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“Highly Highly Highly Recommended!”
Review of Diamond D Ranch

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Diamond D Ranch
Reviewed 29 August 2013

We spent a week at the Diamond D, and we literally cried when we left. The Demorest family who own and operate the ranch is so warm and welcoming: Kara, Dana, Jenn, Heather, Brit, Jake, and Tom. We didn’t get to meet Linda, the “Queen” of the ranch, but anyone who heads a family like this must be an amazing and wonderful woman (she even built the gorgeous cathedral by the river by herself, one stone at a time over ten years!).

The horses are so well trained and healthy. The food is absolutely delicious. The cabins are warm, clean and lovely with comfy beds and plenty of storage. And the setting is gorgeous, every direction you look. Our family of 5 (mom, dad, 11 year old, 9 year old, and 4 year old) couldn’t have found a better place to spend our family vacation.

By the way, the fishing is incredible! My husband is an accomplished fly fisherman and he was dumbfounded by the number and quality of fish every day. And aside from other guests, he didn’t see another fisherman the entire trip.

There are also other activities: mountain lake hikes, hot springs hikes, volleyball, fantastic swimming pool, hot tub, target shooting, kickball, campfire, rowboats on the lake, bar/dancing night, and more. We engaged in most everything. And also found time to relax in the lodge or on the porch.

For our little one, the girls working on the ranch were happy to babysit so we could find some adult time. And the wranglers were happy to offer pony rides too.

Rustic yet elegant. Secluded and pristine. Warm, welcoming and professional. The Diamond D is exactly what we were looking for. And more. We’ll be back!

Room Tip: For more seclusion, choose one of the cabins down by the river.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Andrew L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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38 - 44 of 61 reviews

Reviewed 18 August 2013

We spent 6 unforgettable days on the ranch.
Everything was top notch: the riding, the hiking, the fly fishing, the shooting, the food.
We travel a lot but have rarely experienced such a level of authentic hospitality.
We felt at home within 10 minutes of our arrival.
Go and experience this fantastic place for yourself - you won't regret it!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank surricata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2013

Location/Drive: It is a long drive from Boise to the Ranch. If you go the quick way you are looking at 5-6 hours. The last 20 miles is off road and will take you 1-2 hours. They recommend a 4x4 I would say you need one or a car with a lot of ground clearance. They do offer to come and get you from Stanley which I would recommend if you have a normal car. Driving off the Ranch into the town for a day trip is not a reality so you are basically stuck there. They recommend shopping in Bank on they way in but I would recommend Stanley which had a better store.

Activities: We were disappointed with the organized activities. I was expecting more Ranch stuff but pretty much the only activities are Horse riding and Hiking. The Horse rides are amazing and are either 2 or 5 hours. The Horses ONLY WALK and it is pretty easy. Hikes are either 2 or 7 hours. The long hikes and long Horse rides were too long for our kids. They do usually a game in the evening like Kick Ball. Fishing is good and they will lend you a Rod but it is not an organized activity. YOU CAN ONLY RIDE if you kids are older than 6 because of insurance. We have a 5 year old and it was a real problem. They very nicely did 10 min Pony rides and one small on site ride. This meant we could not do riding together and since that is the main thing to do we ended up not being able to spend a lot of time together as a family and had issues keeping him occupied.

Pool and Hot Tub: The Swimming pool was not heated and VERY COLD. This was for us a major issue as it was not really usable by the kids. So once again our 5 year old lucked out as he could not even go swimming. Hot tub was ok.

Food: Food was really good although don't expect to sleep in as Breakfast is 7.45-9am. Also dinner was at 6.30pm which generally meant the kids were very hungry since Lunch was at 12.30pm. I was a little annoyed on the last day as they did not have enough seating for everyone at Dinner so we had no where to sit when we arrived. They put a table in the play room for us but it felt odd.

Staff: You will never meet nicer people. Friendly and helpful!

Cabins: We stayed in one of the small 4 room Cottages on the way to the lake. They do have a big house for a large group. It was clean and nice. No Kitchen and a noisy Fridge in the living room. Bed was not great as it was extremely soft and I prefer a firm Mattress. There is no Heating or AC in the Cottages although they do provide electric Radiators which we used in the morning.

Fires: There was several Fires going when we got there and some days there was a lot of smoke and ash on the Ranch and on parts of the drive in/out. It did generally clear by mid morning. When driving it is worth asking at the Visitors Center before you go anywhere as they will tell you what the situation is. We did think of going to Sun Valley on the way back but the Visitors Center told us they were on pre evacuation orders so we did not go. Fires are getting more common due to a dryer climate.

TV/Games/WiFi: They have an old TV and very limited WiFi on the Ranch (No picture uploading). Good selection of Videos and Board games.

