Tag Archives: remote

Wilderness Lodges

California Wilderness Lodges

Childs Meadow Lassen
Childs Meadow @ Lassen

These accommodations listed below are located on the edge of Wilderness.  Northern California, Sierra Nevada mountains, rural coastlines or even in the vast Deserts; the terrain is always front and center and the main attraction.

Some are large resorts with dining and other amenities, others are small and intimate, historic and cozy. Open year round or closed during winter months, each place is different. Follow links to find out more details and tell them Total Escape sent you.

Stay overnight surrounded by nature, right next to the Wilderness


various types of Wilderness lodging

wilderness camps – horseback or hike-in access only
rustic cabins – big snow country, carry snow chains
fishing lodges – river front and very popular
historic forest lodges, inns & resorts
lakeside resorts – often closed in winter
hot springs resorts – located in remote areas

Overnight accommodations are pretty scarce in the wilderness areas and high country locales of the golden state. Wilderness accommodations can be reserved up to a year in advance, with a hefty fee, of course. Often open during winter months, but not always.


Wilderness Lodges & Cabins in Calif

elevation: 4000′ – 9800′

Overnight lodging in California; alpine country, located high in elevation. Mountain peaks, fire lookouts, cabins, historic inns, guard stations and even, hot springs resorts.

Benton Hot Springs
Benton Hot Springs, N of Bishop, CA

The Inn at Benton Hot Springs
Highway 120, Benton, CA
High desert inn, E of US 395

Big Sur Lodge
47225 Highway 1
@ Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Big Sur, CA 93920

Lodging in Bucks Lake, CA
Bucks Lake Resorts
Plumas National Forest

Chalet View Lodge
Highway 70 @ Graeagle, CA
Plumas National Forest
East of Quincy, CA

The Inn at Death Valley
Highway 190
Death Valley, CA 92328
Death Valley National Park

Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn
48865 Highway 1 @ Castro Canyon
Big Sur, CA
19 cabins & cottages

Original Glacier Lodge
Big Pine Creek Glacier Lodge burned down in1998; only the cabins remain

Glacier Lodge
elevation 8000′
(closed for winter)
Glacier Lodge Road
W of Big Pine, CA @ US 395
Eastern Sierra – Palisades Glacier
John Muir Wilderness
Inyo National Forest

Gray Eagle Lodge
5000 Gold Lake Road
Graeagle, CA
Lakes Basin Recreation Area
Plumas National Forest


High Sierra Camp (HSC)
(horseback or hike-in only)
Giant hiking loop in high country = Tuloumne Meadows, Vogelsang, Lake Merced, Sunrise Camp, May Lake
elevation 9000′ – 12,000′
Tioga Pass, Highway 120
Within Yosemite NP

luxury in lassen
Highlands Ranch, Lassen National Forest

Highlands Ranch Resort
elevation 5000′
Village Inn @ Childs Meadow
Hwy 36 E, Mill Creek, CA
(open year round)
Lassen National Forest
Lassen Volcanic National Park


Kit Carson Resort
Silver Lake CA
Carson Pass, Hwy 88
(closes for winter)

Lodging in Sierra City, California
elevation 4187′
North Yuba River
Northern Gold Country, Hwy 49

elwell lodge

Lakes Basin Recreation Area
elevation 6400′
(closed in winter, sno mo ok)
Gold Lake, CA
Packer Lake Lodge
Sardine Lake
Elwell Lakes Lodge
Bassetts Station
North Gold Country, Hwy 49

Lodging in La Porte, California
elevation 5000′
La Porte Road
East of Yuba City, CA

Lucia Deck Dining

Lucia Lodge
62400 Hwy 1
South Big Sur Coast
Lucia, CA
10 cottages

Mill Creek Resort
Cabins & Campground
(closes for winter)
Hwy 172, Mill Creek, CA
Lassen National Forest
Lassen Volcanic National Park

LaPorte Union Hotel

Montecito Sequoia Lodge
Montecito Lake Resort & Cabins
(open year round)
Sequoia National Park

panamint springs motel

Panamint Springs Resort
40440 Highway 190
Darwin, CA 93522
Death Valley National Park

Rock Creek Lodge
Rock Creek Canyon Rd
elevation 9373′
John Muir Wilderness
Inyo National Forest
Eastern Sierra, W of US 395

Tioga Pass Resort (TPR)
elevation 9000′
Tioga Pass, Highway 120
East Yosemite NP

Tree Bones Yurt Resort
Treebones Resort & Restaurant
71895 Highway 1
Rural Central Coast
Big Sur, CA
877-4-BIG SUR
16 yurts

hiking maps

Ventana Inn & Spa
48123 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA
60 rooms & suites
243 acres
Ventana Wilderness 

Vermilion Valley Resort
elevation 7643′
(closes for winter)
John Muir Wilderness
JMT = John Muir Trail access
Sierra National Forest
Lake Edison, CA

Washington Hotel
15432 Washington Rd
Washington, CA
W of Donner Pass
established 1857

Wylder Hope Valley
formerly Sorensen’s Resort
elevation 6000′
South of Lake Tahoe
Hope Valley, CA


National Forest Cabins
& Fire Lookout Towers


fire lookout tower


Snow melts from MAY into JUNE. Expect closure or mud on dirt back roads. Wildflowers bloom APRIL through AUGUST in the Sierra Nevada, above 3000′. Autumn arrives with aspens and fall colors in the Eastern Sierra, through OCTOBER.


more recommendations coming soon….

