The SpaceOur mountaintop ranch retreat is becoming well known as a 180-acre slice of heaven, overlooking thousands of acres of wilderness all the way to the Pacific Ocean. This spot is a sure cure for "Nature Deficit Disorder"! We encourage you to enjoy first-hand the awe-inspiring vistas, sunrises and long lingering sunsets, relaxation, and unpretentious hospitality of our secluded mountain home. It is more than a destination, it is a feeling that you won’t soon forget, and a rare experience you can’t afford to miss.
Roughing it? No way! Your entirely separate, peaceful, private and spacious wing of the house is furnished with comfortable, handcrafted furniture, antiques, unique works of art, a world class library, kitchenette, en-suite full bath, heating and air conditioning, a handcrafted Queen bed with "Natura World" organic mattress, lots of pillows, fine linens, hardwood & tile floors. Also in your space is a comfortable "Flex-Steel" couch with chenille throws, that becomes an excellent, pull out sofa bed for others in your party, or for your companion who wishes for a separate place to sleep. In addition you'll find your suite features an incredible view without city sounds, or city lights!
This is a destination for special people who love to go that extra mile for the exclusive, unique location and extraordinary view that is ours, behind locked gates. Come stay here and it becomes yours to savor.
Your spacious, professionally cleaned guest suite also includes coffee maker & coffee, tea pot & tea, breakfast foods, fruit, juices, milks, dishes & utensils, cutting boards, mini- refrigerator, microwave, utility sink; outdoor and glass-enclosed deck areas, telescope, hand drums, slippers, bathrobes, hairdryer, toothbrushes, shampoo, soap and conditioner, couch, table, chairs, yoga mat & blocks, stereo, Wi-Fi, cell charging stations, and all high quality linens.
Relaxation is effortless after a day of fun and adventure exploring the Giant Redwoods, the famous Mendocino Coast, the parks, rivers and events or the abundant Award Winning Wineries. If you wish to spend your stay relaxing or in retreat, we hold space for you to do that as well.
Your well-appointed suite was designed by the same Frank Lloyd Wright School architect who designed and built the main house. Our home is perched on top of the highest point west of Highway 101, with vast stunning vistas of elegant Redwood, Fir, Madrone, Manzanita, Oak trees, plus Chaparral and wildflower covered slopes.
We are happy to serve as your personal guides on private wilderness trails, direct you to easy walks on our un-paved quiet road, guide you to our special spots for sitting on a rock contemplating the view of seemingly endless wilderness, while surrounded by singing birds, fresh air and ocean breezes. At night we invite you to sit on the porch in the moonlight or under the canopy of stars which pop out brilliantly in this place of no streetlights or neighbors.
Our lovingly landscaped gardens are open to you for strolling, sitting, contemplation. Our fruit trees provide delicious fruit in season, which we are happy to share with you. The Gardens have been a popular feature on charitable garden tours.
You are invited to experience off-grid living in a thoroughly modern home with all the amenities. Electricity has never been available here, so for the past quarter century we’ve been building up our own abundant solar generating system, backed up by generator on cloudy winter days. Solar energy pumps our pure and delicious well water, and solar water heating is on the roof. Weather permitting, we heat, cool and cook with solar in addition to pumping our well water, powering lights and appliances.
This ranch/retreat is perched on a rocky mountain top in the spectacular coast range wilderness 2.5 hours north of San Francisco. We have 360 degree panoramic views (from your private space too!) of big mountains, forest, and ocean with abundant wildlife and lots of hummingbirds. This is an ideal Nature Lover's, Writer's, Musician's & Painter's spot; perfect for a Birthday, Anniversary, Honeymoon or Special Getaway with your Sweetheart, Best Friend, or Best Traveling Buddy. Terrific home base for visiting Redwoods, Wineries, Festivals, Coast and Hiking Trails all over the County.
The Guest Suite, like the entire house, is a bit of an art gallery/museum of our personal travels around the world as anthropologists; and contains a portion of our precious personal reference library.
