: : : : About us : : : :
The Muir Trail Ranch is a family-owned guest ranch. For over 50 years we have provided a haven for individuals, families, and groups to enjoy. Backpackers on the nearby John Muir Trail use the ranch as a resupply stop.
We are located in a beautiful valley in the high mountains of central California east of Fresno, surrounded by soaring granite peaks and the John Muir Wilderness of the Sierra National Forest. Our elevation is 7,600 feet (2,316 meters).
The San Joaquin rivers south fork runs through the ranch. Streams feeding the river come from nearby mountains that soar to over 13,000 feet (almost 4,000 meters), and are fed by snowmelt clear into late autumn, when the snow storms come again and drive everyone out of the mountains till the following spring.
We call the ranch a wilderness base camp because our guests can use it as a place to come back to after they spend their days exploring the pristine wild country that surrounds us. Horseback rides, hiking, photography, and wildlife observing are what many guests seek, while others enjoy the enormous variety of fishing experiences available in the nearby river, streams, and lakes. Were not a dude ranch where you have to wrangle cows or rope a steer. We dont have planned activities at the ranch. You are free to wander about, lie on a rock, read a book, or do some peaceful meditation.
At the upper end of the ranch property are facilities which include log cabins, tent cabins, hot spring baths, horse corrals, lounge, and dining room. The cabins are adjacent to meadows, where wildflowers abound.
The ranch has several hot springs, two of which have been developed and enclosed for bathing. A hot spring in the meadow across the river from our tent cabins is set aside for free use by the public.
The weather during our season (early June through mid- to late September) is usually delightful, but can get exciting sometimes. Summer snow storms are rare, but rain, hail, lightning, and wind could make things interesting for a couple of hours or so.
Accommodations include both log cabins along a stream and tent cabins overlooking the river. Meals are served in our rustic log dining room or on our barbecue terrace nearby. A lounge with fireplace, books, and board games is available to all guests. The enclosed hot spring baths are where you clean up after your hike or horseback ride, since the log cabins bathrooms dont have showers, just a toilet and washbasin with cold water. (Remember, were camping in the wilderness!) Guests staying in tent cabins use nearby restrooms that are equipped similar to the log cabins.
Getting to the ranch takes some work. You can drive to within 11 miles (18 km), then you cross Florence Lake and hike up the canyon. It’s about a 5.5 mile (9 km) hike from the end of the lake. Elevation gain is around 500 feet (150 meters).
For those in a hurry, we allow helicopters to land. Inquire for details.
Are you still interested? Read a bit of our history, then pick the vacation you would like.