We had a fantastic time staying in the yurt! This was our second trip to Rancho Grande this year, and we love it! The new kitchen area is fantastic, and Richard and Alex are the most gracious of hosts’ who will do anything needed to make your stay as comfortable as possible! Sleeping in the cold was not as challenging as you’d think thanks to some fantastic heaters and an incredibly warm bed, and we felt like we were truly adventuring as a family. The animals on the farm are all a pleasure to be around, and be sure to enjoy some of the best eggs you’ll ever eat in your life. Lots of great hiking around the property. I always look forward to coming here to relax, and enjoy the quiet stillness of nature. Rancho Grande is truly a gem of a property worth visiting!
My family and I just returned from a weekend here and we feel like we hit the Airbnb jackpot. Words can’t properly express the magic and beauty of the land and the kindness and hospitality we were shown by the hosts. Highlights: the property is breathtaking. We feel so lucky we got to experience it. Fishing on the lake (we caught over 20 bluegills and catfish), riding the horses, hanging with and feeding all the animals (we loved the goats especially), the awesome yurt with the super comfy bed, the gorgeous kitchen, cooking on the fire, morning coffee on the lake, fresh eggs from the farm’s chickens, the game room, and the gracious hosts who went out of their way to make sure we were happy and comfortable the entire time. We are so grateful for this unique and breathtaking experience and hope to come back again soon!
This place was absolutely extraordinary. What an epic and unique property! From the amazing views, to the crazy goats running around to the beautiful fishing lake and magical horse rides, this place has it all. The tents were great and the shared facilities (kitchen and eating areas) were super nice and well stocked with everything one needs. Thanks so much Richard, Alex and Brooke for making this a memorable couple of days for me, my wife and our 4 years old daughter. We are definitely coming back in the early spring!!
I don’t really know how to try to capture the magic in a review! Rancho Grande gave our family some much needed time to unplug. Our kids made memories they will never forget. Delphine says “it was the most amazing vacation I have ever been. We felt almost like we had the place to ourselves and often times we really did . We slowed down, got dirty and just soaked up the beauty. Anyone who has the chance to spend time on this sacred land will be a better person because of it. We can’t wait to come back!
What a special and unique place! Alex and his family pour so much care into this exquisite ranch. The setting is very rustic and remote (print directions to your phone, there is no reception for miles) with an awesome swimming hole/spring that feeds the entire ranch with fresh water so while it’s a farm in the middle of Los Padres Forest, it also has ducks, frogs, and herons. Bring plenty of extra clothes for cold nights, including hats (the bedding is warm!) and clothes you don’t mind getting dusty. Richard and Alex AND their pets provide excellent hospitality and the freedom to enjoy their gem of a ranch.
This was just the best place for us to get off the grid, and enjoy nature and the animals on the Ranch. Horse back riding was fun with Brooke and Kerry. Alex on the Ranch with the Daily Goat walk was awesome. Fishing was fun especially for the kids. we can’t wait to come back and visit again soon.
This review is for the Fish Camp yurt. Since we were the only family staying in the yurts during our weekend, the owner Richard was very kind to give us a pick of yurts. We ended up choosing the Fish Camp yurt due to it being closer to the bathroom, shower, and mess hall to cook. Put simply, we had an amazing trip. The ranch is a beautiful place, the yurts are very nice, our hosts were so gracious and amazingly helpful, and all of the animals are so friendly and warm. We had a memorable vacation in this very special place and highly recommend it!
This ranch is truly special! The experience was a cross between glamping, summer camp and farm stay, and our family loved it. So much to do, and a stunning quiet location in the middle of Los Padres National Forest to do nothing as well. The Fish Camp tent was spacious and the photos don’t capture how beautiful it is. The bathrooms were very clean and the communal kitchen was being renovated so a few basics were missing, but the owner got us anything we needed. He was such a lovely and accommodating host, at the ready with anything we needed, including S’mores fixins since we forgot ours. And the animals were a delight. Loved that they got to roam free during some parts of the day and our toddler got to feed the goats, and pick fresh eggs from the chicken coop. Highly recommend.
