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“things have changed”
Review of Gray Eagle Lodge

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Gray Eagle Lodge
Ranked #2 of 3 Graeagle B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Pacifica, California
Level 6 Contributor
233 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“things have changed”
Reviewed 13 June 2013

i stayed here with friends this past weekend as well as two years ago. it was interesting to see the difference that time makes...

two years ago, the food portions were obscene. this year, the food portions were much more manageable. i'm happy to see that they are cutting down on their food costs but i didn't like that i had to ask for fruit juice refills at breakfast. that seems like much more work for the servers than is necessary.

the staff hasn't changed and they are all really lovely and caring people. i was happy to see the same smiling faces that know my friend who has come to the lodge for about 15 years now.

the hiking from the lodge is nice and varied. you can go easy to Smith Lake or harder around Long Lake or up to Mt Elwell. these hikes originate at the lodge. you can also drive to the surrounding lakes like Sardine, Salmon or Gold Lake and all of these hikes are scenic and beautiful.

it's really quiet and dark at night so you can star gaze easily or enjoy the campfire near the lodge.

Room Tip: it's nice to stay along the creek for the noise and there are less people hiking on nearby trail...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank harbrsl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • English first
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English first
Mill Valley, California
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2013

For over 12 years now, we look forward to our annual visit to the Gray Eagle Lodge each Memorial Day weekend. It's our favorite vacation of the year as there really is no other place like it. What sets this lodge apart is that it set away back in the Gold Lakes Basin, next to the creek and waterfall, and trailheads steps from the lodge into the wilderness, but with all the comforts provided by Bret and Lynn who are the kindest and warmest hosts around. With a comfy cabin, the ability to bring our dog, fantastic food and atmosphere at the lodge, s'mores, and our deck on the creek, pool table, ping-pong, and kids to hang out with for our 8 and 12-year-olds, we are in heaven. For me, it helps me escape my work, my blackberry (off the grid), and connect back to nature. There are so many options to choose from even if we are hit with warm or cold weather. And, there are no crowds here or waiting in lines. It's the best kept secret in California.

Room Tip: We love the cabins near the creek.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank MaryRosai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sonoma
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 April 2013

We found Gray Eagle Lodge in 1992 when searching for a place to stay in the pristine and uncrowded Lakes Basin area. Then owned and run by Sam and Grace Smith, we were told this was the 'Cadillac' lodge in the area and they were right. With two small kids, we immediately fell in love with the wonderful and homey lodge, fabulous trails (dogs allowed) and special place they created. We have returned every year since with few exceptions - a tradition we have kept for 20 years!
The second generation of Smiths, Bret and Lyn, took over 10 years ago and have made a lot of fabulous improvements, yet they still provide that perfect combination of being out in nature - on the creek with the trail head literally right out your back door (no electronics) - with the comforts I like - a wonderful cabin, hot shower, great breakfast and fine dinner dining - no cooking and cleaning on my vacation. They are exceptional hosts.
Believe it or not, my kids still join me every summer at ages 22 and 25 and we love doing all our favorite hikes and excursions. I can't say enough about Gray Eagle Lodge and the hospitality of the Smith family - it is has become a truly special part of our lives.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank aiverson55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CowgirlinVerdi, Owner at Gray Eagle Lodge, responded to this review, 6 April 2013
Ann, it has been such a pleasure having you in our Gray Eagle Lodge family for so many years. It warms our hearts to know what a special place it was, and continues to be, for you and your kids. We look forward to seeing you in July of 2013. Thanks again!
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Lafayette, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2013

I was in charge of arranging a golf reunion for three couples. We have been friends for decades and try out a new location almost every year. The driving force behind these trips is golf, however, none of the women golf. I researched the web and Gray Eagle Lodge stood out as a prime location in the Lakes Basin. The men were very excited about the variety of courses available to them within a 10 mile radius. The gals were excited about the hiking challenges and shopping. Additionally, since the restaurant is on the property, we didn't have to worry about finding a place to eat and then driving to it!

Upon check-in, we knew immediately we had chosen the perfect spot. From that moment on, the staff at the Lodge cared for our every need. They confirmed all tee times for the guys, got directions to each course, and even prepared lunches for one day. We chatted with the gal at the front desk and got wonderful recommendations on where to have lunch, shop, and even wine taste. The owner and/or his wife were visible and helpful our entire stay. Their warm hospitality made all of us feel like we were family.

