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“What an amazing family adventure”

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Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 August 2012

We had an absolute blast on this trip!
We were there on July 4 (Same as the Fryar's! see their review too) week and had a super fun time.
Here are is my super summary...
Kids never asked for the iPad or iPhone the entire time we were here.
They cried when we left (5 and 8) and said they wanted to live here for ever and make new friends every week.

Doug, Heidi and their big amazing family really take care of you.
The food was amazing.

GO ON THE HIKE!
Bring a waterproof camera!

Here is our fun little family movie...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S5wXwsfDM0

Room Tip: Stayed in Cabin 9 I think which had the zip line right next to it. Very convenient to sit on the po...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank trrydms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
randomaxeoflove, Owner at Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2012

HelloTrrydms and family, thank you for the amazing review! Your comments about the boys never asking for the i-pad or i-phone reminds me of a young boy traveling here with his grandmother. While riding on horse back along the Klamath River, he exclaimed in excitement: “Look Grandma! This is almost as beautiful as virtual reality!”

One of our secret pleasures, is enabling visiting guests to disconnect from technology. We have a nice balance of available Wi Fi in the lodge, but no cell coverage and enough adventurous distractions that most people are motivated to leave the mobile devices in their cabins.

Thanks again for the time to write the amazing review, and we hope to see you again!

Doug, Heidi, and the gang

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93 - 99 of 151 reviews

Reviewed 12 August 2012

My family recently returned from a week at the Marble Mountain Ranch, and all of us gave the experience a big thumbs-up. I first heard about Marble Mountain from a friend who raved about the trip when he went a few years prior with his own family. Before that, I had never even considered a dude ranch type trip.

I'm not sure how often the schedule changes, but for our week, each day started with breakfast at 7:45am, followed by a rotating block of four 1-hour activities before lunch: arena games, trail riding, shooting, and free time. After lunch, most days featured whitewater rafting/kayaking on the Klamath River, with the exception being fishing day on Thursday (and the Saturday of departure). After rafting, everyone returned to the ranch for hors d'oeuvres, followed by dinner, then a campfire and free time. My family tended to hang out in the game room after dinner, playing foosball, ping pong, and air hockey.

Arena games were probably my family's least favorite activity, since you spend much of your hour standing in the sun outside the arena watching others take their turns. Both of my sons wanted to skip this activity after the second day, though only one followed through with this threat. The trail ride was more interesting, since everyone in the group gets to ride the whole time, and the scenery is gorgeous. The only negative here was that the first few rides were pretty slow, and on a hot summer day it can get uncomfortable in the sun, especially if you get the last trail ride slot at high noon. The last trail ride of the trip was a highlight for me, since for this ride the groups were shuffled to put more advanced riders together, allowing for a faster and more adventurous trip. My family always enjoyed the shooting hour, which featured .22 rifles and handguns, 20-gauge shotguns for skeet shooting, archery, black powder muskets, and tomahawk throwing. Both of my sons seemed to like the tomahawk throwing best.

The daily whitewater rafting trips were a family favorite. The river was fairly gentle, featuring lots of easy class II and maybe class III rapids, but enough excitement to keep things fun. The first rafting trip included a wonderful hike to a waterfall. The hike was something of an adventure, but well worth the effort. On the two other rafting days, those who wanted could take an inflatable kayak down the river instead of sitting in a raft, and my sons specifically requested me to mention how much fun that was.

About the only other complaint we had was with the mosquitoes. Be sure to bring some strong repellent, plus some anti-itch cream for the bites that get past your defenses.

In my opinion, Marble Mountain is probably more of an adventure resort with horses than a classic dude ranch. You spend maybe an hour on a horse each day, and I'm pretty sure real cowboys seldom ate baked brie, went whitewater rafting, or sang "I Will Survive" on karaoke night. For the most part this is a good thing. My wife in particular has a limited tolerance of horse riding, and was worried that most activities would be horse-centered. She ended up doing all the scheduled horse activities except the final advanced trail ride, and the abundance non-horse activities (particularly rafting) made the trip a success for her.

Finally, what others have said about the food and Marble Mountain family is all true. Food was good the first day, and seemed to just get better each day after, and the whole family and staff at the resort was wonderful. Very friendly, and good at keeping things organized and moving efficiently.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank Seabeasty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
randomaxeoflove, Owner at Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2012

Hi Seabeasty, thank you for your comments and the fine review.

Regarding your question about our morning schedule, we modify the schedule, depending on the size of our guest population and the season of the visit. When we reach our target capacity of 30 guests, we divide the guest population into 4 activity groups so that we can have lower client/staff ratios more personalized experiences. We start a little later in the morning when we have smaller guest populations or when we are expecting cooler temps for the week. Our agenda is to make all of our activities as comfortable as possible. Land based events are scheduled in the mornings, with water based events in the warmer afternoon hours. Your visiting week landed on a hotter weather pattern and we moved to a 7:45 A.M breakfast with rotating schedule to maximize the comfort of the morning events. To this point, we are also planning on constructing an arena cover during this next year, to make the instructional games of the arena more comfortable in the late morning of warmer weeks.

