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“Cave Creek Ranch -- what a wonderful place!”
Review of Cave Creek Ranch

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Cave Creek Ranch
Seattle
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Cave Creek Ranch -- what a wonderful place!”
Reviewed 28 May 2013

It should tell you something about the place that there is a token entry fee for people who are not *staying* there to come in and visit the grounds. It's one of the birdiest places in a very birdy place. CCR has feeders of several kinds that invite in all sorts of birds (as well as deer and javalinas, for those interested in other wildlife). And it's hard to beat birding from the comfort of a bench on the front porch of the main office, with other birders from all over the country -- and beyond. But you can also enjoy birding from the privacy of the front and/or back porch of most of the cabins. Hummingbirds, orioles, grosbeaks, buntings, Mexican Jays -- all kinds of birds!
Cabins are not fancy but quite comfortable -- clean, well equipped, with comfy beds.
Manager Reed Peters is a nice man and a great birder and can offer all kinds of advice. The office has a little shop -- support the local economy by buying a t-shirt! -- and a great natural history library.
Shop for basic food needs in the Safeway in Willcox. But be sure to have at least one dinner at the American Museum of Natural History Southwest Research Station just up the road. (Needs 24-hour advance reservations!) You must be there on time! The company is always interesting, and you can take wine or beer to accompany your dinner, if you like. (You can buy same in the little shop on the grounds.)
Be sure to walk the grounds at Cave Creek Ranch, and settle down by the creek, to see what birds will come in. Be sure NOT to take the wrong fork in the road and end up on private grounds beyond the property line -- dangerous dogs on the loose there!
Spring and fall are the best time to visit. Oh, yes, and take binoculars!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Ellen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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59 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
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English first
New Mexico
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2013

This lodge is quiet, comfortable, and great for nature lovers, birders and hikers. We saw every bird we'd hoped for, plus many more. Our species count was over 70 by the end of the week, which was astonishing to me for a North American birding site. My husband and I stayed in a nice cottage with well equipped kitchen, and enjoyed dining under a tree full of ripe mulberries, which drew in over 100 birds per day. This lodge is NOT intended for luxury-seekers, and if you're not into nature-viewing you may be disappointed. On the property you'll find lizards, snakes, many birds, javelina, deer and possibly big cats. Reed (the owner) is very helpful in pointing you toward the wildlife you seek. Bring plenty of food, fill your gas tank before arriving, and plan to do some hiking. Nature tours through http://www.naturalistjourneys.com/portal are highly recommended.

Room Tip: We took the Woodland cottage. We recommend any cottage with a fireplace. The nights are cool, even i...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank horsey10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Apex, North Carolina
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2013

I spent four nights here in April. The units are clean and comfortable but it the setting that makes this place so special. I was up early to watch the color change on the mountains as the sun came up. I could stand 3 feet from the hummingbirds feeders as the birds arrived first thing in the morning for breakfast--6 different species when I was there. There were many other species of birds at the other feeders. And then there were the deer and the javelinas and the stray cows. The surrounding mountains are just waiting to be explored. It is a beautiful place and I will be back.

Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank denise w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2013

We stayed three nights here in April. Our room was near the creek. The room was very clean and had cooking facilities with all of the necessary utensils. Every morning we would wake up to the sound of birds.

This place is truly a birder's paradise. There are feeders all over the place, and the birds take full advantage of the spread - along with the deer and javelina. The Hummingbird feeders were amazing. The suet and seed feeders attracted everything from woodpeckers to orioles to jays.

Portal is a VERY small town, so if you have particular food requirements or preferences, make sure to bring them with you.

I gave this place a rating of four because it could do with some upgrading. For example, the screen door in the back was warped and didn't close properly allowing bugs to come in. The shower was essentially a trickle and very difficult to control the temperature. Despite these issues, and minor issues in my opinion, my wife and I would stay here again without any reservations.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sirijay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Prince George, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2013

Our first trip to Portal included a stay at Cave Creek Ranch. The ranch is situated to provide the best access to the great trails and drives in the area. We saw as much wildlife on the property as we did touring the area. Several life birds and lots of other animal sightings later, we know we will be back. The room was very comfortable and being right on the creek gave us spectacular views from our porch. Other than not getting fresh towels or garbage taken out in our time there, which I think was an oversight, our stay was great. Reed Peters (owner) has a great jewel of a place there and we will be back. Next time we may not leave the ranch - every wild thing comes through the property eventually.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank birdscout154938
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
columbus
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 September 2012

We stayed at Cave Creek Ranch , in the Ranch House,for a week this summer and loved every minute of it. Explored ALL the accomodations while we were there and would be comfortable and happy in any of them.If you like birds, snakes, moths, butterflies, lizards, frogs ,skunks, deer, coati, bear....- you'll love this place. Owner, staff, guests- all super friendly and helpful.Kitchen well-equipped. Buy your groceries on the way in from the airport and plan to spend some time driving to get gas if you stay a while. Of course, the road to get gas has lots and lots of interesting sights, so we may have taken longer than most. Many short drives to picnic areas, hikes, and a great trip over the mountain to Chiricahua National Monument. Amount of rainfall etc. affects road conditions- things like that matter here.Of course, it's so beautiful at the ranch, you may not want to go anywhere. Mountains, cliffs, rocks and clouds and sky all over the place. Hummingbirds buzzing everywhere at the ranch. We're already signed up for next year.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank pyburtt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schenectady, New York, United States
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2012

We spent a delightful 6 days at this beautiful spot in mid June this year. The owner/manager Reed is extremely helpful and gracious and totally knowledgeable about the area, the wildlife, the conditions – weather, migrations, etc. We are not really birders, but we do enjoy being in beautiful outdoor settings and seeing wildlife. We learned quite a lot about the many bird species that make the Chiricahuas their home either year round or seasonally. It probably would be better to arrive a bit earlier – April or May – to see even more birds, although we saw way more than we can identify or remember, many of them quite beautiful. The cabin we stayed in was perfectly comfortable, despite fairly hot days (in the 90s). We found it best to get out and take walks early (starting at 6) and then rest indoors in the heat of midday. The photos are of (1) the main office/lodge and (2) inside our apartment. Reed provides excellent advance word on stocking up with gas and groc eries well before arrival in Portal, as there are very limited supplies nearby. As other reviewers note, this is not a resort, but a comfortable outpost in spectacular natural surroundings.

Room Tip: Kitchenette in apartment was well equipped.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Don P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Cave Creek Ranch

Property: Cave Creek Ranch
Address: 1396 W Piedra Blanca Lane, Portal, AZ 85632
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Arizona > Portal
Amenities:
Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Portal
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cave Creek Ranch is a peaceful retreat from the modern world. Surrounded by spectacular scenery, the simple rooms and cottages are clean and neat. While there is Wi-Fi on our front porch, the rooms are free of modern noise and distractions -- no cell service, TVs, or radios. We do have a small library in every room, and more books on natural history available to borrow from the office. Guests tell us they haven't slept so well in years; we think it's because they can relax and get away from the news. Cell service is available a mile away in downtown Portal. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cave Creek Ranch Hotel Portal
Cave Creek Ranch Portal, Arizona

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