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“Single people can also have a great time here”

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Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 September 2012

I was getting burnt out at work and needed a vacation fast so I didn't have any kind of time to plan a trip with friends. I had always wanted to spend time on a guest ranch, so I researched places like Canada, Montana, Wyoming but stumbled across MMR right here in my own state. I was still a bit hesitant in traveling alone but I knew I needed to do something quick or else I would end up in the pysch ward. So I called MMR and talked with a warm and welcoming, wonderful woman named Heidi and I was sold.

I just spent one of the most wonderful weeks at MMR. I totally forgot how beautiful this earth could be and it was right here in my own state (check out their facebook page).
It is such a family type atmosphere that you can bond with the ranch help, bond with the other families or do both, so single people please don't dismiss this place. If you are looking to get away from the "rat race of life" and you want to experience the ranch life of horses and outdoor activites, this is the place.

I have many fond memories of this place but some of the highlights:
Jason navigating us through Dragon's tooth on the first day of rafting. That was so sweet Jason.
Going to bed at night to the sounds of the crickets and waking up to the sounds of the horses waiting to be fed.
The absolute beautiful trail rides with Doug.
Feeding the horses apples
Cantering for the first time, Thanks Max
My trail horse Sugar
The food....I am such a picky eater but I have never eaten so much ever in one week
And my new little friend Mattie, a very unique 3 1/2 year that was also a guest at the ranch.

Kudos to Doug, Heidi and the rest of the staff in promoting a safe environment
I plan to come back soon, heck I would be willing to go and spend a week just working on the ranch......that is how beautiful and peaceful this place is
A big "Thank-you" to Doug, Heidi and the rest of the staff. You all were just what the doctor ordered:)
Leanne

Stayed: August 2012, travelled solo
3  Thank Leanne P
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 6 September 2012

Hi Leanne, thank you for trusting us with your vacation as a single traveler. I thought about asking one of our local singles (Oleg) to come and lend a hand during your stay - for some good peer support, but he could not find his teeth and he had some other excuse about a meeting with his therapist. SO.....you got the sparkling effervescent Cole clan and a wonderful mix of jovial guests determined to have a good time. And yes, we did have a good time, HUH!!? I appreciated your help tacking up the horses, since Chelsea was back at her other job, and our seasonal staff is rapidly diminishing....and now you know how to tie the "Texas T" (remember the seven-eleven mantra) Please come again, and as for bringing your gang of single nurses....we need to talk about not exceeding the nurse-critical-mass threshold and sparking a spontaneous combustion of some sort. Cheers! Doug and the MMR gang.

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90 - 96 of 150 reviews

Reviewed 21 August 2012

Dear Doug, Heidi and entire Marble Mountain Ranch Family,

Thank you for the most amazing week! We are all suffering a bit of "let down" now that we are home. We miss everyone, and everything so very much. My daughter is really struggling and has cried daily over her "Miss Merry"... and hopes she will be there for her next year when we return.

You have the most amazing family and staff -- and we all feel so blessed to have met you and spent time with you all. Thank for taking such great care of all of us and sharing your beautiful home and property. It is truly a piece of heaven.

We will treasure the memories and hope to see you all next summer! We will load photos of the trip -- we have some beautiful ones!

Now for some comments for those reading reviews, the property is breathtaking, the cabins so clean and welcoming, the horses so friendly and well-trained (for even the youngest of riders - my 3 year old nephew!). The staff is incredible with all ages -- and I am not sure I have ever had better food! Heidi is an amazing cook -- I purchased the cookbook and hope to re-create some meals at home! Not one complaint or comment to improve -- cannot wait to return!

Thanks again for everything --

Sincerely,

Celene C., San Clemente, CA

Room Tip: There is no Spa or Room Service, but the beds are so comfortable and after an active day - a home-co...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank CTCasper
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

Hi Celene, thank you for the very touching review. You can tell your daughter that she can stop crying! It's all good! Miss Merry is a part of the dude string family and we have no plans to let her leave. And yes, isn't she just an adorable horse. She has been a "quick learn". Can you believe that this is her first full year on the trail with us? Amazing, huh?!

I'm excited to hear about your return. We shared some good times on the trail, the river, and while sharing some great cuisine..... We look forward to the return of you and your family.

Doug, Heidi and staff.

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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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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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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 
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Marble Mountain Ranch - Family Guest Ranch Hotel Somes Bar

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