boys and their paddling skills. How great is that?

The food. Well, you probably noticed that all the reviews mention how great the food is. It's no exaggeration. The food is lovingly prepared and delicious. Great home-cooked meals 3 times per day, with a snack or two in between. Fear not--you'll need all those calories because of all the activity. So eat up. The ranch is all-inclusive, which is a nice touch. There's beer and wine at dinner, but it's not really that kind of place. In fact, after a long day, 1 or 2 beers and you'll be ready for bed.

The accommodations are a little spartan, in the sense that you don't get turn-down service and new towels every day. The cabins are basic but very comfortable. So if you are expecting something more extravagant, just be ready for simple living. And you won't really care; you'll be so worn out at the end of the day that you'll fall asleep easily.

The ranch is seriously off the grid. No cell service (blissful), and all power and water generated on site. I really appreciate their approach to power and water management and conservation. They are living right, very minimal waste (even of food--used to feed the animals). Eat all you want, but make sure not to waste. Turn off your lights. Take short showers. The way the ranch functions is a good lesson for us all.

There is so much to do, and so many wonderful people to do it with, that this has really been my favorite vacation we've taken as a family in a long time. We've done the all-inclusive thing in Cancun, and that's fun and relaxing in its own way. We're from the east coast and used to go to the Outer Banks, also fun and can be relaxing. But my kids are two active boys who need a little more adventure, and this was really perfect. Seeing my guys confidently shoot skeet with shotguns--safely and under great supervision by me (not an expert) and Jason and Adam (both experts)--was fabulous. Their confidence grew every day of riding, or rafting, or shooting that went by.

Room Tip: We had the cabin called "Sleepy Hollow" which is a little larger and made for families. I...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Edward B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
randomaxeoflove, Owner at Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2013

Hello Edward! What wonderful comments you have shared! Thank you for your thoughts.

You have touched on a key point of our week that I would like to elaborate: the progression through the week to more challenging events. We walk a fine line at the ranch, in offering participatory events that are safe, yet exciting. I think the key for us is in the training and risk management. By getting riding instruction in the arena, whitewater instruction daily, and progressive shooting events, we can grow the challenge level as the week progresses. You have done a great job of highlighting this for our readers, and thank you for your thoughts.

We hope you can return soon, Doug and Heidi

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Reviewed July 30, 2013

“Cowgirl is an attitude really. A pioneer spirit, a special American brand of courage. The cowgirl faces life head-on, lives by her own lights, and makes no excuses. Cowgirls take stands; they speak up. They defend things they hold dear.” – Dale Evans

It was decided. We were going on a dude ranch this summer.

Cowboy hats and boots. Jeans and checkered shirts.

My daughters were going to be cowgirls in the wild west.

Vacation booked, I could already feel the pull of the pioneer spirit. Vibrant. Brave. Deeply connecting.

Destination, Marble Mountain Ranch. A 60-acre working ranch located in Northern California on the Klamath river, just down the road from the tiny town of Somes Bar. Owned and managed by the Cole family, it’s an oasis of good old-fashioned farm family values and life.

Homemade family style meals prepared with love, rich in comfort and extremely satisfying after our extended days of activity. Comfortable cabins with air conditioning to ease the heat of the day. Comfy beds we fell into each night; sleeping the deepest of sleeps while dreaming of horses. Meandering trail rides through the stunning river valley with towering mountain backdrops. Mastering the art of riding in the arena; horsemanship school for us city folks. White water rafting over class II and III rapids intertwined with lingering stretches of smooth river water; perfect for floating. And finally, shooting, archery, and tomahawk throwing; a new frontier for us.

A week off the grid. No work. No electronics. Time to reconnect with family, share in a community experience, and master the outdoors.

You can read all the trip details at http://beyfamily.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/cowgirl-adventures-and-other-stories/

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank mmaxbey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
randomaxeoflove, Owner at Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2014

Wow! Wish I could write like that MMaxbey! What a pleasure your family was to spend a week with. I love the picture of your daughter on the hay bales - CLASSIC! So - please return soon, bring that camera, and let's show you all that's new at Marble Mountain Ranch in 2014! Best to you and your family, Doug and Heidi.