So in conclusion I would say this is not the Mecca people claim. It is great if you love Horse riding and want to do it morning noon and night. For kids I would definitely say they need to be between 8-13 and the more the better to keep themselves occupied. Our 8 year old loved the place but our 5 year old who had a good time was an issue as one of us could not go riding and had to occupy him a lot which meant the lack of a pool was a bummer. This led to us leaving a day early and went to Boise so we could do something as a family.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank davidbrummy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2013

My college friends and I get together annually for a guys trip and discovered that the Diamond D Ranch ranked at the top of our list of experiences. The ranch had everything we were looking for: remote, rugged beauty, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, nice accomdations and good food. The best thing about our experience was the hospitality. The staff from the Diamond D made the experience incredible. We were welcomed in like family and upon our departure, you would have thought that we had been lifelong friends/family. Everyone in our group has stated that we would love to return and we plan on doing so soon! Highly recommend.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Little1335
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2013

Somewhere along the 20-mile dirt road into this place, you wonder whether anything can be worth this much risk to your rental's tires. It's a rugged ride, and you really have to want to go there to put up with it. But then you get to Diamond D and stay a while, and decide that you'd come back here if you had to walk in and out. It's really that great.

The tab for two of us in mid-2013 was just under $500 a night, so it's expensive. All of the activities, which include horseback rides, guided hikes, and skeet shooting, are included. There is a pool and a hot tub, which come in quite handy after some of those long hikes, and there's a private lake where you can fish. They serve three outstanding meals a day. The facilities are clean, spacious, and comfortable, but not "high luxury."

In the end, you're paying a significant premium for the cost of keeping a place like this functioning so well, literally at the end of the road, surrounded by some of the most stunning scenery in America. Which is saying a lot, because anyone who's done much traveling knows that "America the Beautiful" isn't just the title of a song.

Diamond D works for both families and couples. Everyone is welcomed warmly. I enjoyed seeing other peoples' kids having what obviously was the time of their lives, and remembering similar times with my parents when I was growing up. Horseback rides are very safe and carefully run in the dude ranch "nose to tail" style. Experienced riders might feel a little held back, but parents and inexperienced riders can be absolutely confident that they and their children are absolutely safe.

The trail hikes are stunning beyond words, and the scenery in general brings a lump to your throat. Diamond D is nearing its 50th year as a guest ranch, and is operated by an extended family of the warmest and real-est people in America.

I can't say enough good about this place. I hadn't been aware of its existence until I stumbled across them mid-trip, and was lucky enough to be able to snag a cabin for a few nights. Rest assured, we'll be coming back for a long, long time. Diamond D is a keeper. If you can swing the cost, you'll like this place.

Incidentally, Idaho Highway 75 and U.S. 93 from Ketchum all the way to the Montana border are drop-dead, have-my-ashes-scattered-here stunning.

Room Tip: Rent a sturdy vehicle -- not just an ordinary sedan. And bring some good hiking boots!
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ITravelandEat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2013

That is what the kids (12 and 14) said and we agreed. The location in Frank Church Wilderness has the ranch surrounded 360 degrees by the mountains. Beautiful. The horses are right on site and the mules come by to say hi. The food is fantastic and plenty. The staff are wonderful and treat you like family. We went riding, fishing, hiking, played volleyball with everyone, horseshoes, shooting, swimming/hot tub and so on. You can do as much or as little as you like. A great family vacation! A few suggestions: make sure rental car has full spare as it is rocky getting to ranch and flat tires happen. Also, be sure to fill up on gas in Stanley. The cabins by the creek are lovely, great beds, lots of room. After arriving in Boise, we broke up the ride to the ranch with a night in Ketchum (stay at VRBO 451335!) as well as spent two nights there before flying home. Our visit to the Diamond D Ranch was the best family trip ever!

Room Tip: We loved the cabins by the creek! Updated. Lovely.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank ECKValleyForge_PA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2013

This homely ranch provides guests with an extremely rare sense of togetherness and family. The instant I rolled in I was welcomed with smiling faces and helpful hands. This secluded, three generation family owned ranch is a one of a kind. It is filled with numerous horse back riding trails, gorgeous hiking, and awesome everyday activities provided by and with the workers. But most importantly it gave me and my significant other an incredible time we will forever cherish, and we can't wait to come back and experience it all again sometime soon!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Grant G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Diamond D Ranch

Address: 1 Loon Creek Road, 3904 Fledgling Drive, Stanley, ID 83278
Region: United States > Idaho > Stanley
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Stanley
Price Range: £148 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Diamond D Ranch is Idaho's premier all-inclusive guest ranch, nestled in the Frank Church Wilderness and surrounded by the Salmon River mountains. We offer several wonderful activities, including: horseback riding, fly-fishing, hiking, gold panning, swimming, and many evening festivities. After an exciting day at the ranch, many of our guests enjoy cracking a window at night and listening to the sounds of the bubbling stream and the wind in the trees from the comfort of their cabin. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Diamond D Ranch Stanley, Idaho

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