Rancho Grande is amazing and so magical. We went with our 2 year old for a family vacation. We had so much fun trying all of the different boats, riding in our gator and exploring and hanging out with all of the animals. Our 2 year old loved collecting fresh eggs, tomatoes and picking apples off of the trees. Participating in the goat walk is a must! If you are trying to decide which tent to stay in, we did get a peek at both since the other guest left earlier than we did. The Howard creek tent is very well decorated; and more private, and has a creek running right by it but further from the kitchen/bathrooms. The fish camp tent, has beautiful Mountain/lake views, but is a little less private (not hidden behind trees like the Howard Creek tent). Both are beautiful and worth every penny you pay to stay. I am amazed at how clean they are able to keep the tents- we saw no bugs or dirt at all in our tent, it was sparking clean. The bathrooms were also very very clean and private. The kitchen is well stocked and we enjoyed cooking all of our meals there and eating on the dock or in Shellys Shack. This place is so perfect. If you are thinking of booking…just do it! We will be back in the future!
Richard and his family were fantastic hosts on an unbelievable property. Richard met me at the entrance and toured me around the grounds. My tent was extremely tidy with a warm bed. Loved having a four-wheeler with which to adventure on my own, as well as a newly renovated kitchen space to prepare my own meals. Bathroom was very clean. Beyond the neat and beautifully decorated accommodations, and the hospitable hosts, the setting of Rancho Grande is a treasure.
We just had our second visit in three months, and it was another great trip. There’s a ton of space to stay socially distant for Covid. The kids loved the horseback riding, and our hosts took care of our every need. Will definitely be back!
A great bonding experience with our family. It was a wonderful time with so much to do. Boats, swimming, fishing on a private, small lake. SO MANY ANIMALS! Goats, bigs, sheep, horses, chickens, and more. The kids adored singing and dancing with the macaws, getting eggs in the morning for the coop, and riding the horses. The game room was filled with fun games, a library, TV, pool table and much more. The hosts were so kind and really helpful. They made our stay easy and enjoyable. We felt at home. This is a camp like experience, so expect to get dirty, but the bed and bathroom were really clean. We loved every minute and will be back!
An amazing place! Our family had such a great time! If you like outdoors and getting away from it all this is the place! The yurts are great. The property has so much to offer everyone in a family (our boys are 6,8, and 15 -they were stoked the whole time). The hospitality was way beyond expectations! We can’t wait go back!
A perfect weekend getaway with too many attractions to list. The lake, the tent, the horse backing riding, all phenomenal. Well be back!!
We had such an unforgettable and amazing time. The tent was huge, luxurious and everything in the tent was top notch and sparkly clean. The lake was beautiful. We managed to swim, fish, and kayak around it. The kitchen was fully equipped and stocked. You can pretty much make anything in there. There was no shortage of supplies. The hiking trail was well maintained and marked and we really enjoyed the view. Richard & Alex have provided us everything we needed and they went above and beyond to make us feel comfortable and accommodated. They gave us our own dedicated restroom and shower with fresh and clean towels and also gave us a John Deere Gator to drive around the ranch. You can never get bored in this place since there is so much to do and enjoy. I recommend this place to everyone who would like to get away from the city and relax.
We had a great time and it exceeded our expectations. It was a great escape from the city and yet close to the city. We felt very welcomed, it was like we had our own ranch. Great glamping experience!