The best part, for me, were the meals. Coffee was available early so I could enjoy my iPad in the Lodge by the fire before everyone got up. The breakfasts were fresh and there was a new item each morning. We did order lunch for a "girls" hike one day and were pleased with the preparation. The afternoons usually started with wine and appetizers on our cabin deck (Cedar) which was the perfect cabin for gathering the group. Our dinners were in the dining room with the huge fireplace! I definitely suggest that room. It was warm and cozy! We were so surprised over the quality and quantity of our meals because they were included in the nightly price. The soup and salad were very nice and our dinner selections ranged from red snapper to prime rib. The desserts were to die for! The wait staff was more than responsive and friendly. Although we brought our own wine, one of the guests shared some wine from his brother-in-law's winery, Sbragia, which my husband and I drink often. This was our experience for the three nights we were there. Someone from the community of guests would engage us in conversation or the owner would make us a margarita. It was great relaxing fun and sooo comfortable!

We will be back either as a group or just as a couple! Have fun!

Room Tip: We loved Cedar but it seems like its personal preference.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank LafayetteDeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CowgirlinVerdi, Owner at Gray Eagle Lodge, responded to this review, 6 April 2013
Thanks for your kind review! We truly appreciate it when our guests acknowledge how hard our staff works and the pride we take in making Gray Eagle Lodge guests feel like family! We hope to see you all again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Cruz, California
1 review
Reviewed 26 March 2013

My boyfriend surprised me with a three night stay at Gray Eagle Lodge for my birthday in late September. We were very pleasantly surprised with our cabin which was neat and clean and very comfortable. Our evenings were so much fun! We were always excited to meet Megan at the bar and see what new cocktail she would surprise us with. The dinners were amazing! The homemade bread was addicting, the salads were fresh and rotated on a nightly basis, and the soups were delicious! It was hard to make a decision about what entrée to order. Tuesday night I had a grilled rib-eye which was prepared perfectly and my boyfriend had the poached salmon with sesame oil and crispy scallions. Wednesday it was easy...we both had the short ribs and, again, were not disappointed. The owner, I think his name is Bret, selected a wonderful bottle of zinfandel to accompany our meal. Thursday, my birthday, started out with a short hike, flowers delivered to our cabin by the local florist, and an evening celebration that brought tears to my eyes. Again, Bret, suggested a perfect bottle of champagne and believe it or not, we had a full Thanksgiving dinner that evening. The staff and owners family sang happy birthday to me and presented me with a complimentary chocolate swan éclair. BEST BIRTHDAY EVER! We will be back!

Room Tip: I don't think you can go wrong! It's in the middle of the forest!
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Shon M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CowgirlinVerdi, Owner at Gray Eagle Lodge, responded to this review, 6 April 2013
Thanks so much for making the effort to review Gray Eagle Lodge! We remember your birthday celebration and feel privileged you chose Gray Eagle Lodge. We hope to see you again during our 2013 season!
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Truckee, CA
Level 6 Contributor
372 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2013

We had been here several years back and LOVED it so thought we'd revisit the restaurant.
We made reservations for one of the last weekends they were open for the season and early seating.
We were seated right away, as the service was good when we first got there and then when it become packed (it's a very small venue) we were soon forgotten. We went with the salad as a starter, very disppointing...just greens, no tomato, no cucumber, nothing just fresh greens...it's super easy to dress up the salad, even if just a little to make a nice first impression. Then the entrees came, I had chosen a pasta dish that sounded yummy but was very bland. My husband wasn't very thrilled with his dinner either. We had also ordered a bottle of red wine, which was one of the nicer surprises of dinner. When we came to dessert we passed as we had been so disapointed with the whole dinner that we thought we would cut our losses before we went any further. So we went outside to the fire ring to finish our wine and head home. For a $85.00 dinner (that was with tip) we probably won't try it again next season...to many other restaurants in that area I'd rather try for that kind of money. It's a great location though...

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank ggintruckee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CowgirlinVerdi, Owner at Gray Eagle Lodge, responded to this review, 12 January 2013
Thank you for taking the time to try our restaurant again! We were upset and perplexed over your unpleasant dining experience. First, we do not offer a plain field greens salad on our menu. Obiously, this was an unfortunate anomaly that came out of our kitchen. We apologize for this mistake. Since your dining experience was over three months ago and you offered no specific menu item descriptions, we are unable to addres specific issues with our chefs. Consequently, we will do our best to review the last two week-ends of our dinner book and tickets to try and determine your menu selections so we can relay your concerns to our chefs. As nightly diners in our own restaurant, we were surprised that you and/or our wait staff did not bring your dissatisfaction to our attention. Since we are in-house every evening, we would have corrected the situation immediately. We are celebrating our 90 year anniversary this year; 30 years as owners! We pride ourselves in our food and our service. 30 years of success, hopefully, speaks for itself! We hope the next time you pop over from Truckee to hike in the Lakes Basin, you give us another try!
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Sonoma, California
1 review
Reviewed 7 August 2012

If the following review sounds like marketing and PR, it’s only because I love this place so much. I almost don’t want to let anyone in on the secret that is the Gray Eagle Lodge, but since I can’t be there the entire season, I guess I should share.