The Suite was built with steel framing - recycled cars - rather than wood, the oak & redwood trim came from down trees on the property, milled on site. The ceiling is redwood, made from the wood of a huge old water tank. The floor is sustainably sourced Oak. The house was designed and built by Thomas F. Bingham, of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. The Guest Suite was designed by Thomas F. Bingham and built by Jay Fraser of Willits.
This is a fabulous destination in and of itself. Most visitors settle in and do not leave until their restful stay is over. The acoustics are great for singing and non-amplified musical instruments, hence the many house concerts we have hosted here.
A good flashlight is a must for after dark, there are no street lights anywhere, no nearby neighbors. We provide flashlights for you. If you ask, Creek will do a star show for you with his telescope - weather permitting - or you can just relax on the deck after dark, soaking in the vast Milky Way and occasional shooting stars. Definitely bring binoculars if you are into enjoying our terrific birding. Don't forget your camera! Prepare for spectacular Sunrises, and long, lavish, lingering Sunsets where the sun slips into the ocean before your eyes. Wildflowers and stargazing are all superlative.
We love spontaneity, so we welcome short notice bookings.
Though our retreat is on top of a mountain in the breathtaking California outdoors, we are easier to reach than you may suspect. Our property is only 8 miles from Highway 101, and it is quite convenient to arrive by a rental or personal car. Don't worry about getting here with a city car - I drive a Prius on the route you will take. The big UPS truck comes here daily. The road from the highway is all paved; except for a short, mostly flat, 1 mile from the community gate to our driveway, which is paved in all the tough spots. When you follow the detailed directions to get to the house, make sure you take the main road which is all pavement from the highway to the Yellow Gate.
Internet is slow by City standards, but adequate for us and for a getaway vacation. We personally are grateful to have some of the best internet outside of the city limits. Much of this county has little to none, mostly due to the landscape; the forest, the mountains, the canyons, and the small, rural population. We get our signal by microwave, from a ridge-top tower, miles to the east of us, line of sight.
As your hosts, we hold space for your goals for this experience. If you wish to interact with us, we are available. If you seek privacy, that's perfect with us as well.
For your health and comfort, and that of others, this is a pet/domestic animal-free, non-smoking and drug-free property.
Willits has an abundance of excellent restaurants, a book of menus is on your coffee table. It is 25 minutes driving on a mountain road to Willits, so you might seriously consider dining before you arrive, or bringing your dinner - you'll likely not want to leave once you get here, and Willits rolls up the sidewalks at 9 pm.
We can easily make ample extra refrigerator space available for you, especially for longer than overnight stays, so plan on bringing food with you, and sharing our humble country kitchen, if you wish. Guest AccessIn addition to the 500 square foot Private Suite, you, our honored and treasured guests, may explore the lovingly landscaped domestic gardens where you will find abundant seating in sun or shade. Most outdoor and enclosed porch spaces are totally shared, please ask!
Use of house kitchen can be arranged, please ask ahead so we can plan our own meal preparation around yours. Fresh fruit may be offered, from our vines and trees, in season and subject to availability.
The famous and amazing west deck in so many of the photos is available to you at any time, with easy access from your space through your half of the huge wrap-around glass porch. Find a table, take your food, a book, your flute or guitar - and sit contentedly out there, appreciating the spectacular view, and the serenity.
We are happy to recommend walking, hiking, entertainment, dining and shopping venues to you! This is our home and we are actively involved in our community. Interaction with GuestsFrom Confucius:
To have friends coming in from afar, how delightful!
We are delighted to respect the privacy of our guests should they desire to be left alone and not wish to engage with us. Some people stay here for quiet retreats, others to be more social. We provide the space for either, and it is our pleasure to do so!
We thoroughly enjoy meeting new friends from all over! We've been hosting international visitors for many years, have experience in resort management. We also host SERVAS travelers and have greatly enjoyed the exchange of ideas and experiences. We love traveling the world in the Airbnb fashion, and pass on to you the "welcome home" we have personally experienced.
We will be in residence at all times during our guests' stay, and accessible as you wish. Please try to arrive between 3 pm and 10 pm*, so that we can personally greet you, answer any questions and introduce you to the features of your space.
