Our family of 10 stayed three nights at Bison Creek Ranch in May 2017. The owner/manager "Bronse" was quick to reply to my emails/texts/calls and courteous. The fee is low compared to other houses in the area at $300 a night. However, I would have rather paid $400 a night for the same facilities and had them be clean. I would give the property a 5 star rating for everything except cleanliness, which I would give it a 2 or 3 on. It appeared like Bronse invested in beautiful little log cabins, furnished them in quaint western décor and then left some bachelor cowboy responsible for the house cleaning detail (about like Slim Chance's bachelor trailer in the Hank the Cow dog series, if your kids like to read or listen to those books). We spent our first afternoon in the house cleaning and dearly wished we had brought our own cleaning supplies from home. I had read many reviews for "The Ranch", as Bronse calls it online, before booking and read that a small percentage of the reviewers had said it was dirty, so I was expecting some dust or "roughing it" (the yard is desert like landscape so is extremely dusty). However, there is a big difference between a house that is dusty and a house that is dirty. The kitchen had grim that looked like many months of heavy use accumulated, the fridge was disgusting (and had leftover food in it), the bathroom smelled like a public bathroom (don't know if the guys from the office come and use that bathroom since the house we stayed in was the one right up by the front office). BTW, bring your own toilet plunger as the toilet plugged a couple times a day when we were there and plunger sitting by the toilet doesn't work very well. I wished we had brought our own vacuum, too, as the one sitting in the house just made puffs of dust billow in the air when we tried to use it. There were lots of cobwebs on the walls and curtains, the poor bison over the fireplace looked almost silver.
The house has two bedrooms in it (one private with a wood door to close, the other behind glass French doors) with queen size beds in them. Also, there were two queen beds in the loft which is where the washing machine and dryer are located. The beds in the bedrooms downstairs seemed clean, but the bed sheets in the loft appeared dirty, like someone had run around outside barefooted and then crawled into bed without washing their feet off (like pine needles in the sheets?). That wasn't a big deal for us as we just stripped those beds and used our own sleeping bags as we had gone camping for the rest of our vacation. There is a hot tub outside, but it didn't appear clean enough to use.
If you plan to drive to Yosemite from the ranch, it will take you almost an hour and a half to drive completely into Yosemite Valley. There are three houses on the ranch and we stayed in the one that sleeps 10 (if two people sleep on the couches in the living room) at the front of the ranch as we didn't have the 4 wheel drive vehicle that would be needed to get to the cabins that are further back on the ranch. There is no way you will be able to get down the road to the two back cabins without 4 wheel drive, the road is very rough, rocky, washed out and steep in places. The kids thought it was fun to look for gold in the stream and also went into the tunnel by the front gate that used to be a gold mine (but is muddy after the first 20 feet so didn't go back the 150 feet to the end). We saw a half dozen head of cattle, not any bison, a few chickens, some rabbits in the house labeled "chickens" and a couple burros in the corral by the second house. I would think of it as more of a little old McDonald farm than a working ranch as there was no sign of the equipment/feed that a large number of cattle would need. There's a tiny green house behind the shop with some herbs, kale and strawberries growing in it. No sign of eggs, so bring your own for breakfast:) We manager was friendly and helpful as he showed us our house when we checked in on Saturday, and we didn't see anything more of them until we went to check out on Tuesday morning and went to the office to tell them we were leaving (just saw their trucks sitting at the shop/office during the days).
Our favorite thing about the ranch:
Beautiful scenery: 1 mile wide by 7 miles long with permission to roam the entire property. So quiet and beautiful and serene. If you are from the city, you'll be in awe of the quiet and solitude! Our family walked a couple mile back on the property to just past the second house to see the burros/donkeys in the corral. It all looks like the set of an old western movie, very picturesque. Lots of flowers were blooming along the road. Feels very secluded and private (although the front house is right by the office and their shop so is in view of the ranch workers). We enjoyed burning wood in the fire place each night as it was cold outside. We were provided with plenty of wood to burn a fire overnight all three nights. Our house had a porch that wrapped around the entire house with rocking chairs on it. We saw some wild turkeys out the back porch in the morning.
Suggestions if you stay here:
Bring your own cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towel, vacuum, toilet plunger, kitchen rags and towels (they provide some but would have to be washed before I used them). I'd suggest washing any towels that you find hanging on the bathroom doors as the one that was there when we arrived was damp like it had been used. But the ones on the rack in the bathroom seemed clean. The cabin has very dim lighting which fits the ambiance of the cabin well. However, if you want to see anything very clear, bring your own brighter light bulbs.
If this were my cabin, I would hire a maid service to thoroughly clean out the cabin, get a new vacuum cleaner and sweep more than the middles of the rooms. Get rid of the dirty kitchen appliances on the top of the kitchen cabinets (waffle iron, crock pot type of stuff that all desperately needed a good scrubbing), make sure the kitchen table is wiped off before anyone arrives (no crumbs or food dried on the cloth throw on the table or the table itself, empty and wipe out the fridge, Empty the bathroom shelves out of miscellaneous personal stuff (vitamins, old soap, etc.), install a new toilet the flushes well........ Then enjoy the beautiful cabins with their quaint western décor and solitude!