If you want soul-cleansing fun, then the Gray Eagle Lodge is the place for you. Nestled in the middle of Plumas County, CA, the Gray Eagle Lodge is perfect for individuals, couples, families, outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, bikers, boaters, artists and more! This place is a wonderfully rustic retreat from modern existence; come here to decompress or simply to appreciate the beauty of serene mountains, crystal clear lakes, gorgeous vistas, and awe-inspiring wildlife. We love it for all the above!

The Lodge cabins offer peaceful solitude, many serenaded by the gently flowing stream that slices through the Lodge grounds. The quaint log cabins are beautifully appointed with restful beds and comfortable furniture- great for lounging and catching up on your favorite book. You’ll enjoy a hot shower after a day of hiking in the perfectly modest bathrooms. Each cabin has a unique appeal- one of the greatest parts about the Gray Eagle Lodge is that you can try out a new cabin on your next visit to determine your favorite! From the family style Willow, Maple, and Spruce cabins to the charming Tamarack, Pine Cone, and Oak, all of your accommodations are covered! Daily maid service is included. I personally don’t think you can go wrong with any of the cabins!

You can be blissfully alone at this mountain sanctuary, or you can enjoy the welcoming hospitality of the Smith family, which has owned and operated the Lodge for many years. The Smiths and the wonderful staff at Gray Eagle Lodge treat you like long-lost friends- they are professional, yet extremely congenial. If you choose, you will likely make lifelong friends while at the Lodge, having mutually shared such a slice of heaven on earth.

Breakfast and dinner are served in the majestic main Lodge room- foodies and outdoor activity fuel seekers will love the various dishes prepared and served by the talented kitchen team at Firewoods restaurant. They will even make a sack lunch for you to take on your daily adventures.

Kids- both small and big- will enjoy the many camp activities. You can play bocce, volleyball, badminton, “mountain” basketball, and baseball (be careful not to pitch too closely to young Brady Smith as he is as likely to hit a line drive off your face as he is to take you deep- I know from personal experience!). When the kids need a break from all the fresh air, they can take the fun indoors with ping pong, billiards, and even arts and crafts. Yet it’s the absence of TV that really makes the entertainment special- the Gray Eagle Lodge offers the perfect excuse to disconnect from the outside world (but you can now access WiFi in the lobby of the main Lodge should you need to send an email to the office stating that you won’t be home for another week!). And if you need a break from all the non-hustle and bustle, you can always take a 10-minute trip down the mountain to visit the timeless town of Graeagle.

Gray Eagle Lodge is not only pet friendly, but pet loving! Bring your four legged buddy to enjoy the fun too! Our dogs look forward to our GEL trips as much as we do!

The Gray Eagle Lodge operates from mid-May to mid-October. There is no wrong time to visit- it’s always beautiful at the Gray Eagle Lodge. The opening Wine Weekend over Memorial Day weekend is an especially fun time- connoisseurs and spirited enthusiasts alike will love the good cheer and unpretentious wine discussions shared with winemakers themselves. It’s always “Happy Hour” at the Gray Eagle Lodge!

Book early whether you plan to visit in the beginning of the season, middle, or toward closing weekend. Regardless, you are guaranteed a memorable experience- one you will assuredly want to repeat time and time again!

Room Tip: Can't go wrong with any of the cabins. Some are larger for families.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Doug N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gray Eagle Lodge

Property: Gray Eagle Lodge
Address: 5000 Gold Lake Road, Post Office Box 38, Graeagle, CA 96103
Region: United States > California > Plumas County > Graeagle
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Graeagle
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gray Eagle Lodge is located in the Lakes Basin region of the Plumas National Forest. The property is located on Graeagle Creek with a beautiful waterfall adding to the natural beauty of the surroundings. The property offers twenty cabins and two Lodge guest rooms. The main Lodge is constructed with massive Sugar Pine logs and offers a sitting room and stone fireplace, bar, and the Firewoods restaurant. Wi-Fi service is availabe in the Lodge. Enjoy hiking and biking from your cabin door, or relax over a game of bocce ball. Our game room offers a pool table, ping-pong, a library, games and puzzels. Experience our many Alpine lakes via our kayak rentals, or visit Smith Lake with our row boat. Double occupancy pricing includes made-to-order breakfast, three-course meal and daily maid service. After your meal, enjoy S'Mores by the nightly community bonfire! 24 hour front desk. PETS ARE WELCOME! ... more   less 

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