*Returning Guests are welcome to do "late arrival", as you already know where everything is, and how it all works! Do let us know that you'll be coming in late, and we'll see you in the morning! The NeighborhoodOur region was recently voted #3 destination in the world to visit... we are so totally honored!
In addition, The Washington Post recently published the findings of a USDA Natural Amenities Scale ranking the most desirable places to live in the United States. Not surprisingiy, Mendocino County and its North Coast neighbors, Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, took three of the five top spots! It is obviously time to take a trip to one of the top places to live in the U.S.!
This is a stunningly beautiful rural mountainous region with abundant hidden treasures waiting to be discovered and savored. The peace and quiet, the great outdoors, the fresh air, fresh food, the Giant Redwoods, The Skunk Train, The Wine and Mushroom Festival, the extraordinary Pacific coast ... diversity, friendly people, our first class community theatre, top quality local art, world class concerts, music festivals, award winning wineries, Frontier Days celebration and Rodeo, the July 4th parade, Kinetic Carnivale, Roots of Motive Power, eclectic shopping ... excellent restaurants, local artists, farmers markets ...
Our two nearby towns are Willits [about 5,000 people] and Ukiah [about 15,000 people]. We are very active in our delightful community, and will love introducing you to the art, music, excellent restaurants, shopping, assist you with your touring and savoring...if you ask us. We have placed menus and local/regional information in your room, as we are members of the Chamber of Commerce. Most people here are very interesting, well educated, progressive, artistic, genuinely friendly and well-informed. Ask anyone on the street if you are looking for something!
Mendocino County is a noted art colony, no wonder - who wouldn't be inspired to create when surrounded by all this beauty!
Especially for birders:
Fall is migration time for hummingbirds. We have so many here that it astounds us. They return in Mid March to spend the entire summer and early fall with us and their nesting trees. We have observed a Peregrine Falcon at very close range from the house. They are resident here. In Fall the Band Tailed Pigeons return to our garden, sunning themselves in the tall trees, especially in the mornings. Ravens are offering commentary in the afternoons these days and doing some incredible trick flying in full view of the house. They sure have a lot of fun. We also have many nesting songbirds in our gardens, be prepared for their serenades.
We also hear frogs, crickets and owls at night. There is no background noise of the city, or nearby roads, so prepare to sleep well. Without ambient city lights we get very dark skies at night, the moon and stars pop right out at us.
The flock of local birdwatchers are reporting lots of amazing birds every moment on our local e-group MendoBirds. Western Tanagers, Varied Thrush, Grosbeaks, Hummingbirds, a number of types of Warblers, Flycatchers, Rufous Sided Towhees, Bewick's Wrens, Stellars & Scrub Jays, Mountain and California Quail, Pileated Woodpeckers are among the many birds nesting in our garden. It seems there is a bird show going on in every tree. Our raven neighbors check on us frequently. Wild turkeys and Grouse are in the area. We are dedicated birders, and have a fair knowledge of wilderness skills and resources. We have decades of experience living in the wild lands. If you ask, we are happy to share any of our knowledge. Getting AroundWaves, Wineries, Wilderness, Willits!
Willits is a lovely historic town, now being re-discovered. Willits is a premier destination for visitors seeking an intimate small town travel experience with the many local artistic and culinary flavors of Mendocino County.
We welcome you to be our honored guests during your memorable journey to this absolutely breathtaking part of Northern California in all its natural splendor.
We are located southwest of Willits, the "Gateway to the Redwoods." Our home is perched on top of the highest peak west of Highway 101 in the state, with unsurpassed views of endless wilderness all the way to the coast, dark skies at night, amazing sunsets (no two ever alike) and more quiet than you've enjoyed in a very long time. Our spot is unspoiled, uncrowded and undiscovered, except for our invited guests, personal friends and our precious and growing Airbnb family.