Experience of a lifetime! If you want to enjoy nature without sacrificing comfort, this is a perfect destination for you. This place is a nature theme park. Operated by a father and son duo that genuinely just want to share what they have and ensure you experience their ranch to the max. It’s like having a close buddy that owns it and you get to visit. They were super accommodating and made sure we felt comfortable throughout the entire stay. The tents, amenities, trails, lakes, farm animals, activities etc, were all A+. Most of all, they ensure the ranch is never crowded so you and your fam are the only ones there. Super fun and safe for kids all ages and adults! Our 3YO son has so much fun playing with all the farm animals, picking fresh veggies from the greenhouse, riding the UTV, paddle boating on the lake, etc. 3 days went by so quickly without a dull moment. Especially during these times, this getaway is the best way to unplug and give yourself a break. And while you’re at it, meet some awesome, generous hosts. We can’t wait to visit again! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Rancho Grande was amazing! Richard, Alex, Shelly and Brooke were fantastic hosts and made us feel so welcome from the moment we stepped foot on the ranch. Finding their place and checking in was super easy and Richard was very accommodating to get us into our cabin early and get setup. Really helpful as we were trying to unload three kids under 6 and lots of food for the week we stayed. Our cabin was great. Two separate bedrooms and a large bathroom along with the family room in the middle worked great for us. We even setup my son with a cot and sleeping bag in the main room for him to sleep at night. Great little kitchen with a refrigerator, plates, utensils, pots and pans which was very helpful as we cooked a lot and were able to eat outside on the deck. It was August, so a little warm and a little buggy, but it was great. We also spent a lot of time in the Fish Camp common building in the back of the property by the big lake. We were able to BBQ on the fire pit outside and cook inside using their shared industrial kitchen complete with huge sinks, stove top gas burners, flat top griddle, and huge double-door, side by side refrigerator and freezer options to store our food. Fish Camp was great with the screened windows that let the wind blow through but kept the bugs out. Fish Camp also had lots of great little toys and trinkets to keep the kids entertained. The kids loved the goats and spent most of the time playing with the baby goats and walking around with them on their daily goat walks. We picked fresh eggs from the chicken coop every day. We loved riding around on the John Deere Gator, one of the highlights of the trip to be able to see the entire property and get back and forth quickly whenever we needed. We paid for horse back riding lessons with Brooke which the girls loved and she even showed them how to care for and clean the horses as well. Shelly was super sweet in spending time with our kids and sharing information about the animals and the ranch. My son thinks Alex is a super hero. Between taking care of all the animals and riding around all day working in tractors, I think my 2 year old already wants to be Alex when he grows up. Richard also referred us to a great little hike to see the Rose Valley waterfall just a mile away from Rancho Grande which was great. We were super lucky to find this great spot and spend some time away and relax before our kids went back to school. We loved every single minute thanks to Richard and the gang and everything they did to make us feel welcome and taken care of. We can’t wait to go back again!
We had an awesome and memorable off grid weekend at Rancho Grande, Ojai. Richard, Alex and Brooke were all such wonderful hosts, and made sure we were comfortable and having fun! We stayed in the fish camp yurt, and it was the perfect glamping experience! The bed was comfortable and we all slept well. We loved spending our days playing by the pond – which especially refreshing given the heatwave we’ve been experiencing. We jumped off the dock for a swim, and used the paddleboat and canoe. We cooked gourmet meals in industrial kitchen in Shelley Shack, as well as on the open fire pit by the pond. We brought in all our groceries in a cooler, but also enjoyed picking vegetables from the greenhouse and gathering eggs from the chicken coop. We loved visiting the friendly farm animals, playing with the dogs, and enjoyed a memorable sunset horseback ride with Brooke. We never left during the 2 days we were on the ranch. This is a truly special place and we are so grateful to Alex for sharing it with others. It was so nice to unplug and unwind. There are so many unique touches that make this a one of kind vacation. Some notes: If staying in a yurt, the bathroom is a short walk from the cottage, so you might want to bring a flashlight or headlamp in the evening after the sunsets. The bathrooms were super clean, and each family is assigned their own. There are these battery powered lights for the yurt, but no power outlets – so if you need to charge your phone, you can do so in Shelley Shack or bring your own power bank. There is no cell service (Verizon), but there is wifi near the Shelley Shack, and if you need to contact someone, landline access if available.
My family and I had the best time at Rancho Grande. The hosts were super gracious and welcoming and provided us with all that we needed to make our trip fun and memorable. This was a truly unique experience for my family with members ranging from age 8 to 75, everyone had an amazing time. We all look forward to returning soon and creating more lasting memories.
This place is a true gem. Richard and his family were so warm and inviting and made us feel right at home. During these uncertain times I cannot express how wonderful it was to have access to so much beautiful open space and forrest. From the one little baby goat who loved to jump on our backs, to the fresh delicious greenhouse veggies, to the John Deere Gator, to the luxury yurt, lake and beyond our trip to Rancho Grande was truly an unforgettable one. I highly highly recommend Rancho Grande to all who need a private and naturally relaxing getaway.
