Located on the southeastern edge of Lassen Volcanic National Park in Chester, Drakesbad Guest Ranch is a rustic resort with 19 guest rooms, ideal for a quiet escape. At the property, vacationers may go fishing, swim in a hot springs pool, go horseback riding, hike, or relax.
The open season for this establishment is June through October. The ranch allows visitors to spend the night or visit for the day. However, guests must book an activity or dinner at the ranch during the day to use the hot springs.
Edward R. Drake, a native trapper and miner, built the first building on the Drakesbad Guest Ranch in the 1880s. Eventually, in the year 1900, Drake parted ways with his property, selling it to Alexander Sifford. Sifford first visited the region in search of mineral water to help with his nerves. He and his wife, Ida, constructed a guest ranch and enlarged the facilities provided by the previous owner.
After a snowstorm wrecked many of their possessions, the family continued to fix up the ranch and its surroundings, including constructing a kitchen, dining room, and 20 tent sites. By 1936, there were four cottages and a pond for fishing there.
The Siffords eventually parted ways with the ranch, selling it to Don Hummel and the National Park Service. Up until 1958, the Siffords were instrumental in keeping the ranch running well.
Drakesbad Guest Ranch continues to welcome guests and tourists despite a long and eventful past.
Natural Hot Springs Pool
Drake’s Bath, the hot springs pool at the ranch, is a significant draw for visitors. People have been flocking to the valley’s hot mineral springs for more than 120 years. A pool was first created by the Sifford family in 1902, with water from a nearby stream being channeled through a hollow wood and into a “tub.”
Just on the other side of Hot Springs Creek is a hill where several hot springs bubble up at a steamy 140 ℉. After cooling naturally, the mineral water is pumped into a pool. The water is cooled during the day, so swimmers are not overheated, but at night it becomes a gigantic hot tub for relaxing in.
A temperature control system keeps the pool at a comfortable 96 ℉ during the day and 103 ℉ at night. A little chlorine treatment is applied to the water.
Guests can do things like swim in the hot spring-fed pool, ride horses, fish, hike, or relax by getting a massage or reading a book. Visitor activities like horseback riding and massage are available to everyone with a reservation. The evening is ideal for relaxing with a good book, playing games, or chatting with friends and family over a fire.
Eating is an essential part of spending time at Drakesbad, and the Ranch Chef’s fresh, wholesome preparations are a highlight of any stay. Meals are served to the public by reservation only.
Lodging and Camping
At the very southeastern extremity of Lassen Volcanic National Park sits the 19 rustic lodge and bungalow apartments that make up Drakesbad Guest Ranch, a perfect place to get away from it all. All meals are included in room rates.
There are also the Warner Valley Campground and the Manzanita Lake Camping Cabins in the area.
Address: 14423 Chester Warner Valley Rd, Chester, California 96020
Phone: 530-230-3901 or (877) 622-0221
Season: June through October