We are off the beaten path, and reliable private transportation is necessary to get here. Even so, our home is a terrific place to stay while appreciating the delights of this scenic region. We are day-trip accessible to world renowned attractions: the majestic Big Trees, the gorgeous Mendocino Coast, and California's Greenest Wine Producing Region, with over 60 boutique wineries in addition to major, well-known ones. Whether you are thirsting for great wines, hungry for delicious organic cuisines, coming to the many local festivals, or just craving a re-rejuvenating and re-energizing getaway, Mendocino County is a perfect destination.
We welcome you to our special spot, high on the mountain. This is the best of all worlds for lovers of nature, wilderness, panoramic view destinations, peace and quiet, the opportunity for sitting on a rock and reconnecting.
We are located about 30 minutes from Highway 101, southwest of Willits, and northwest of Ukiah, California. This is a mountainous region, formed over the eons by earthquakes.
A word of caution on electronic navigation aids in respect to our local roads: Your electronics and those handy online maps may have a sense of adventure that your car might not agree with. They may also direct you to old logging roads that you cannot pass through on, and down dead ends and roads that really do not exist. Please do not believe everything they tell you. Believe us instead, read and follow our easy directions, which will be provided with your reservation confirmation.
The ranch is about a 3-hour drive north from San Francisco Airport, which is our closest major airport. Oakland airport is another option if you are flying to California. Santa Rosa's "Sonoma County Charles Schultz Regional Airport", about 90 minutes south of us, is serviced only by Alaska/Horizon Air, which is practical to fly into from many areas. Yes! This is the famous "Snoopy" Airport! Private pilots use the local airports in Willits and Ukiah.
If you are a train traveler, AMTRAK sends a bus up here from their train station in the Bay Area for passengers with train tickets only. We suggest you look online for schedules of these types of transport.
Mendocino County is bordered by Sonoma County to the south, Glenn, Lake, and Tehama Counties to the east, Humboldt and Trinity Counties to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The county encompasses a large, rural area located 115 miles north of San Francisco with a total area of approximately 3,510 square miles, with about (only) 3% flat land. Features of the county include elevations ranging from sea level to almost 7,000 feet, 130 miles of coastline, a coastal mountain range, and vast tracts of timberland. Other Things to NoteWe are off grid, which means we make all our own power with solar panels, generator as backup. Public utilities have never been available here, so this is like living on a cruise ship, but in the total wilderness. We offer you the experience of living off grid for a time, in a thoroughly modern home. Our pure, delicious water is pumped by solar power from a 360' deep well; then up to the top of the mountain so that gravity flow gives us excellent water pressure in the house. We are grateful for this precious resource, often scarce in this region of frequent drought.
Prepare to unplug from most media during your visit. We do not have TV here, and cell service is limited by terrain to a few "sweet spots" which we are happy to introduce you to. Not all cell providers cover this region. If you wish to watch movies, please bring your favorites to watch on your computer. Internet here is very basic, and usually doesn't support streaming or downloads. For your entertainment, we recommend you also bring reading materials, music, and art materials. Or delve into our extensive library.
We enjoy four distinct seasons, each with its own individual wonders and delights! Winter can, at times, be cold, wet, or excitingly stormy here in the mountains. We have friends who drive a long distance to experience the high energy of a storm here. We get just enough occasional snow in winter to be beautiful, rarely inconvenient. There is really no way to predict winter weather more than a couple weeks ahead of time, as our weather is so much like the SF Bay Area. We are coastal, which means that temperatures are mostly moderate. Rain storms that come off the ocean are exciting in this glass house. I love the rain, when it happens! We usually have a series of rain storms, with days of lovely weather in between. After a rain it is lovely to put on our waterproofed hiking shoes and walk in the forest, appreciating the fragrance, the beauty of the leaves, and looking for whatever exotic mushrooms appear overnight under the trees.
Also, In the middle of winter we usually have a couple weeks of warm sunny weather every month.
Snow is rare, but when it does happen it is light, beautiful, and always disappears too quickly.
Except for the few hottest days, it can be delightfully cool at night, and the refreshing breeze from the ocean is ever present.
As your hosts, we bring our own lifetime passion for world travel and appreciation of cultural diversity to welcoming you here. We have always found delightful people & experiences, everywhere we've been. We carry on and pay forward this excellent tradition!