Rancho Grande met and far exceeded all of our expectations for a family getaway to connect with nature, with animals and just unwind. We wanted to stay and never leave!! It is such a special property, with amazing animals, but it is really made extraordinary by the hospitality and touches of the hosts! Our family of four, two kids 9 and 13, tried so many things in our 5 day stay but could have easily stayed busy and happy much longer. We rode horses, went fishing, swimming, canoeing, paddle boat, riflery, hiking and s’mores by the campfire. Not to mention all the time we spent feeding and loving on all the animals, from baby goats and chicks to the Alpacas and horses. We’d recommend you bring food to cook and never have a reason to leave this amazing property. A huge thank you to Alex, Shelly, Brooke and Richard for all the extra special touches and for making our family feel so welcome!
This place is truly a nature lover’s paradise. My Teens were so happy to experience life in the outdoors, and farm life as well. They made new friends there, ‘Aretha’ & ‘Ash’ and a lot more. We will be back soon, for sure. There is still so much to explore! The entire experience was wonderful. Thank you to your whole Family 🙂
I want to move in! My tent was gorgeous with a comfortable bed and the linens were luxurious. The beautiful property has great views and many opportunities for activities. All the animals are so happy and friendly. Fresh veggies from the greenhouse and fresh eggs are available daily. You will feel so at home, on a farm, in the middle of a national Forrest. I can’t wait to come back!
As other reviews have accurately noted, this place provides a magical farm experience for those happy to be off the beaten track. We brought our 2 year old daughter for her first real trip to a farm and she adored it. Richard and his family are incredibly thoughtful and the personal touches made everything special – from setting up a bbq by the pond for us one night, to a kiddie pool for our daughter to splash in when it got hot. And much in between. On a current note, we enjoyed being distanced to the point where we didn’t have to wear masks just to walk outside. I can’t recommend this place enough and hope that we will be back for another visit.
Rancho Grande is such a special spot. Our family of five was greeted and treated to such a fun and relaxing weekend. Alex, Richard, Brooke and Linda were such amazing hosts. We learned so much about the ranch animals and their own unique natures – our family loved it. They went above and beyond to make us feel like we were welcomed to any part of the property. We could decide to be as active or as relaxed as we wanted. From reading on the lakefront, to taking out the rowboat, to longer walks and fun rides on the John Deere….we felt a world away and it was lovely!!!
The Rancho Grande is a beautiful, magical place and we loved it! This is a wonderful place to stay if you’re looking for a one of a kind experience! Wish I could have stayed longer. Richard and Alex were great hosts. Hope one day we will come back. Thank you so much for having us!
Alex and Brook and Richard were all amazing hosts. They went above and beyond helping us explore the huge, beautiful property, and they personally introduced us to many friendly animals. Their huge herd of goats were our favorite. Our cabin was comfortable and full of nice touches. My daughters can’t wait to go back. It was an unforgettable trip.
We stayed here as a family getaway for my husbands birthday. Communication before and during stay was prompt. All questions were answered and local tips were given. They even offered up another yurt as being more convenient than the other with our four kids. Upon arrival we were greeted and given a tour, immediately you feel as if it’s your home away from home. Richard and Alex were more than accommodating and went out of their way to make the trip extra special. The animals, fresh eggs and veggies, the gorgeous yurt and you can’t forget the frogs! The lake is heaven on earth with paddle boats, canoe and row boat at your leisure. We loved the daily walks with the goats and the yurts were comfortable and cozy. We will make this our go to spot for years to come. Major bonus having your own gator truck to get around too!
I’m not the kind of person who keeps special discoveries secret, ever. I share the wealth, all the time. But with this gem of a place, I had severe fear that if I told anyone about it, I’d never be able to book it again because it is so??incredibly??good. So, I will tell you this much, it is NOT called shmancho shmrande and it is not in shmojai. We glamped in a beautiful yurt, fridges were stocked with soda and ice cream, we had a John Deere during our stay and the people were so so so sweet. Gabriel picked and ate radishes and skipped rocks, Raphael played with frogs in the greenhouse and made friends with a dog named Watson, Anya ate her first beet which we plucked and roasted. The animals are beautiful and the grounds are stunning; there’s clearly a lot of love in that farm, Most of all, the children kept talking about how much they loved it there. We’re planning to go all the time, so don’t book it every day until the end of time and I’ll share it with you. K? @ranchogrande_ojai ?
