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Reviewed October 23, 2017 via mobile

Buck, Joni, Aubrey, Mike, Aunt Sue, Dax, Tank and Hank! You guys were amazing! Outstanding, clean, comfortable quarters and boats. Food was better than A+. Didn’t have to worry about anything during our stay. The views, landscape, mountains, river, wildlife and adventure were second to none. I give them my highest recommendation!

Stayed: October 2017, traveled with friends
2  Thank willow6868
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2017

Joni and Buck are excellent hosts to their ranch. Suzie, Jason and Aubry and Ky were absolute pleasures and not a task they could not accomplish readily and cheerfully. The Jetboat ride is exciting with the realization of mother natures forces of water, absolutely spell binding. Buck Captins the Jetboat and wild water with the skill and judgement of a well seasoned Seaman. His "eagle eye" was quick to point out the natural inhabitants to the nearby mountains: Bighorn sheep with their tribe, grazing Elk with their herds, foraging Black Bear, Ospry diving for fish, Eagles with food for their nests --- it was like living the pages from a National Geographic Magazine. The cabins were comfortable and warm to the cool mornings. The thoughtfulness to the décor, storage, facilities of the cabin were great. The soft clean sheets were a welcome retreat at night, I slept like a baby. The western cabin-ness reminded me of my childhood vacations in the 1950's and 60's and was a welcome reminder of days gone by. The property was absolutely beautiful with all trees and flowers in full bloom, absolutely picturesque. I must mention Dax, six year old son of Buck and Joni. He is a living example for all those that believe the mountains, rivers, animals also have something to teach and guide individuals thru their life. Dax's life will be anything but conventional. He is a joy to be around as he learns the ways of his parents and sometines just right down entertaining. Jason and his crew put togeather wonderful meals, loved each one. The food was fresh, tasted like you would want it to taste and always had enough for seconds. Eating at the large table in the Lodge was totally enjoyable and gave me many memorable conversations to take with me for years to come. I would not change a thing about this vacation. It met all my expectations and more. It is worth your time and energy to visit this "piece of heaven" known as Mackey Bar Ranch.

Room Tip: Talk to Joni and Buck for the assortment of rooms, from a single room to a house is available.
  • Stayed: April 2017, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Valarie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MackayBarOutfitters, Owner at Mackay Bar Outfitters & Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2017

Thanks Valarie for your review! We absolutely loved having you guys all up there over Easter. So many Family memories!
Hope you come back to see us soon!
Joni

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2017 via mobile

This place is great. Buck & Joni will make your trip is perfect. 3 great meals every day, terrific fishing, hot showers, warm beds and no cell phones. Be sure to sit in the front seat on the boat to get the best view. This is paradise.

Stayed: March 2017, traveled on business
1  Thank Lee393
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MackayBarOutfitters, Owner at Mackay Bar Outfitters & Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2017

Thanks Lee! You guys are the best too . . Buck needs all the "teasing" you guys dish out! It is good for him . . see you at the Ranch this Fall!
Joni

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Reviewed April 12, 2017

Our family just got back from our family business corporate retreat in Mackay Bar with four children under 6 (including 4 month old twins), and eight adults. Most of the party rode in on the jet boat, and one person flew in on an airplane. The grass runway landing was better than 99% of commercial airliner landings I've had. Buck would say it’s because of his superior runway upkeep.

We stayed in the Mackay Bar Vacation Rental, Cougar and the Elkhorn cabins. I cannot say enough great things about our accommodations. The cabins were newly remodeled and immaculate.

The meals were excellent. The best French toast ever. The Tri-tip with Twice Baked Potatoes was my second favorite. Buck and Joni and staff were kind enough to hold the twins while their parents ate (you cannot imagine how nice that is).

I have personally been to many of Idaho's Backcountry ranches and this is one of my favorites. I love that you can jet boat, ATV, or fly into this very remote location. Our group has already discussed plans to return in the fall.

  • Stayed: April 2017, traveled on business
    • Service
3  Thank Cassie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MackayBarOutfitters, Owner at Mackay Bar Outfitters & Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2017

Thanks Cassie for your review! Buck and I had a lot of fun at the Ranch with you and your family . . so nice to spend time with all of you guys! Looking forward to an "annual" Trip!
We will be waving as you guys fly over the Ranch!
Talk soon,
Joni

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2017

When we first got engaged we quickly started looking into wedding venues. Being from California, we’d been to many winery weddings. Although fun and beautiful, we felt like we wanted to do something different and decided it would be fun to get hitched at a backcountry lodge.

We are really into rivers and had done a few trips in Idaho’s Frank Church Wilderness. We’d always loved the remoteness, beauty, and serenity of the Salmon River and had passed by a few ranches that looked like they’d be fun to visit with a big group. It wasn’t long before we connected with Joni at Mackay Bar, put down a deposit, and lined up a perfect date in September.

