Just outside Ashton, Idaho, Squirrel Creek Ranch offers one of the best family reunion locations I've found, especially if you're looking for Idaho campgrounds or secluded cabin rentals.
Family reunion locations can be hard to find. Do you look for a vacation rental? Or a campground? Or something in between?
We just returned home from our 4-day family reunion at Squirrel Creek Ranch near Ashton, Idaho, and I have to tell you - as far as locations go, it was near perfect for us!
Our reunion attendees consisted of my parents, their five
children, our spouses and children. In total, there were 12 adults and
16 children between the ages of 8 months and 10 years old.
The family has a hard time sitting still (I often think that I come from a family of 7 with at least 5 Type A personalities) so I wanted to find a neutral location that would force us to be together.
But I wanted us each to have our space as well. I needed safe areas for the kids to play and laundry facilities were a must. Something familiar, affordable and within equal, reasonable traveling distance for the farthest families. I also needed an outdoor fire pit, the ability to cook and eat all together, and space for large group games.
While it’s a lot, I don’t think my list of desired amenities is that different from most families.
Our arrival to Squirrel Creek Ranch in Ashton, Idaho, started with a phone call. We were running late and I wanted to make sure we’d be able to find our way in the dark. "Don’t worry," Larry told us. "I’m waiting for you and the light’s on."
From there, it just got better. I grew up on the family farm so country living runs in my blood. The ranch provided some of my favorite things from childhood - clean air, millions of stars at night, groves of quaking aspen and crisp, fresh drinking water. I think the entire family enjoyed staying in the country but with full amenities. It was a little like camping in the wilderness but with a bed, sheets and a private shower.
Squirrel Creek Ranch is approximately 12 miles east of Ashton, Idaho, and one of the best family reunion locations I’ve visited to date.
Ranch accommodations include:
They are all relatively close to one another and each area has plenty of its own green lawn space.
In addition, a pavilion sits at the very center and is absolutely
perfect for large group gatherings. There’s a volleyball net, fire pit
with plenty of fire wood and benches, a couple of horseshoe pits, and
lots of green grass.
We had free reign of the ranch property which includes fishing ponds,
dirt trails, gravel driveways and grassy meadows. There was plenty of
space for organized fun outdoor games for the kids
and also plenty of safe places to let them explore and run free. The
kids played soccer and the adults played volleyball. It was easy to make
a treasure hunt with easy clues as one of the family reunion activities for the kids.
Other family reunion activities included fishing, crafts, ladder golf,
sparklers, attending Ashton, Idaho’s 4th of July parade (there's nothing like
small town American patriotism!), board games
and a hay ride. We also explored a few of the area’s many recreational
offerings, including a visit to Cave Falls in Yellowstone, a hike to
Bechler Falls and a visit to Mesa Falls.
Oh! And we followed the locals’ advice and stopped at Five-11 Main and had one of the best huckleberry milkshakes ever made. (I'm not kidding. It was divine.)
We saw critters of every shape and size throughout the week. From moose
and elk to mice (which were interesting conversation starters, by the
way) and mosquitoes, the wildlife is abundant in Ashton, Idaho!
We even saw a bear… well, as long as Smokey the Bear counts. And the scenery was nothing short of breathtaking.
While we took advantage of many of Squirrel Creek Ranch’s available
services and the area’s recreational activities, we didn’t do
everything. I was wishing I had requested the ranch’s catering services
for our outdoor barbecue and that I had asked for a little guitar
serenade by the fire. Basically, if you can dream it, the Ranch can
provide it in their unique easy-going, laid-back style. All you have to
do is ask.
Bottom line -
If you’re looking for a family reunion location with a rustic, country feel and lots of freedom and options, you’ll love Squirrel Creek Ranch in Ashton, Idaho!
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