This place is MAGIC. I have traveled all over the world and have never experienced such a unique, thoughtful, authentic experience. I was there for my birthday the entire family and staff was so kind and hospitable and the truly put thought and love into every detail. They treated us to a private horseback ride as a gift. Super special. It really feels like you are on your own private ranch and you get to have real experiences wit so many different animals and nature. The landscape is epic, the staff is exceptional. This is a little slice of heaven.
Had the most amazing time at the ranch for a day getaway! Everything was so idyllic and the hosts were absolutely wonderful, helpful, and welcoming. We canoed, fished, stargazed, rode on horseback, and woke up with the clouds and mountains surrounding us. Completely exceeded expectations and we can’t wait to come back!! Just as a tip for travelers – the location is a bit remote and we didn’t have cell reception the entire time we were there. They have WiFi, but just something to note!
The rancho grande is beyond real words. I don’t know if any review could actually capture how truly magnificent this place is and how wonderful the people are. It will be a place that we frequent for certain! Thank you Richard and Alex for a vacation my children will treasure for a lifetime
Amazing property in a secluded location. Host, staff and animals are very friendly and accommodating. Facilities are well-equipped with lots of activities that are available to you. I had a memorable Father’s Day weekend with my wife and 3 yr old and I look forward to returning with my extended family.
Rancho Grande is a magical place. The location is beyond all expectations and the tent we stayed in was set up with exceptional taste, style, and care. It is glamping at the highest level. The host and his son are warm, friendly, and eager to help in any way they can to make your stay extraordinary. We look forward to going again.
Amazing retreat, gorgeous setting, beautiful yurt, hosts accommodating without being annoying. Beautiful intense nature with no one around will def come back.
Rancho Grande is a little slice of heaven. There is so much enjoy here: hiking, fishing, pond swimming, goat walks, and stargazing just to name a few. The owner, Richard, is so hospitable and his tranquility is infectious. My partner and I had a such a relaxing and romantic time here, we will be back soon!
incredible. i would live here if i could.
This is a gem. You get to stay in middle of a national forest while enjoying the amenities of this beautiful ranch. Richard and Alex were great hosts. I couldn’t recommend enough.
We had a marvelous weekend getaway at Rancho Grande. The owners, who live on the ranch, are extremely welcoming and hospitable and made our stay very special. Our kids (7 and 4) got to visit, feed and play with all the animals (goats, pigs, chickens, sheep), rode horses and spent countless hours playing games with the dogs. Nights were spent roasting marshmallows and listening to the soft songs of the frogs. The owners live on the ranch and were always around to tend to our every need, whether to start a fire, provide bottled water or eggs from the chickens, or bring extra blankets. The living quarters were very comfortable, clean and tastefully decorated. The weather was a bit chilly in February but we were provided with plenty of space heaters and extra sleeping bags, which made it very cozy. The tents are spread far apart on the property. You truly feel like you have the forest all to yourself, all the while sleeping in a king bed with a fully stocked chefs kitchen on hand. We can’t wait to come back and visit again. It’s a true gem.
A beautiful and soul replenishing stay. Thank you for the recharge.
Very relaxing, easy, plenty of activities to choose from. Very attentive host.
Josh, Los Angeles, CAJanuary 2020
We had such an incredible time at Rancho Grande. Alex was an amazing host and the property was gorgeous. Plus, we got to play with goats! We will definitely be coming back.
Alex is truly a gem. What a special place. We got to meet all the animals including my favorite lamb Eloise. ♥️
A truely unique experience. My boys and I had a fantastic stay up at the ranch. We are looking forward to visiting again next year. Thanks for everything
Our stay at Rancho Grande exceeded our expectations and we cannot wait for our next visit. The Cowboy Cabin was very cozy and felt like we were part of the farm. Upon arrival, Alex gave us the grand tour, introducing us to the animals and it was clear how much pride and care the family gives to each and every aspect of this beautiful place. The animals were all so gentle and friendly! From the goat walk to the campfire s’mores by the lake, it was a very special experience. We will cherish this place for years to come – thank you for generously sharing your home with us! – Renee & Tony Weatherford
Extraordinary stay! Our hosts were so thoughtful, the ranch feels free, our dogs and kids could play without us feeling uncomfortable. The game room was amazing, and everyone loved visiting with the animals. We got to groom the horses and hold the baby lamb! The farm fresh eggs were delicious in the morning. What an unexpected and wonderful getaway! We will be back!