Arizona Wilderness Lodges

Grand Canyon (cabins on the rim)

Jacob Lake Inn
7925′ elevation
AZ Hwy 67 @ US-89A
Fredonia, AZ 86022
cafe, cabins & motel
North Kaibab National Forest
Grand Canyon, North Rim


Nevada Wilderness Lodges

Mount Charleston

Utah Wilderness Lodges

Zion & Bryce National Parks

Mike’s Sky Ranch

Baja Resort Off Road

A rare gem: a rustic river ranch in Baja California Mexico. Fully operational, clean hotel with great rates & home-cooked meals. Open year round.dirt bike trails

This historic place is a living legend; well known throughout the tourists circles. A quaint, family run, secluded backcountry lodge – in the middle of nowhere. A motorcycle haven, well known w/ crowds. Hundreds of bikes, buggies, sand rails & jeeps each year make it to this lovely destination.

Also a popular destination for campers with the horses, 4×4 clubs, SUV travelers as well. No motorhomes, caravans of clueless, nor RVs should attempt this remote Baja location.

Baja Ranch Inn
Mike’s Sky Ranch rests on a hillside overlooking the Arroyo San Rafael, which is a somewhat wooded river valley with steep, brush-covered mountains. The ranch offers motel-type accommodations for a very reasonable price: family-style meals, a swimming pool, horse-back riding, sycamore-shaded campsites. The individual hotel rooms are adequate with a bathroom, plus a variety of bed sizes & combinations.

Remote Ranch in Baja

The price is right. Mike’s Sky Ranch charges on a per person basis. The rental includes a bed, plus two meals:

  • dinner the night you arrive
  • breakfast the next morning
  • bring cash for bar drinks
  • bring snacks, lunches & own ice chest
Camping also available; inquire for rates

Mikes Sky Ranch Reservations
write a letter:
667 Twining Ave.
San Diego, CA 92154

Call during the week Mon-Wed
phone # 011-52-664-68-15514

Ask about information regarding nearby day-trips to – the Oberservatory by vehicle or, on foot, into the rugged country to the east. A nice watrerfall is only 1 mile hike up the canyon. Depending on the year and waterflow, this may or may not be impressive. Small rainbow trout sometimes can be found in the river next to the ranch. Hunters may find deer, rabbit, & quail.

Baja Dirt Roads

Imagine the remote, dirt, back roads of Baja Mexico. Dusty, bumpy, undeveloped & adventurous. Some areas may require 4 wheel drive depending on the rainfall & erosion at that time. Road conditions can change from year to year, so come prepared. Although a 2WD truck or SUV can easily make it all the way out to the infamous Mike’s Sky Rancho, it may not always be the case. Let’s just say on a heavy winter rainy season, beware. You may wanna see just how deep that river crosing really is before attempting that last obstacle.

Poolside MSR Baja

The swimming pool is clean & the properties water source is straight from the mountains via the year round flowing river next door. Camping out is an option down by the river.

There is a small bar that is open nighly; but please don’t expect poolside Palm Springs style service. This is a rustic place that caters more to the ‘roughin’ it’ types.

Getting there is half the fun. I wouldn’t try your first visit arriving at night, since the small dirt roads can get confusing with limited signage. There are no telephone poles out here, or even electricity wired this far out, so the small ranch uses a generator every night from dusk until 10pm.
“Man, when that generator goes off. Poof … the stars come on!”

30 mile Dirt Road access only

MSR Baja California MX

Located approx. 50-60 miles; south east of Ensenada, Baja south off MX Hwy 3

DIRECTIONS: From Ensenada & Hwy. 3 East bound: This road to Mike’s begins at signed junction 10-11 miles south east of Valle de Trinidad. High-clearance vehicles are necessary; 4WD is not required. The entire route is on rough dirt roads. The first part rises over rural dry brush landscape & then decends down into a wooded river valley – where the resort is located. The overall mountainous region has few large trees & plenty of dust. The road becomes rougher as it winds down & approaches a junction at mileage 13.8. Bear left to continue 8 miles to the ranch. Creek crossings and river crossings, slow down!

NatGeo Baja Map Set
North BAJA Norteoverview MAP

Baja Topo Map
Baja Almanac

The BAJA ALMANAC is by far the best back roads guide to Baja California MX. Numerous versions span from 1990-2001. May be difficult to find cuz it is out-of-print. Fast becoming a collectors item, since so few can be found on the ‘used book market’

Rainy New Years Eve
Rainy New Years Eve
River Crossing at Ranch
River Crossing at Ranch
Tent Camping
Tent Camping MSR, Baja California

Baja Roads

Bar Crew in 2003
2003 Bar Crew @ Mike’s