It's Open Year Round at Ripple Creek Cabins
By Brandi Barnett
The Ripple EffectNovember 2015
By Sharon Hamblin
As summer winds down and the days get shorter and cooler, most Trinity County innkeepers are calling it a season and flipping the signs on the front door from “open all summer” to “closed for the winter.”
That’s not the case at Ripple Creek Cabins, one of the few resorts in Trinity County open year round. Located near Coffee Creek in a valley at the base of the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area, this small resort provides a peaceful and affordable vacation spot for visitors. In fact, the locale is an annual destination for many families, some of whom have been coming to Ripple Creek every year for more than three decades, according to Meghan Coleman, who manages the resort with her husband, Peter Kleinsmith.
“The summer tends to be many of the same families year after year. Some have been coming for 35 years. In the summer, we have people from all over California, Oregon and other states and even from other countries,” she says. “In the winter we tend to get a lot of visitors from the coast and the Bay Area.”
Coleman and Kleinsmith have been managing Ripple Creek Cabins for eight years, but her connection to the picturesque spot runs deep – her parents, Jim and MicheleColeman, have owned the 35-year-old resort for the past 20 years. Before that, it was their family vacation spot.
“We used to vacation at Ripple Creek when I was a child and when it came up for sale, my parents decided to buy it,” she recalls.
Just a two-hour drive from Redding or Ashland, the resort is comprised of seven wooden cabins of various sizes surrounded by tall pine and cedar trees and fields full of wildflowers. An adjoining pasture is home to two friendly horses, Myelin and Rummy, who love it when visitors bring apples and carrots. The smallest cabin is perfect for two, while the largest cabin, the Stoddard Cabin, can accommodate up to 12 people. The buildings are all grouped together in a small area, but each has a porch or picnic table that, when occupied, gives the impression that you may be the only one there.
Each cabin has a full kitchen, bathroom, at least one bedroom and a private porch with a grill. They are stocked with linens, cookware, utensils and an old-fashioned wood stove. Visitors are instructed to just bring food, clothes and a dog bed. Yes, well-behaved dogs are welcome, as long as you bring the dog bed and prepare to pay an additional charge (approximately $10) per pet.
Ripple Creek Cabins could be home base for those who want to explore the natural attractions within a day’s drive, or it’s a selfcontained playground for those who don’t want to get back in the car until it’s time to go home.
For adventurers, the Trinity River runs behind the resort while the namesake Ripple Creek runs alongside the cabins. Trinity Lake is a 20-minute drive away. Head north up Highway 3 and you’ll find yourself atop Scott Mountain and at the crossroads of the Pacific Crest Trail.
For those inclined to stay closer to their cabin, there are plenty of trails to explore on foot, or borrow a bike from the large inventory near the resort’s office. Other entertainment options include volleyball, ping pong, badminton, horseshoes or stream fishing in the Trinity River. In the winter, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding are popular. Each cabin is stocked with lots of reading material (current issues of magazines like Smithsonian, People and Reader’s Digest) and a stash of board games can be found in the resort’s office.
Coleman and Kleinsmith (along with their kids and junior managers Ellie, 5, and Emmett, 2) take pride in keeping the cabins and surrounding grounds in meticulous shape.
“We try to cater to people’s individual needs. We are in the middle of the woods and want people to be as comfortable and happy as possible,” she explains.
Ripple Creek Cabins • Highway 3, Trinity Center
(530) 266-3505 • www.ripplecreekcabins.com
Find them on Facebook