We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“A hidden gem on the AuSable River” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Gates Au Sable Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Grayling
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Gates Au Sable Lodge
Commerce Township, Michigan
Level Contributor
100 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“A hidden gem on the AuSable River”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2012

Stayed here for the weekend while enjoying a 5 hour paddle with about 20 other members of the Michigan Chapter of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association. The Lodge is on the AuSable River, one of the most popular Rivers in the state of Michigan. Never knew this Lodge existed. But I soon learned, the real outdoor lovers are very aware of it. The Lodge enjoys year round occupancy despite it's humble setting. Positioned near the Stephan Bridge 7 miles East of Grayling the Lodge is modestly priced and modestly appointed. We had everything we needed for our adventure. The Lodge was clean and had running hot/cold water, a TV, wifi, and a small restaurant on the river that seats maybe 25. I'm not sure how many rooms there are, but my guess is 15-20.

The Lodge restaurant's food was spectacular. I'd easily give it a 4 star rating. Their gourmet menu had several fish/seafood options we all raved about. They don't serve wine or liquor so you are allowed to bring in your own adult beverage. If you stay there, they have coffee ready throughout the day...you just go in the back doorway to the kitchen and help yourself.

The founder of this Lodge was well known for his zealous protection of this pristine wilderness area. Thank Heavens!

The Lodge has an Orvis sanctioned bait and tackle shop superbly outfitted for the fly fisherman/woman. The employees know the river like the back of their hand and can give you up to date information on where to fish and what fly to use. They offer guided fishing, or you can go on your own. The Lodge also had some dockage you could fish off of or if you'd rather, they had chairs/benches that you could just watch the water pass quickly under the bridge and around the small island just off shore. The fallen trees in the water give the fish a terrific place to feed and find shelter.

Our group had a 5 hr. trek down stream with the current flowing very quickly. There were places you could stop paddling and let your canoe drift but with the fallen trees, occasional rocks, and periodic shallows you couldn't rest for long, so it was not only a beautiful float, but a great adventure. The trees along the river banks were just beginning to "change clothes" for us and the Fall colors were spectacular. We saw many schools of brown trout, some rainbow trout that were easily 18" long.

At night we gather at the firepit also along the river, Gates supplying the chairs and the neveer ending supply of wood for burning. Our room was next to the river. There was a front door and a back door to each unit. Kind of a 50's style motel. The only downside to this Lodge, was the beds. They didn't keep me awake, but weren't quite as comfortable as I'd have liked. They were clean and the room was very nicely heated.

There is a quiet natural elegance to this Lodge/Inn. Staff are friendly and so helpful. The service is excellent. I will go again and look forward to it. I could be a great spot for a girlfriend weekend. I'm thinking of taking my grand kids who love fishing in the Spring for a guided one-day fishing trip. If you're looking for a retreat, this would be the spot -- a place to recenter yourself. Or maybe plan a couple's weekend to reconnect with each other. The rates are very modest. I definitely will return again - hopefully many more times. It's that good.

Room Tip: Every room is on the river and has an entry door and a riverside doorway.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Edie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

21 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    16
    5
    0
    0
    0
See reviews for
5
4
5
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Detroit
Level Contributor
61 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2012

Understand, this is a motel in which you plan to sleep and shower, before/after a long day fishing or hunting. That said, the rooms are spacious (though the bathrooms are not!) and clean. It's a good thing you likely brought a cooler, because there is no mini fridge. But, the owners invite you into the kitchen for ice.
Two entry doors in each room brings the Holy Waters right to you. Pegs for boots and waders are conveniently provided on the parking lot side of all rooms.
DO NOT forego the restaurant! The meals here really are special. I would come to eat here anyway, were I a local. Breakfast and dinners are exemplary. They will even pack you a nice boxed lunch.
The fly shop has all you will need, including vast knowledge of all the local waters. And that knowledge is eagerly shared - so make sure you pick up a few flies here, even if you tie your own.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DLHirst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greensboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2012