It is inherent to a mixed activity schedule that one participant prefers one event or activity over another. Often though, when I quiz our guests as to “what is your favorite part?”, the answers are spread evenly across all the activities we offer. So, if the arena was your least favorite, I hope that the shooting range, the trail riding, the rafting, kayaking, fishing and fine food filled in the gaps for you. We actually find the majority of our visitors are appreciative of the opportunity to learn better horsemanship in the arena, rather than simply being “plopped” on the back of a horse and told to “go”….

I also appreciated your comment about the slow first ride, since this is too by our design. We have a rotating population of guests that arrive each weak with extremely mixed skill sets, and we prefer to start with rides that are as simple and easy as possible. This allows time for our arena instruction with equestrian games to prepare more timid riders for the more challenging trail rides and for us to better evaluate the capacities of our newly arriving guests.

Your review is quite accurate as to who and what we are: an adventure ranch with horses. My biggest fear in marketing this ranch is that someone purchases a vacation with us, with an expectation that is dramatically different from the reality. For those that need a holiday on horseback, with morning through evening riding, we may not be the best fit. For those that are looking for a “Dude Ranch with More Than Horses”, we may be your best fit. I hope that the variety and mix of our schedule was engaging for you and your boys, that the accommodations were more than you expected, and that we might see you all again someday. Our best to you and your family.

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Reviewed 8 August 2012

When researching ranches to celebrate our 40th anniversary with our whole family, I fortunately came upon Marble Mountain Ranch. After reading many of the MMR trip advisor reviews, it was amazing to me that all reviews rated this ranch as 5 star. We learned that the 5 star rating is totally accurate! From age 10 months to mid 60s, all had a wonderful week of activities, food, relaxation, great horses, beautiful scenery, fun river rafting, archery, range 'shooting', karaoke, horse arena games and much more. The Cole family and the non-family staff members were welcoming, and always making sure we were having a good time. Our family left after making wonderful memories. I know that we'll be talking about our fun times together for a long time. Wish we were all still there!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank BeachTraveler60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
randomaxeoflove, Owner at Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 11 August 2012

Hello "Beach Traveler"! Thank your for sharing your 40th anniversary with us and for the gracious comments in your review. Thanks, also, for test riding our new trail extension with me. I appreciate riding with competent riders, and exploring new trail challenges with a little less anxiety. What a great time we had!~ And...thanks for sharing your thoughts on the "Secrets of matrimonial success" at your anniversary celebration. Our best to you from Marble Mountain Ranch, and I promise to have some new trail adventures at the ready on your next return.

Doug, Heidi, and the gang at MMR.

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Reviewed 6 August 2012

What a perfect destination for our family reunion! My mom scored when she found Marble Mountain Ranch. With our group of 20 ranging in age from 4 to 85, there was something for everyone. There was a perfect balance of activities to free time. Your whole family was warm, welcoming and very personable. Everyone had a great time. Thank you Doug, Peter, Adam and Jason for the great rafting adventures! The days out on the river were my favorite. There was such a positive family atmosphere at your ranch. Chelsea and Heidi, you were so great with the horses and teaching us how to properly ride. My girls (Morgan, Madison & Megan) would tell you that riding the horses was their highlight. All the meals were delicious. I loved that your whole family worked together to prepare each meal and sit with us while eating. Our family of 20 definitley felt blended into yours. I would highly recomment Marble Mountain Ranch to all looking for adventure and fun. There truly is something for everyone. Thank you Cole family.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Robin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
randomaxeoflove, Owner at Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2012

Hi Robin, thanks for the kind remarks and the time to write your great review. Well, ages 4 to 85 can indeed be a difficult task to keep all engaged in a commonly shared vacation. So, my secret ploy is to staff the ranch with ages 4 to 85 so that there is age appropriate peer support for our guests! Since I personally am a bit outside the 4 year old actuarial table, I suppose I'll aim for the 85 year old group. Please pass the green jello, and where did them young-uns leave my walker? Kidding aside, we enjoyed your family, and had fun in every adventure we shared with your gang. Please don't wait 85 years for a return!

Our best to you all from Doug, Heidi, Peter, and all the rest of the Cole generations.