There are many reasons to do a wedding at Mackay Bar, but here are our top 10:

10. Turn Key Services: Planning a wedding is a lot of work – especially for a couple working full time. One of the benefits of a wedding at Mackay Bar is that Joni and team will take care of many of the details you (or your wedding planner) would be stuck with in a traditional wedding. It is not to say that there is no planning involved in a Mackay Bar wedding – you’ll need to deal with invitations, transportation logistics, ceremony, alcohol, band/DJ/photographer, and possibly some extra decorations. But, the Mackay Bar team takes care of the rest – all the onsite details that make the day so special.

9. The Food: The food at Mackay Bar is great. It is perfectly fitting for the remote wilderness setting – hearty, healthy, simple, and tasty. Joni and team will work with you on a menu a couple months before the event. They have many options available and can cater to special diets. One tip: rather than a wedding cake or cake balls, look into pies from a local bakery. We had several fresh fruit pies and they were absolutely amazing.

8. Jet Boat Ride: The jet boat ride up to Mackay Bar was super fun for everyone on the trip. Even our parents (aged 63-73) loved the exhilarating ride. Beyond the rush of powering through rapids upstream, the ride offers a great opportunity for viewing wildlife and scenery. It is a great way to start your Mackay Bar adventure.

7. Activities At The Ranch: There is so much to do at Mackay Bar – swimming, hiking, horseback riding, jet boat tours, hunting, fishing, etc. There is something for everyone. Simply relaxing by the beach with a cold beer should not be overlooked! Whatever you want to do, Joni, Buck, and the staff will make it happen.

6. Joni and Buck: Mackay Bar would not be what it is without Joni and Buck. They make you feel like family and a so helpful and accommodating in planning our wedding. When we got to Mackay Bar, they were constantly checking in to make sure everything was to our satisfaction. Their energy and commitment is exactly what you want when doing a remote destination wedding like Mackay Bar. You absolutely get your “money’s worth” with this operation. They want everything to be perfect for you and go above and beyond. They are a really kind and welcoming family!

5. Mackay Bar Staff: They are all super helpful, courteous, and friendly. They welcome you in a warm and genuine way – not just the minimum “I’m doing my job”, but the creative, above and beyond attention to detail. Whenever we needed help, they were instantly on it. One fun story: We wanted to get married under a huppah (traditional Jewish wedding canopy) and had planned on spending the morning of our wedding building it. We viewed the task as more a chore than any sort of ceremonial labor…when we told the Mackay Bar staff that we wanted to build a huppah, they immediately stepped up and started helping. We figured it would take a couple hours to gather materials and construct the canopy – they grabbed some lodge poles and had it built up in less than 20 minutes and it was certainly one of the coolest huppahs we or our guests had ever seen (even beat the expensive ones we had seen on pinterest!).

4. The Ranch: The Mackay Bar Ranch is a great facility. The main lodge rooms and cabins have been restored and are appointed with high quality nice linens (my wife really liked these) to balance the rustic character. Each room includes a bathroom and the staff cleans the cabins, rooms, and bathrooms daily. The grounds are very well kept and are perfect for outdoor dining. There is a nice beach for hanging out and playing whiffle ball, bocce ball, and other games. If you have the chance, stay in a wall tent! Joni and team set up a beautiful wall tent for us that was fit for Sunset Magazine!

3. The Salmon River: The Salmon River is what originally led us to Mackay Bar. There are great fishing opportunities and it is great for swimming on those hot summer days. It provided a perfect backdrop for the wedding as well as our pre-wedding photos.

2. The Benefits Of A Small Wedding: Although it is difficult to cull down a typical wedding invite list to a number that can be accommodated by Mackay Bar, the ultimate benefits of a small wilderness wedding were totally worth it for us. You will end up spending a lot more time with your guests. Think of it as going to summer camp with your best friends and family. We also found that a small wedding enabled our guests to connect with one another in a much more meaningful way than a typical large wedding. One thing that worked well for us, was to have a local party for the full 100+ person guest list. It was very casual, relatively easy to plan, and allowed us to celebrate with the full crowd who could not make it to Mackay Bar.

1. The Scenery: Having passed through the Main Salmon on previous river trips, the scenery of the Frank Church Wilderness is what initially drove us to consider Mackay Bar and definitely did not disappoint. It is such a peaceful place and is absolutely perfect for a backcountry wedding. Although there are many impressive photos of the river valley at Mackay Bar, to truly appreciate the grandeur of the ranch, you have got to visit! It is absolutely worth the trek and will not disappoint.

  • Stayed: September 2016, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank ktelliott1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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