Drakesbad Guest Ranch
Photo © NPS / Amanda Sweeney
Drakesbad Guest Ranch, the only full-service lodging facility within Lassen Volcanic National Park, has been providing guests with a rustic experience for more than a century. In 1900, the Sifford family purchased the property, then called “Drake’s Hot Springs and Ranch", from Edward R. Drake. Alexander Sifford, a former schoolteacher from nearby Susanville, developed Drakesbad (“Drake’s baths”) into a resort with a bathhouse, meals, rooms, and a free campground. Sifford family members also acted as guides and brought visitors to Lassen Peak and Cinder Cone.
Guests can still partake in a restorative visit by enjoying the solitude and beauty of Warner Valley, one of two areas in the park that offer hikes to geothermal features. Visitors can see boiling mudpots and hissing fumaroles (steam vents) at Devils Kitchen, admire a milky-green, bubbling caldron at Boiling Springs Lake, and witness a billow of steam as a fumarole collides with a cool stream at Terminal Geyser. Drakesbad is the midway point on the Pacific Crest Trail.
After hiking, guests are welcome to a refreshing dip in Drakesbad’s swimming pool, supplied with temperature-controlled water from surrounding hot springs. The swimming pool is the only place in the park where people can safely bathe in naturally heated water. Visitors who reserve lunch or dinner at Drakesbad also have use of the swimming pool for the day; it is a favored place to soak away hiking soreness on starry nights.
All meals are included with room. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style. A pre-determined dinner of hearty fare, complete with an appetizer and dessert, is offered each night. The manager is personable and checks in on diners, and assists with serving. On Wednesdays, Drakesbad hosts a barbeque for guests and visitors alike.
Drakesbad offers a variety of rustic accommodations, most without electricity. The rooms are propane heated and have kerosene lamps for lighting. Guests can choose from lodge or cabin rooms, one-bedroom, half-bath spaces. Lodge rooms contain one double bed with an optional bunkbed, while cabin rooms contain one double bed and one single bed. Roll away beds are available upon request. Bungalows, which are AAA courtesy listed, feature a private bath and two double beds. Parties of four or more may reserve a duplex, complete with two bedrooms, a private bath, three double beds, and one bunk-bed.
An American-styled breakfast buffet, including individually prepared hotcakes, is served. All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are included with room.
Seasons Open: Drakesbad Guest Ranch is open from mid-June to mid-October.
Guests enjoy activities such as hiking, swimming, horse-back riding, fishing, photography and wildlife viewing. Massages are available by appointment.
Rate Range: Rates range from $176 for single occupancy lodge rooms to $201 for single occupancy bungalow units. Double occupancy rates range from $155 to $179. Shoulder season rates are discounted for certain rooms.
From Chester, turn north onto Feather River Drive and follow signs to Drakesbad. The last three miles of this 17-mile road is gravel and not recommended for trailers.
Drakesbad Guest Ranch is a member of the Green Hotels Network. Rooms – most of which are not equipped with electricity – are heated with propone. Drakesbad also recycles.
Pets are not allowed at the Drakesbad Guest Ranch or on any park trails.