My boyfriend & I stayed during the July 4th holiday this year. It's under new ownership & the owners are incredibly friendly. If you're in to fly fishing, it's a wonderful place & even if you're not! The rooms are cute & understated...why bother with going over the top on room amenities & fluff when you have a beautiful view out of your large picture window of the gorgeous Au Sable river!! Be sure to make reservations at the restaurant at least once, it's well worth it. There is a great fly shop attached to the Inn as well. The Inn is also pet friendly! To accommodate the guests that fish, each room is equipped w/3 rod holders & outside you'll find holders for your waders. There are 2 points of entry for the rooms, a front door & a patio door. Outside on the patio, they provide you with chairs to sit & enjoy the wonderful view of the river. The only slightly negative thing is that they don't have A.C. They do provide a nice oscillating fan though. Typically with Michigan weather, you won't need A.C. anyway. I can't recommend this place enough!!! :)

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank theartistici
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taylor, Michigan
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2012

My Husband is a fly fisherman and we have a home down the road from them. One thing people in the area do not realize is that you can call and make reservations to dine in their restaurant, which by the way is top notch! I have NEVER had a bad meal there and their crab legs are to die for. Don't forget to stop in and check out the Fly shop as well. The guys are all very knowledgeable and happy to help a fellow Fly Fisher out:)

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank tmkuroda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Great Falls, Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2011

Gates Au Sable Lodge is a most excellent venue on the banks of the Au Sable about 10 minutes east of Grayling, MI. It is well located to explore the North and South Branches of the river. Accommodations are simple, but clean and appropriate to the sport. Rooms open out to a river view and it only a few steps to put a fly on the water. The lodge has a full service fly shop which also books float trips. I booked a half day float trip, but will book the full day next time. The guide had a sound knowledge of the river based on 24 years experience. I hope this to be an annual event for me. The restaurant is very good and all meals are freshly prepared. Guests are welcome to bring their own alcoholic beverages for a small corkage fee. Rooms and food are modestly very affordable.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Perigrine1007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake In The Hills
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2010

Without using many words, this place is very nice. If I have ANY criticism at all it's about the miniscule portion of their signature hash brown potatoes served at dinner. Someone should let em know potato only costs about .30 cents a pound.

Mark

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mapko333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Wilmington Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2009

Small motel located on the banks of the Au Sable River a fly fishing river known as the "Holy Water". Out in a rural area but close enough to town to run in for a meal. There is also a restaurant attached that serves really good food. They also pack sack lunches for the guests, who in the fall are 50/50 mix of fly fishermen and grouse hunters. The owner also has a fly fishing shop attached tot he motel. Rooms all have a sliding door out onto a small seating area with chairs that looks out on the river. They have a small anteroom with a counter and sink, small but adequate bathroom and two double beds with a small table and chairs. There are boot hangers for drying out waders and gear outside the door entrance by the parking lot. Bird dogs are welcome, the staff is friendly and the place is clean. Walls are a bit thin but after a day of grouse and woodcock hunting most everyone turns in early anyway. The restuarant is BYOB, there is a convenience store a 1/4 mile up the road. No fridge or microwave in room but have seen guests with coolers and small cooking stoves grilling their steaks outside the room in the evening watching the river. There is one suite (which we have not been able to book) and a detached building with a business center conference room.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank fallsrun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Grayling hotels
8.6 mi away
Super 8 Grayling
Super 8 Grayling
#2 of 9 in Grayling
4.0 of 5 bubbles 308 reviews
6.9 mi away
Ramada Grayling Hotel and Conference Center
6.6 mi away
Days Inn Grayling
Days Inn Grayling
#1 of 9 in Grayling
4.5 of 5 bubbles 433 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
6.9 mi away
Woodland Motor Lodge
Woodland Motor Lodge
#3 of 9 in Grayling
4.5 of 5 bubbles 55 reviews
6.6 mi away
Borchers Au Sable Bed and Breakfast
8.4 mi away
Motel 72
Motel 72
#6 of 9 in Grayling
4.0 of 5 bubbles 27 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Gates Au Sable Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Gates Au Sable Lodge

Property: Gates Au Sable Lodge
Address: 471 S Stephan Bridge Rd, Grayling, MI 49738-9594
Location: United States > Michigan > Crawford County > Grayling
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Grayling
Number of rooms: 17

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing