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.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

“Unique, quiet, peaceful” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Drakesbad Guest Ranch

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 Chester
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Drakesbad Guest Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
east coast US
Level Contributor
37 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Unique, quiet, peaceful”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 September 2010

Located within the borders of Lassen National Park, Drakesbad Ranch is an out of the way hidden gem. We stayed at Drakesbad in a cabin for three nights. It reminded me of summer camp when I was a child. I really enjoyed the experience.

The cabin was comfortable for the two of us with a toilet and sink. There is no electricity in the cabins, kerosene lamps are supplied for your use. We chose not to use the lamps and used flashlights instead. LED flashlights worked well and provided the light we needed.

The food was good. We enjoyed the meals. If you are going to be away for lunch, they provide a bag lunch in the morning. Dinner was very good with a vegetarian option offered.

There are some great hiking trails. Two of our favorites were the trail to Devil's Kitchen, a geothermal area and Boiling Lake, a hot spring-fed sulphurous lake. Drakesbad has a hot spring fed pool (no sulphur smell at all) that is GREAT for relaxing in after a day of hiking. Showers are located near the pool.

They have horses at Drakesbad if you would like to go for trail rides. The most impressive thing about the corral was how CLEAN it was. Manure was promptly removed so flies and strong odors were not a problem!

There were a few extended families that were staying at the ranch when we were there. They all seemed to be enjoying Drakesbad. There is a large "family room" on the first floor of the lodge with a woodstove, fireplace and lots of comfortable chairs. There is electricity in this room, so a it's a great place to curl up with a good book in front of the fire.

NOTE: If you are looking for a place to stay close to Lassen State Park, although Drakesbad is in the park, it is about 1 hour and 15 minutes away from the Lassen NP visitor's center. Go to Drakesbad as a destination and enjoy a day trip to the Lassen NP to see the Bumpass Hell geothermal area, Lassen peak and the park road.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank k51773
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

79 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    44
    24
    5
    5
    1
See reviews for
28
36
3
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
los angeles
Level Contributor
49 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2010

Drakesbad may be pleasant enough, I suppose, for residents of the Sacramento valley who want to escape its 100 degree heat. The place seems to draw families with small children and grandparents. Children can play ping-pong, while gramps sits on the porch and looks out at a dry meadow with a bit too much skunk cabbage.

But if you want to see the attractions of Lassen Volcanic national park—its volcanic peaks, waterfalls, and wildflowers—you will have an EIGHTY MINUTE drive to the Visitor Center. Your drive will include at least four miles of low-gear unpaved road, encounters with road construction on single lane highway 36, possibly getting stuck behind a logging truck, and if you are really lucky, you will see a local psychopath jump out of his white Ford pickup and start yelling.

I made this drive twice and also hiked in five miles—mostly uphill through generic national forest—to the highway. I’d recommend staying a little closer to the park.

I found Drakesbad a little too regimented (assigned parking spaces, assigned seats at meals). If you are assigned a dinner table with a Biden-like windbag and his family of three, there is not much you can do, unless the Drakesbad staff forgets to assign seats for single diners, as it did with me for the Wednesday barbeque.

On the other hand, Drakesbad can be a little erratic in its meal service and billing. Avoid dinner on Monday, where the meal consists of a child’s portion chicken breast and possibly the smallest green salad in Northern California. Try Wednesday, where the outdoor barbeque features steak and has a buffet line that actually permits second helpings from the salad bowl. At checkout, the people ahead of me, through-hikers camping nearby, were each billed $17 for Wednesday’s breakfast and dinner. My meals cost $88 per day (according to the “food tax” charge on my bill). I guess it paid to stay at a campground, but you’d still be stuck with a long drive to the real national park.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank wheninroam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northern California
Level Contributor
110 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2009

No phones, newspapers, Internet; or even electricity in the rooms (kerosene lamps are provided), and a few have bathrooms down the hall. Located at the end of an unpaved road from the town of Chester in northeast California. But luxury of a dusty country sort, with three excellent meals a day included, a small heated pool, ping-pong table, croquet set, volleyball court, and two wonderful generous innkeepers and staff. Drakesbad's isolation within Lassen Volcanic Park makes it a great spot for hiking around and out of the Warner Valley, or riding horses you bring or rent at the adjoining stable. Reservations fill up quickly with families who come back year after year, though the occasional cancellation leaves cabins and rooms available on shorter notice. The Pacific Crest Trail passes less than a mile away, so thousand-mile hikers occasionally drop in for a meal, a shower, laundry, or all of the above. It's easy to see why people return here. (The National Park Service is considering making changes to the facilities and the valley ecology, but none of the proposed alternatives appear likely to have a major effect on the ambience of the place, which the NPS says it wants to retain.)

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank ronks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
113 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2009

We stayed four nights at this out of the way down a dirt road retreat. The cabins and bungalows do not have electricity (great kerosene lanterns) so put those cell phones and computers away. They are charming wood cabins with fantastic views over the meadow with the deer roaming by. A great hot springs heated pool which we used every night.
The price includes three meals that are very ample and they aim to please. If you don't want something they will substitute something else. As a vegetarian the meals very delicious and varied. the hiking is marvelous and few people are seen on any trail
Come here isfyou want privacy and isolation. Do not come here is you want the comforts of home.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank abby7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento CA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2009

Just spent four nights at Drakesbad with my husband and two teenage children. No electronics, little electricity, and not a complaint all week. Great food, fantastic flora, fauna, and vista, geothermal marvels, including but not capped by a hot spring fed pool that sat at about 94degrees. We hiked, rode, fly fished (1st time), and played games. We even enjoyed a massage. I would go back in a hot minute if I could and I think my electronically connected family would too. Rustic comfort and charming help.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank jakmalak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Chester hotels
12.0 km away
BEST WESTERN Rose Quartz Inn
18.9 km away
Bailey Creek Cottages
Bailey Creek Cottages
#3 of 6 in Chester
4.5 of 5 bubbles 5 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Drakesbad Guest Ranch? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Drakesbad Guest Ranch

Property: Drakesbad Guest Ranch
Address: end of Warner Valley Road, Chester, CA 96020
Region: United States > California > Plumas County > Chester
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Chester
Price range (per night): $100 - $228
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In 1916 Congress established Lassen Volcanic National Park as the fifteenth national park in the United States. Privately held Drakesbad bordered the park in the southeast corner. The Sifford family continued to run their beloved Guest Ranch as good neighbors of the Park Service each summer for forty-two years. To preserve the Ranch and guarantee continued quality service for generations to come, Drakesbad was sold to the US government in 1958 for inclusion in to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Since that sale there have been three park concessionaires: for the past 36 years Drakesbad has been run by California Guest Services where the emphasis is still on outstanding customer service! All rates include three meals per day and lodging! All accommodations are rustic and quaint, most without electricity. The use of kerosene lamps is a welcome respite from the modern world and adds a distinct and old time ranch feel to your stay. All rooms include a full or half bath and are gas heated. Housekeeping services are provided daily. As a member of the Green Hotels Network, we make every effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle at Drakesbad. General Information Drakesbad Guest Ranch is open (pending weather conditions) June through mid October. The Ranch is closed mid October through to May. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Drakesbad Guest Ranch Hotel Chester

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