What a great spot! Everyone at the ranch was super friendly and helpful. Never had a more accommodating Air BnB experience, will definitely be visiting again!
Better than we could have ever dreamed of. Every touch was perfect and so fun all the way around. If you are looking for a comfortable and real experience in nature with the addition of some really cool amenities. This is it Alex was a great host full of fun information and welcoming. 6/5 stars
I don’t know where to start and am almost loathe to highlight this amazing gem for fear of it being unavailable when I want to return. We had a phenomenal visit – I’ve been to many Airbnbs and this is by far the best. Everything was way beyond our expectations on all counts – warm and welcoming hosts, the unbelievable location, the gorgeous decor, the stunning property and amenities, the privacy and freedom, the adorable animals …. Come prepared to indulge in being off the grid and truly regenerate. Thank you, thank you! We can’t wait to return!
We really can’t say enough about this (Website hidden by Airbnb) a short drive from Ojai (about 30 mins), nestled in the gorgeous Rose Valley and run by a family that goes overboard to welcome guests and make sure every detail is taken care of. We spent our anniversary at Rancho Grande, and it felt like we were a million miles away from civilization, yet enjoyed all of the comforts of a rustic, authentic ranch. You can have many different kinds of experiences here – we chose to take a hike and view the valley from above, but we could have just as easily grabbed our books and read by the beautiful pond. Just a lovely place….We’ll be back for more!
WOW. This place is INCREDIBLE. Exceeded all expectations and was a truly magical place. Alex, Greg, Richard, Brooke, and the rest of the folks at Rancho Grande were absolutely incredible. They made us feel at home, let us play with their incredible animals (including a 2-week old baby lamb!!). They recommended great hikes, bars, restaurants. Even drove us to and from town. The ranch itself is unreal – it has so many incredible sights to explore including a big lake, baseball field, horse pastures, recreation room with pool/games/library…truly one of the best Airbnb stay imaginable. We will absolutely be coming back and plan to just stay on the ranch and skip downtown Ojai because Rancho Grande and its incredible hosts has everything you could ever want and more!! If you’re thinking of booking DO IT!
Alex was a wonderful host who stayed in close contact with us after we booked and personally welcomed us to his ranch on our day of arrival. The Ranch is absolutely spectacular. Tucked in the mountains just above the town of Ojai, the Rancho Grande is a real oasis for those who want to unwind and unplug from it all. We cooked and swam in his beautiful lake and knew from day one that we would be back. Our Yurt was absolutely spectacular and perfectly appointed with everything that we needed. Alex’s place sets the GLAMPING bar really really high. We love the outdoors. But we love the outdoors even more in a Yurt fit for a King and designed with love and a passion for fine outdoor living. This is one place not to miss. Treat yourself to a good time that’s unique and totally off the beaten path.
I’ve stayed at a lot of Airbnbs around the world, and this ranks in my top 3. It was one of the most idyllic California ranch experiences that I’ve ever had. My wife and 3 kids (9, 11, 13) will never forget our time at Rancho Grande, and I hope to bring larger groups back here soon. Alex and Richard hosted us with fishing, swimming, food, drinks, games, bon fires, horse back riding, interactions with farm animals, etc. They also loaned us a fun John Deere Gator to drive all over the property. What an epic weekend. Thank you! Kevin
The place is really well kept and designed. The hosts are incredibly hospitable and the views are exceptional. Had a blast! Highly recommend.
