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Reviewed 10 July 2015 via mobile

We stayed here in 1985 on our wedding trip. We went back 30 years later and we're not disappointed. There have been of course upgrades since 1985, but not to the extent to change what is so special about the place. The lodge and cabins are rustic but comfortable. The food is terrific and the White River National Forest is beautiful. The young staff is energetic and helpful. Take a horse ride home fishing or sight seeing. Loved it (again ).

Stayed: July 2015, travelled with friends
1  Thank Lisa A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2015

What a great experience. You must understand it is not like staying in the cabins and be warm all of the time. The tents are very basic wall tents. We stayed at Sand Camp. The scenery is unbelievable. Surrounded by mountains so get in shape. Weather for us was not the greatest but you can't rely on having perfect weather. We hunted the first rifle season in Nov. and had a rather large snow storm our second day. The weather had been so nice for so long. I don't think the elk had been on the move, yet. We didn't venture very far away from camp. I would say less than 3 miles.

This was my first time hunting elk and wanted the full feel of camping and hunting and I got it.

BP

  • Stayed: November 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Brent P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2015

I hunted with Ripple Creek Lodge for the 2014 Archery Elk season. It was a fully guided hunt. My guide made sure I was on the mountian early and hunted late. A hearty breakfast was ready every morning and before we left and we got a sack lunch to pack with us. When your hunting hard you need to keep your calorie intake up. We got into elk everyday pretty much as soon as we got off the horses. The horses were very capable and sure footed. I would recommend a little saddle time before heading up though. We rode up in the dark and back down in the dark. My guide Dan who is also the owner made me feel comfortable the entire time. It's almost like we had hunted together for years. We got close to Elk everyday but just not close enough for an archery shot. There were a couple others guys hunting the same week I did and they all harvested really nice Bulls. There are a couple other post on here about hunting close to the road....yes there are roads up there but I never heard a single truck or saw another hunter. I've hunted all over North America including Alaska and this the definition of wilderness. Dan and his crew are top notch. I booked a hunt for next year even before my hunt was over. Highly recommended

  • Stayed: September 2014, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank Greg D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2015

Our group of 5 elk hunters hunted Fall 2014 with the Ripple Creek Lodge outfitter. The area was beautiful, and we had high hopes setting out on this hunt. After a 4-5 mile horseback ride in, the 'wilderness' drop camp was only about 1 mile from a major gravel road. Hearing pickups drive by regularly did not provide the expected wilderness experience, not to mention the 2-3 hunters were observed each day hiking from the road into our area. Worse, there were 3, yes THREE, other camps of hunters within about half a mile of our camp. All told, this resulted in approx. 20 hunters in an area that could support about 4-5 hunters. We understand the outfitter cannot control other hunters on public land, but placing our 'wilderness' camp 1 mile from a major road clearly invited a crowded hunting experience. No effort was made to help the situation.

Review of the camp and wall tents:
-> The outfitter packed us in reasonably well, and most of the horses were in fair shape, although one had an injured leg but was used to pack-in anyway.
-> The wall tents had just been moved the previous day (unknown reason), placed in the bottom of a shaded wash, with about 8 in snow inside the tents. This resulted in 6-inch deep mud inside the cook tent by the end of day 1, and we spent hours gathering pine needles and bark to cover the floor.
-> The cook tent canvas was so old and covered in mold and mildew that is was dark brown, stank, and rain water streamed in every few seconds while raining. Efforts to tighten had no effect other than stretching this overused canvas. The sleep tent canvas was in much better (~average condition), and did have plastic sheeting on one side (a huge help, although much of our gear still go soaked inside the tent. No floor tarps were provided.
-> There was 1 small (2 ft x 3 ft) table in the cook tent that needed to hold all the dishes / cooking / etc. No eating table was provided. We dragged in logs ourselves to have someplace to set cups, plates, etc. 5 folding chairs (good condition) were provided (1 per hunter).
-> There were about 20 piles of human excrement on the surface of the ground about 15-20 feet from the cook tent. The guides made a point of asking our group to bury our feces (which we happily did), telling us that the previous hunters did not do so. BUT, they made no effort to clean up after the previous hunters. In a word, disgusting.
-> We had 1/2 a roll of toilet paper for 5 hunters for 8 days, even though we asked every day for more.
-> Only 1/2 of the food (promised and paid for) was supplied. They said the 2nd half would be delivered Day 2, but nothing arrived until Day 7. It was supposed to consist of steaks, pork chops, ham, eggs, etc... but they only gave us more cans of beans and lunch meat. We had nothing but canned beans and lunch meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for about 4 days.
-> The outfitter promised to check on us daily, and gave us paper & pen to request supplies, which they promised would be delivered the next day. In reality, they checked on us Day 3 (did not pick up the list), Day 6, and finally delivered something (only 2 out of 10 items on the list, though) on Day 7 (2nd to last day n camp).
-> I could continue on about the shortcomings of the camp, but will stop here.

Hunting Experience:
-> Beautiful country, lots of moose in the area, and sporadic elk sign. We followed the outfitter's advice and employed very low impact quiet hunting techniques, mostly sitting on smaller meadows sunrise and sunset. It became clear that the high hunting pressure from the 20+ hunters in the area had caused the elk to seek the deep-dark timber. After 4 unsuccessful days, we expanded our hunt area to cover some more ground. All told, we sighted 3 elk total during the week (1 medium bull passing quickly through the trees, plus a cow + calf pair).

Pack Out:
-> The injured horse was used again, packed heavily, and took a fall down a steep hillside. Unfortunate to witness such treatment of pack animals; this animal should have been rested and not worked while injured.
-> The outfitters were disoriented, and led us about 1.5 miles in a circle ending up 400 yds from camp, before finding the trail back to the lodge.
-> The rest of the pack out was acceptable, with minor incidents due to recently fallen trees and a moderately skittish horse.
-> Upon returning to the lodge, we were not welcomed back by the head outfitter, or even acknowledged by any employees. It was very clear they were happy to take our money, but not provide any level of service.

Overall:
-> The hunters in our group have been hunting elk for 30+ years, with many successful and enjoyable wilderness hunts. I myself have hunted elk for 15 years and experienced 8 different drop camps with different outfitters in Canada, Montana, Idaho, and Colorado. By far, the Ripple Creek outfitter provided the worst experience any of us had ever had. Optimistically, we hope that this was a result of the outfitter taking on too many camps to handle, leaving us with poor, over-used equipment, untrained staff, and the least desirable camp location.

Room Tip: Did not stay in the lodge, so cannot provide review of the lodge rooms.
Stayed: October 2014, travelled with friends
13  Thank Dan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2014

We rented a cabin for two nights and really enjoyed our stay. The area is beautiful. Majestic scenery. The cabins are basic but clean and quite rustic. We also ate dinner there one night and that was fun.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
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1  Thank EMF60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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