This is a working ranch in Fossil OR, which is a town so small that if you blink, you might miss it. Fossil is not a destination town so go there knowing it’s quiet and you need to come up with your own activity. On the ranch they offer horseback riding, nearby you can dig for fossils or visit the fossil monuments. Painted Hills is not too far away and is absolutely gorgeous. As motorcyclists, we love the nice curvy roads and beautiful scenery, so we’re there to ride!
Check in is self-serve. Just inside the front door is a small desk and a check in card denoting what room yours is and where it is located. It also includes a phone number for you to call and leave a message that you have arrived.
Rates are based on room size. Last year we were only staying one night and we wanted to save a few bucks so we stayed in a room that was on the small side. It had limited space for belongings and was more cramped with all our motorcycle gear. This year we stayed two nights in a larger room that was much more comfortable and had more space for us to spread out. For us the comfort was worth paying a bit more.
Last year Phil and Nancy were our breakfast hosts, and this year it was Kara and Brian. They are all humorous (entertaining!) warm folks and we really enjoyed interacting with them. The family style breakfast was at a huge long table that Phil made himself. The three times we’ve had breakfast it was good and plentiful, but nothing out of the ordinary. I’ve been told about their famous biscuits and gravy but haven’t had the good fortune to try those yet. (Guess I’ll have to go back again!) We really liked the interaction and conversations with the other guests.
Effies kitchen is a separate outside building with an oven, sink, microwave and refrigerator freezer that is well stocked with pots & pans, cooking utensils, as well as paper plates, plastic cups & cutlery for guest use. Outside are a couple of picnic tables along with two grills, one charcoal and one gas. This last trip we took advantage of these amenities and grilled dinner both nights and just enjoyed the beauty of the fields around us.
We really enjoy this place and look forward to next year’s visit. We highly recommend it!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Legendary pioneer hospitality awaits you at our Oregon bed and breakfast ranch near John Day, Oregon. At Wilson Ranches Retreat you will enjoy peaceful ranch environment rich in history. Live a day in the life of a cowboy or cowgirl on our 9,000 acre working cattle ranch in the beautiful Butte Creek Valley, three miles West of the small town of Fossil, Oregon. Relax and rejuvenate in the pristine ranch style guest rooms. Stunning sunsets, brilliant star-studded nights and the diverse flora and fauna of Fossil, Oregon will captivate you. At our Oregon guest ranch, lifetime memories are created on scenic horseback rides, cattle drives, hiking and ranch tours in a geologically and historically rich area with a magnificent view of the Cascade Mountain Range. Wilson Ranches Retreat is an exceptional place to headquarter your exploration of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, where you will discover the richest find of prehistoric fossils in the world. ... more less
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