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Reviewed July 29, 2013

Where do I start?? From the minute we arrived to the minute we left we had the best time on Marble Mountain Ranch. We wanted to experience something different whilst holidaying on the West Coast of the US, we got that and much more. Doug and Heidi are so welcoming and make sure that everything is taken care of. The cabins were clean and the beds so comfortable after a day of horse riding, shooting and white water rafting. The food is cooked by Heidi and the Ranch family every meal was delicious, there was always more than enough and we left full ready for our next adventure. The ranch runs a fantastic program of three activities in the morning and white water rafting/kayaking in the afternoon. We did trail rides everyday in the some of the most beautiful countryside, on horses that were matched to complement our ability as a rider. Apache, Charlie an ThunderBuns we miss you.. The night activities were great fun - games room, chatting around the campfire (even though it was 100F!), Karoke and 4th July celebrations. A lot of firsts for us - shooting shotguns etc, archery, eating cinnamon buns and of course s'mores (now I am addicted to them). Just a tip it is requirement from all the dogs on the ranch to give them a belly scratch every time you walk past them, especially after breakfast, loved the dogs.

I know it may not look like it however I am finding it very hard to put into words how amazing this experience was and the memories it holds, we met some of the most amazing families who we consider our friends. It ticked every box, and to tell you the truth we have never experienced anything like it. Thank you to Doug, Heidi, Adam, Chelsea, Cierra, Jason, Chloe, Kate, Rachel and baby Zac for giving us truly a great family holiday. We miss you all, thank you again for everything, we will definitely return sometime soon. The Roffey's (Aussie GoPro)

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Ree R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
randomaxeoflove, Owner at Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded July 31, 2013

So, I recall your comments about our home-made cinnamon buns served at one of our morning "bakery brunches"....do they not have these in Australia? I am so shocked! But, I hope we were able to introduce a large range of authentic western cuisine to you and your family.

I think I mentioned this to you during your stay, but: Why is it that the Aussies plan for our Fourth of July more thoroughly than our native citizen guests? You are Awsome! And...we have yet to meet an Aussie family that we did not immediately love. I hope you can make it back for a visit.

As an aside, You inspired my 59th birthday gift suggestions...so know we are "go-pro" camera experts too. I am getting a bit more creative on the camera placement options however!

Our best to you and your family...Doug and Heidi

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Reviewed July 22, 2013

The entire Cole family are a true joy to be around! My daughter and I could not have felt more welcome at their ranch. The kindness, good humor, and genuine care and concern for their guests is evident in everything the Cole family does. The grounds are beautiful, full of fruit trees and gardens with all of the perfect amenities for children as well as adults. The food they serve is all homemade, baked by Heidi and her family and tastes so good you dream about the sounds of dinner bells. Our experience at Marble Mountain Ranch was beyond anything we could have expected. My daughter began and ended our stay saying she wanted to live there forever...I too look forward to our next visit in this magical place that feels like home.

Room Tip: All of the cabins are neat and tidy and the grounds around them well maintained. If you like a litt...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Carrie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
randomaxeoflove, Owner at Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded July 31, 2013

Hi Carrie L,

Thank you for your great review! You can tell your daughter that she may in fact have a second home...since our kids are grown and we are needing to replenish the labor pool. So...she should bring muck boots, gloves of all types, band-aids, and lots of work clothes! Just kidding....but you the two of you will of course be welcome back as soon as you can arrange it. Our best to you and your daughter.

Doug and Heidi

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Additional Information about Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch

Address: 92520 State Highway 96, Somes Bar, CA 95568-9713
Location: United States > California > Somes Bar
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Somes Bar
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
California family dude ranch / guest ranch - the Western riding holiday with a signature raft & ride family vacation. California's best family quest ranch mixes daily horse riding, rafting, shooting sports and fly fishing. All inclusive packages cover lodging, meals, taxes, riding, rafting, fishing, sporting clays and more. Our cuisine and activity offerings are one-of-a kind and our hospitality is legend. Local resources to visit en-route to Marble Mountain Ranch include the Napa Valley Vineyards, Mount Shasta, Redwood National Forest, Crater Lake National Park, Ashland Shakespearian Festival, Burney Falls, and Mount Lassen. Join us for California's only saddle/paddle family vacation and visit the undiscovered Northern California and Southern Oregon attractions. ... more   less 
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Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch Hotel Somes Bar

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