Magical stay! Rancho Grande is a stone’s throw from LA, and at the same time an oasis in the middle of nowhere. Richard, who met us at the property, is just the most wonderful host. He showed us around this beautiful ranch surrounded by the mountains of the Los Padres National Forest, including the pond, walking trails, natural spring and baseball diamond. On the property there were horses, alpacas, parrots, chickens, two pigs and the loveliest dogs. Alex’s cottage made us feel like we were living a Western, except that it was super comfortable, especially the beds and pillows. Apart from Alex’s cottage two of us stayed in the brand new air steam on the property which was modern and a lot of fun. There were also a couple of South African tents that we visited which were huge and looked luxurious. From the kids: We loved it! We got to feed loads of their animals which was so much fun because they were so friendly and calm, especially the pigs and horses. Speaking to the parrots was hilarious, if you sang to them they danced along. We also got to ride a buggy that was ours to us for the duration of our stay. It was exciting to explore the beautiful grounds on our own. It was so relaxing and we didn’t go on our phones once because there was so many things to see and do. There was an amazing games room which sadly we did not get to explore because we were having too much fun outside. Richard is probably one of the coolest guys in California. He could not have done more to help us, whatever we needed he was happy to help! We would definitely go again and wish we could have stayed longer.
Wonderful host and wonderful experience!
I’m a 50-something dad and spent a couple of nights at Rancho Grande last Friday and Saturday nights with my 17-year-old son and two of his buddies. I stayed in one of the African safari tents which was a dream come true. What an experience. We are all seasoned campers (cars, hiking, primitive). The safari tents are the most luxurious camping ever. It was surreal to fall asleep to the light of the moon and the sounds of all the night wild life, and then to by awaken naturally by the light of the sun and all the morning wild life, all the while sprawled out across the king size bed. To park, we were able to park right outside our tent, and then Richard and Alex lent us the use of one of their ranch buggies to drive around during our stay. Think the rancher/farmer version of a golf cart but with a more serious 4-wheel drive motor, drive train, and tires. We zipped around from one side of the ranch to the other multiple times of day to make the most of it, tossing whatever we might need in the truck bed. For our stay, we had access to a refrigerator and kitchen facilities to cook. To make the most of your stay, plan to spend time outside, both during the day as well as during the evenings. There’re trails to hike during the day and time to build a fire and look at the stars at night. The night sky is excellent since the ranch is at ~3,500 ft altitude and a good distance from any major metro areas. Also, to take advantage of the firewood and a fire ring for making smores next to the lake; I recommend putting the ingredients for smores on your grocery list. There a few grocery stores in Ojai that you could easily plan to drop into on your way up to the ranch to get whatever food you want to have on hand. If it’s a hot day driving up, consider a cooler for the period from store to putting it away in your accommodation’s fridge. During your stay you’ll be able to truly unplug. It was interesting to see how both the kids as well as the adults became accustomed to not having cell service except for a few visits nearby the main house where Richard and Alex were staying. This is a real working ranch, so these city boys I brought along had so many unique experiences involving various activities that relate to the day-to-day work of running a ranch. Feeding the horses and talking with their care taker while she worked on taking care of each horse. Horseback riding. The boys with me had each maybe one prior experience riding a horse; the lady who handles the rides did a great job showing the kids all of the steps to readying the horse and finally riding by themselves. Feeding the chickens. Visiting the potbelly pigs. Visiting the cows; a calf had been birthed just the day before we arrived. We also visited the sheep and the alpacas and the macaws. It was fun to just listen to the macaws practicing the various words they seem to be learning. Also visiting the goats; they have a good number of goats so don’t be surprised if a baby goat is on the way or just arrived during your stay. We also spent some time checking out the night sky with the telescope as well as just laying on a picnic table and watching the shooting stars and visible satellites pass over head. The altitude is about 3500 feet so it’s certainly cooler than down the road towards Ojai and Ventura. We were happy to have brought sweatshirts even for the late August evenings. I recommend bringing a headlamp for walking between facilities at night although Richard and Alex were happy to lend us various lights when needed. Their dogs are all very friendly and get very excited as each party arrives. The dogs only barked to let each other know something interesting was happening somewhere on the ranch or to get your attention because they wanted you to throw a ball or throw a stick. We also visited the game room and enjoyed the pool table and ping pong table and the dart set up just like you find in pubs. The kids also enjoyed playing horse shoes and spent a good many hours each day fishing in the lake from the shore of from a canoe or from a paddle boat. They enjoyed catching and releasing plenty of little perch as well as catfish.
Had the best time, can’t wait to go back!