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Southern California and R-Ranch in the Sequoias

Updated on October 28, 2014

Our Family Vacation in Sequoia National Forest

I can remember the day my family visited the R-Ranch in the Sequoias camp site. We were invited by a 'owner' to visit for a Thanksgiving weekend for free. This is one of the 'sales pitch' weekends where they treat you like kings and queens and then at end expect you to purchase a 'Share' in the property.

My parents were sick of time-shares and although we enjoyed our stay they were NOT interested in getting stuck in a time-share again.

This however was different [per my mum]- R-Ranch - is a group buying community and they exist all over the United States. One unique quality is that unlike time-shares, if room is available you can use the facility. You don't have to use it just one week per year or however your particular time-share works.

R-ranch only requires you to leave the property after a 3 week stay - 10 days off - and then you are able if you would like [as long as there is available space] to return. *Rules and Regulations differ with each R-Ranch community*

Johnsondale Lumber Yard

A short History of Johnsondale the logging camp that is now R-ranch in the Sequoias.

Our First Visit

A 16 year olds point of view

Where We Stayed:

Although this R-Ranch community has cabins, this particular weekend was quite crowded as it was Thanksgiving Weekend. We stayed in one of the nearly 100 trailers on the property at the time. This was the first time our family of 5 stayed in something like this and it was cramped. It had a wee bathroom, wee stove and a wee sink. The shower was quite an experience to maneuver.

Where We Ate:

At the time they had a working Restaurant on the property so we were able to eat in a cafeteria. Being in California we were able to eat our Thanksgiving Dinner on the outside patio. I think this is the main memory I have of this time - eating on the patio in the sunlight while my parents discussed the possibilities of investing in this community.

What We Did:

The R-Ranch in the Sequoias has a man-made pond filled with fish. They had paddle boats so my sisters took turns going out on the pond and chasing the Ranch ducks. We also took time to walk around the pond and feed the ducks. My sister was feeding a goose and got snipped by it - to this day when she thinks of R-Ranch she thinks of being snipped by that goose.

We also visited the horse ranch which houses 'owners' horses and took a small trail ride. Later in the evening we visited the entertainment center aka Barn where we watched folks dance to the live band. My sisters and I also explored the youth center where they had a television which was used to watch videos. We played pool, a couple of board games and the pinball machines.

Sequoia - Big Tree

Sequoia - Big Tree
Sequoia - Big Tree

Have You Visited the Big Trees? - Sequoia Red Wood Trees in California

The Redwood trees in Sequoia are some of my favorite natural wonders. I have many childhood memories of these trees as each summer my family visited either Yosemite National Park or Sequoia National Park.

I think that it is was these regular visits to this area of California that impacted my parents final decision in investing in the R-ranch in Sequoias community.

Have You visited Sequoia Big Trees?

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R-Ranch Revisited 2009 - A return to What is Good

My last visit to the R-ranch was really a retreat. It was just after my husband was laid off and it was a needed break for my worried brain. I was blessed to go with my Mum and her friend.

This photo is actually not in R-ranch but at the back of a Steak Restaurant just down the hill from the ranch. The Kern River is just under us and the bridge leads to the camping area.

Cabin Adoptions

Owners take pride in the ranch by adopting a cabin to decorate and love. Most furniture, decorations, appliances, pots and pans etc.. are provided by these Adoptive owners.

Cabin #303A - Summer 2009

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Entrance to Cabin 303AUpon entering the cabinReading chair with lampLoveseat in front of the window that leads to the outside bbq area and picnic tableBedroom #1 with queen bedNice corner table in the Bedroom #1Bedroom #2A shower [This is a newly remodeled cabin so the amenities are up-to-date]The kitchen with fridge and sink and stoveYes, lazy camping comes with a microwave!
Entrance to Cabin 303A
Entrance to Cabin 303A
Upon entering the cabin
Upon entering the cabin
Reading chair with lamp
Reading chair with lamp
Loveseat in front of the window that leads to the outside bbq area and picnic table
Loveseat in front of the window that leads to the outside bbq area and picnic table
Bedroom #1 with queen bed
Bedroom #1 with queen bed
Nice corner table in the Bedroom #1
Nice corner table in the Bedroom #1
Bedroom #2
Bedroom #2
A shower [This is a newly remodeled cabin so the amenities are up-to-date]
A shower [This is a newly remodeled cabin so the amenities are up-to-date]
The kitchen with fridge and sink and stove
The kitchen with fridge and sink and stove
Yes, lazy camping comes with a microwave!
Yes, lazy camping comes with a microwave!

Places To Visit - Near R-ranch in the Sequoias

These are additional sites we have visited over the years.

  1. Cheryls Diner - small family owned restaurant in Kern Valley - winner of the 2010 - 2011 Small Business Award.
  2. McNally's Fairview Lodge and Restaurant - the steak house we visited on my last visit to the ranch in 2009.
  3. White Water Voyages - 11252 Kernville Road
  4. Lake Isabella - boating, wind surfing, fishing and a multitude of other outdoor activities.
  5. Antique Shopping in Kernville
  6. Kernville Museum
  7. Silver city Ghost Town
  8. Trail of 100 Giants - short hiking trail
  9. Native American Cultural Center - Farmers market on the weekends
  10. Cowboy Memorial
  11. Kern River Preserve
  12. Fishing Derby - Yearly event with cash prizes
  13. The Fish Hatchery - visited this when we were young

Sequoia National Forest - Detailed Map of Camp Sites as well as Hiking Trails

Places to Visit Nearby

Kern River - Originates in the High Sierra near Mount Whitney - Activities Available - camping, picnicing, fishing, rafting and kayaking.

