Coram Ranch - Shasta Lake, California
by Diana Stockdale
(Salt Lake City, Utah)
This location was recently used for our family reunion the second week of July, 2009. It consists of a huge main house with commercial size kitchen, with three additional houses, each with extra bedrooms and an additional smaller kitchen in each house. There are horses on site that can be rented to ride, as well as numerous bicycles (included for free) for adults and kids to ride around the ranch. Fishing gear is also available (free) to go down to the Sacramento River or Shasta Lake to fish.
The pluses of this location are it's rustic atmosphere and casual demeanor. The place was clean, and the furniture was comfortable and ready to be "lived on," without your feeling like it was so fresh from the warehouse floor you'd get anything dirty. It had lots of antiques and old things around for decoration and just a natural, lived in, at-home atmosphere. There is a large swimming pool, game room, TV room, fire pit for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, basketball court, trails for hiking, pool table, etc. The kitchen has an old gas stove, but it works well and there are several refrigerators and an extra freezer, so no worries on cooking facilities. Plenty of pots and pans. The main dining room can seat dozens and also works well for family gatherings for games and just hanging out. The staff is friendly and helpful, around just enough to
keep running rampant children in line, but stays far enough away not to make anyone feel they were intrusive. Fresh towels were constantly and regularly available, always presented with a smile. It's only 15 minutes from Redding, where there is a Costco and other grocery stores to buy decently priced supplies. There are multiple swimming holes around, as well as the lake.
The minuses were the river is not easily accessible (at all) and there are only swamp coolers on site, no AC. When you close your bedroom door at night, no more cooling or air circulation, so DON'T go when the weather has turned really hot! Do bring a small portable fan to keep your bedroom comfy. The guards at Shasta Dam ranged between cordial to jerks with swelled heads who took their badges to mean they could be intimidating and threatening (this had nothing to do with the ranch, however). The pricing was middle of the road and we thought quite fair.
It's nice to be able to go somewhere that the children could swim to their hearts content, run around like wild Indians, explore nature freely and be kids! We even enjoyed freshly picked wild blackberries from our many family hikes. We would definitely return.
If you like a ranch atmosphere idea and getting back to nature, but still have the comforts of home, take a look at Coram Ranch by Lake Shasta, CA. www.CoramRanch.com