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Reviewed 1 August 2012

We just stayed at Marble Mountain July 9th with our whole family-there was 10 of us and each family 3 groups had our own adorable cabin and the ranch is amazing! The wilderness is so beautiful all around the ranch. Every day we did great adventures-horseback riding through beautiful woods, streams & hills then shooting (super fun-guns & arrows) then horse arena (training & fun timed games like barrel racing to get the best time) then rafting down the Klamath river( my very favorite) Heidi's food is so delicious we bought her cookbook! We've adopted some of the ranch menu at home! The staff & ranch family are the best part of the week. They made us feel like family and treated us like kings & queens!!! Thank you Doug(head wrangler & a sweet bear) Heidi (mother hen & makes magical food), Peter ( 2nd head of the ranch & played guitar with my son-he was awesome) (Chelsea( talented & sweet in all things), Jason (our favorite story teller) Adam (rafter extraordinare & gun expert-they make everything fun! We were in such good hands I didn't even worry when we (and my young kids) went down scary rapids-they knew every inch of that river and made it the best experience I've ever had rafting-so fun a trip of a lifetime!!! I hope our whole family gets to come back again next year-I miss the ranch & they family so much already! Also congrats on the new addition we heard Sierra had her baby!!!! So glad everyone is happy & healthy! Thank you for such a wonderful memory! I've told all my friends about MM I hope to see you again! Love Debi, Lance, Madison, Cameron, & Nicole Chapman!!

  • Stayed: July 2012
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1  Thank Debz5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
randomaxeoflove, Owner at Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 4 August 2012

Dear Debi and family, thank you for your very gracious review and comments. We continue to evolve here at Marble Mountain Ranch, and hope to make your next visit even more special. Cierra and Jason have a wonderful baby boy, that frankly, is astonishingly well behaved. What lucky parents they are. Please come back soon, and yes, do keep telling your friends about Marble Mountain Ranch! It all helps!

Our best to you, Doug and the gang

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Reviewed 23 July 2012

My mom, Evelyn, put together a family reunion for our family and thankfully chose Marble Mountain Guest Ranch. Everyone had a great time, in fact better than expected. The food was incredible. Heidi is a master chef! The surroundings were breathtakingly beautiful. The trail riding was my favorite of all activities, but the rafting, fishing, shooting and arena were all close behind. It was the perfect vacation to reconnect with all my sisters and their families. Your family was all very personable which made this experience all the more special. The cabins were excellent and very personable. Thank you Marble Mountain Ranch for bringing our family even closer together!!!

Room Tip: Every cabin is a top pick as they all overlook the grassy area and horse areanas
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Susie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
randomaxeoflove, Owner at Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2012

Hi Evelyn, thank you for your thoughts and the wonderful review. You and your sisters were as much fun for us as we were for you. You were a great group to spend the week with. Heidi is the driving force in the culinary offerings here at the ranch, but our daughter in law, Chelsea, and my daughter Cierra, and my son, Peter, all play a significant role as well. Actually, I don't think any of us entirely escape times of indentured servitude as galley slaves! But, that is the nature of our business: Owners and family and staff all on the front line together.

Well, please come back soon, and I will show you my newest additions to our trail loops. I hope to have the Irving Creek trail and the Bull Pine mine trail extended and in service by Summer's end. One guest this last week said the Irving Creek trail was like riding in the land of Narnia!

Best to you all, Doug, and Heidi and Peter

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Reviewed 22 July 2012

We took our family of 10 (ourselves, children, and grandrenchildren, (ages 10-16)) to Marble Mountain Guest Ranch a week ago for a family vacation together. Everyone raved about the fun experience and wants very much to return again. Our children and grandchildren loved all the adventures from horseback trail riding, white water rafting shooting, archery, kayaking, zip line and just being together. The Cole family and staff took care of everything, so all we had to do was have fun. They maintained a great balance between safety and the enjoyment of all the adventures. Special care was made for each of us per our needs. Heide's delicious meals were great. We highly recommend her cookbook. My wife is now using her receipe book for excellent tasty dinners since coming home. The Cole family is very friendly and a perfect examle of great family life togeher. We most highly recommend the Marble Mlountain Guest Ranch as an excellent choice for a family adventure vacation.
Camille and Rol Chapman - The Grandparents

Room Tip: Although there was actually no room service, if we needed anything it was provided.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank DrRol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
randomaxeoflove, Owner at Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2012

Hi Camille and Rol, Thank you for the great review. What good times we had sharing the
Western outdoors together with you and your family. I particularly enjoyed our private conversations, comparisons on family management, philosophy, and all the sharing about our life moments. I consider you a new personal friend, and respect you for all your exemplary choices in life. We certainly hope you can join us again, and extend the bonding in continued adventure! Our best to you and your family.

Doug, Heidi, Pete and the gang

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Additional Information about Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch

Address: 92520 State Highway 96, Somes Bar, CA 95568-9713
Region: United States > California > Somes Bar
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Somes Bar
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
California family dude ranch / guest ranch - the Western riding holiday with a signature raft & ride family vacation. California's best family quest ranch mixes daily horse riding, rafting, shooting sports and fly fishing. All inclusive packages cover lodging, meals, taxes, riding, rafting, fishing, sporting clays and more. Our cuisine and activity offerings are one-of-a kind and our hospitality is legend. Local resources to visit en-route to Marble Mountain Ranch include the Napa Valley Vineyards, Mount Shasta, Redwood National Forest, Crater Lake National Park, Ashland Shakespearian Festival, Burney Falls, and Mount Lassen. Join us for California's only saddle/paddle family vacation and visit the undiscovered Northern California and Southern Oregon attractions. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch Hotel Somes Bar

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