Cannell Meadow Cabin - this is an early ranger station in Kernville build in 1907. It served as the base for forest rangers who patrolled the area to prevent forest fires.

Lake Isabella - this is the largest reservoir in Southern California covering more than 17 square miles. Offers fishing, boating, water skiing, camping and picnicing. Lake Isabella is not just for recreation as it provides water for irrigation, hydroelectric power and flood control.

Welcome to the Land of the Giants - Map of Tulare County and the Surrounding Sequoia Region

Johnsondale is circled on the map - this is now the location of R-Ranch in the Sequoias. If you follow the map from Johnsondale South, you will located Kernville and Lake Isabella.

Kern River Fish Hatchery

Located One Mile North of Kernville

We visited this Fish Hatchery on one occasion while visiting the ranch. It is located just one mile north of Kernville at 14400 Sierra Way [Mountain HWY 99] across the road from Camp Erwin Owen.

Did you know that the State Fish of California is the Golden Trout? I didn't even know we had a State Trout.

Originally built in 1928 buy the Kern County Fish and Protective Game Association. The water supply for the hatchery comes directly from the Kern River.

The state of California raises 8 different strains of rainbow trout and these fish are planted in the Kern and Tule Rivers every week from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

This fish hatchery has Llamas which belong to a retired fishery biologist and are used to carry equipment into the Golden Trout Wilderness Area. Each are able to carry 100 pounds which is about 1/3 of their body weight.

There is a Totem pole on the site which was designed and carved by the Kern Valley High School students in 1996 as part of the JTPA [Job Training Partnership Act]. The students carved a grizzly bear, tortoise, quail and golden trout.

More Information About R-Ranch - in the Sequoias

These links take you to the R-Ranch in the Sequoias website and explain in more detail each amenity available on the Ranch.

Buck

Buck
Buck

Looking to Invest?

If you are interested in purchasing a share in the R-Ranch in the Sequoias community visit Wesley Walton - Board President for more information.

Copyright Information

All photos and writing are copyright Sara Duggan aka Momwithahook. I do not work for or represent r-ranch properties and the information I present here is my opinion only based on my experience as a child of a share holder.

For detailed information about R-ranch in the Sequoias visit their website http://rranch.org.

Positive Comments Are Always Welcome - Have You visited Sequoia?

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    • Grandma-Marilyn profile image

      Grandma-Marilyn 5 years ago

      I have never been there. I lived in California until I was 16 and we had to move because my dad was in the air force. I have been to one in the ozarks though called Cloud 9. We used to love going there to meet my mom and dad who had a membership also. We had a membership with them a couple of times but had to give them up because we couldn't afford them. When times get hard, you have to give up the things you love.

    • MomwithAHook LM profile image
      Author

      Sara Duggan 5 years ago from California

      @Grandma-Marilyn: I think my parents would have given it up as well if they hadn't already paid it off. They also purchased a share for my family at one up North near the Oregon border but we hardly ever use it - thinking it might be time to sell it.

    • franstan lm profile image

      franstan lm 5 years ago

      Great lens, as usual

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 5 years ago from California

      I've never to R-Ranch, but I've been to the Sequoias. Incredibly amazing trees.

    • jayceehaynes profile image

      jayceehaynes 5 years ago

      Nice lens! I love the entire area and own a house in the Lake Isabella area...Incidentally, I wrote a lens about Lake Isabella if you're interested :)

    • MomwithAHook LM profile image
      Author

      Sara Duggan 4 years ago from California

      @jayceehaynes: I'll have to go check that out. Lake Isabella is where we head to shop.

    • madeinamericasc1 profile image

      madeinamericasc1 4 years ago

      I love that you are writing about the Sequoias. On a business trip to California, I took my wife and daughter to see the Mother and Father of the Forest, redwoods near Santa Cruiz. That same trip, the next weekend, we drove up to Sequoia National Park, to Moro Rock, and down the backside switchbacks. Then off to Moneray salmon fishing. I have written this before, but the Sequoia's are the number 2 thing to see in the United States, only topped by the Grand Canyon. Nice job on these Lenses.

    • MomwithAHook LM profile image
      Author

      Sara Duggan 4 years ago from California

      @madeinamericasc1: I have many fond memories of trips to the Sequoias when I was little. Sounds like your trip from the Sequoias to the coast was a memorable one.

    • goldenecho profile image

      Gale 4 years ago from Texas

      I have, when I was very little (5 or 6 I think). The trees were amazing. But what I remember most was a forest ranger we met at one of the visitor centers. My parents started talking with her and it ended up with her taking our family up on a hike to a gorgeous meadow out far away from everything. We also found the ruins of an old cabin (one from the pioneer days I think) which was exciting. I decided I wanted to be a forest ranger when I grew up after that (that dream later changed...but I kept that one through much of elementary school).

    • MomwithAHook LM profile image
      Author

      Sara Duggan 4 years ago from California

      @goldenecho: I used to want to be a park ranger too. It was in Yosemite sitting by the campfire on the old cut down trees in Curry Village that inspired me. I have very fond memories of those days.

    • profile image

      marsha32 4 years ago

      This is one of my dream vacations....to rent a cabin. This looks like a wonderful place to check out. I'm going to save this in favorites and pin it too!

    • MomwithAHook LM profile image
      Author

      Sara Duggan 4 years ago from California

      @marsha32: I enjoy visiting. I haven't been back since this trip. I soooo need a vacation.

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