Located outside the town of Klamath Falls, Oregon just north of the California border, the Running Y Ranch is many things in one beautiful, pine-forested package: luxury retreat, golf resort, Western-style ranch, family getaway, and romantic hideaway. It’s out-of-the-way location on the shores of Upper Klamath Lake lends itself to a feeling of relaxation and restfulness that met us at the door and stayed with us for our entire stay.
Primarily touted as a golf destination due to its award-winning Arnold Palmer-designed course, the Running Y is only slowly building its reputation as a family resort, which means you won’t find crowds of children here, noisy halls, or lots of frazzled parents. In fact, depending upon the time of your stay, yours may be some of the only kids you see. (You can decide for yourself whether that’s a good thing or bad thing.)
What to do: We enjoyed Running Y Ranch as a couple (highly recommended!), but there’s no shortage of family-friendly activities and amenities. During the winter months, plan to spend time in the resort’s huge covered ice arena (in fact, consider booking an ice skating package), or bring or rent snowshoes or cross-country skis to enjoy on any of the resorts lakeside trails. In summer, horseback rides and golf beckon, or why not allow one of the resort’s preferred ‘adventure specialists’ set up an exciting day for you and your family fishing, four-wheeling, canoeing, kayaking, or rafting? The best part is that all these activities are nearby, so you never feel as though you’ve truly ‘left’ the serenity of the resort.
Any time of year, visitors can enjoy the state-of-the-art fitness center and spa, where a family-friendly indoor pool is open for the kids. Tag-team with your spouse: one can enjoy a spa treatment while the other splashes in the pool! I found the spa’s pedicure procedure to be professional, friendly, and fairly priced.
Where to stay: The Running Y offers both home rentals and lodge rooms. We opted for a lodge room, as we were only visiting for two nights, but if you’re planning a week-long stay with children, the comforts of a home may be for you. The houses are nestled within the ranch property so as to blend in with the landscape of both the trees, hills, and golf course; I never felt I was in a subdivision (a feeling I’ve had in other large complexes). Of course, the lodge is at the heart of the ranch, and beautifully appointed. We loved the cozy lobby, the short walk to the fitness center and pool, and the general atmosphere of warmth. Current lodge room rates.
Where to eat: The only area in which I believe Running Y falls short is dining. There just aren’t enough options. For families staying in a home with kitchens at their disposal, that might be alright (there is a small grocery store on-site), it’s hard for families staying in lodge rooms. After the time of our stay, they did open a new casual dining restaurant, Wyatt’s American Eatery. Our advice: pack your own food (lodge rooms do have refrigerators), or plan to drive into town. The lodge did offer a nice buffet breakfast, which we enjoyed.
Directions: The Running Y is located on Highway 140, right off of Highway 97. It’s 1 1/2 hours from I-5 (and 5 hours from Reno, Tahoe, or Sacramento).
Pit Stops for Kids was in no way compensated for this review. Our entire ranch stay was at our expense.