About this listing
Birdsong Creek Pony Retreat is a cozy, affordable large bedroom and small eating area with kitchenette (not full-sized). Guests tell us how they love our friendly horses, goats, cats, dogs & chickens. Shared wall with main home, private apt & entry.
Birdsong Creek Pony Retreat is a family-friendly, way to visit the Sierras and have your fill of mountain life in a completely private apartment that shares walls with our main house. Come pet our two ponies, visit with our new filly (baby girl horse), gather chicken eggs, or splash in the seasonal creek and catch tadpoles. This large bedroom has a private entrance, attached bath, kitchenette with toaster oven and coffee maker, WiFi access (very reliable but not 100%- we are in the mountains!), Netflix, a queen bed and full-sized futon. Relax on the patio, bordering the back end of the agricultural department at Yosemite High School, and walk onto campus to enjoy their gigantic pool with great kiddie area. Just a mile from the closest grocery store, feel far enough away to experience peace, but close enough to town to quickly pick up something you forgot at home. We have two outdoor dogs that occasionally bark to protect our animals. We pay close attention to them. They are a couple hundred feet from your room, and you have double-paned glass doors.
Bass Lake was voted Best Lake by Sunset Magazine, and is down the road about 6 or 7 minutes. You can rent a boat to fish or wakeboard, swim in the warm water, or make sand castles on the plentiful beaches. The southern entrance to Yosemite National Park is about 25 minutes away. Yosemite is a premier destination for rock climbers, and has spectacular waterfalls. It boasts lots of opportunities for families to get involved with rafting, nature programs and group campfires.
Birdsong Creek Pony Retreat is located on a safe dead-end street, and kids can jump across the creek to a well-maintained walking path. We hope to see you around here soon!
Guests access their private apt and a shared backyard. The deck off the main home and side by the garage is private.
Interaction with Guests
We try to greet guests as they arrive, however sometimes schedules do not allow. We have a lock box out for those times when were are not here upon arrival (or if arrival is very late.) We are pretty good at gauging if guests want space or would like interaction, but the best way to make sure you're happy is for you to communicate with us. We don't want to be seen as taking up your private time, and we also want to be available to answer questions in person, text, email or phone to help you make the most of your stay. Our children LOVE playing with other children, but they are also told they are to be invited to play so they don't inadvertently interfere with family time. Our children are instructed they are NEVER allowed in a guest's room, even if your child asks them to come inside and play, so please have your children play outdoors with our children if they wish. We try to be available if guests want to interact with the animals, again if schedules allow since sometimes guests can't easily predict how long they will stay at the park. Petting, brushing is all welcome, feeding the animals owners need to be with you.We ask all guests to enforce that our animals will only be touched in a gentle, loving manner. We don't chase our chickens, don't play rough with our dogs, don't allow pulling of ears etc. and because of it we have nicely behaved, loving animals. We try really hard to be approachable, and respectful of your space.
California is in the worst drought in 126 years, though even with less green landscaping than usual, we believe it to be the most beautiful place we know. Our neighborhood is a small town of about 13,000 people. There are two large grocery stores, a movie theater, a few pharmacies and plenty of modern conveniences. There are many trailheads a short drive away, and the stars are especially bright being away from large city lights at night.
There is a taxi service, but no public transportation. Our home is about a half mile away from a small grocery store- close enough to walk.
Other Things to Note
Please do not book our room if any of the guests are allergic to cats. We ask kindly that our guests do not leave the door open, (we are in the mountains and there are wild animals here, sometimes mosquitoes depending on the time of year.) We strongly discourage our lovely cats from being inside the room, and guests' understanding of that will help us greatly. If guests would like to love on the cats outside, we know what that's like since we are animal lovers too, and we genuinely appreciate your kindness towards our pets. Please consider we live where there are owls hooting, coyotes howling, (seasonal) creeks babbling, and it is most important to us that you have a very comfortable night's sleep which is why I mention it.
NO smoking. Members of our family have severe asthma problems. Absolutely NO smoking. Well-mannered pets OK with additional security and cleaning. Pack and Play available on request. Please visit the ponies anytime, however an owner must be present if you would like to go into the fenced area. Carrots and apples are OK to feed the ponies anytime with owners present. Owners must be present if minors are to feed the animals. Kindly do not leave the door unlocked or open. Our cats would love to snooze in your room, and while it may be all right with you, it is against our rules to invite the cats inside. The guests right after you may not want a can meowing to come in! We truly appreciate your feedback and will work with you to make sure you have a comfortable stay.
I stayed with Lori at the ranch for one night and getting in was easy, the room was neat and clean and homey, and visiting with the animals in the am was a great treat. Great location for after hiking in Yosemite and great communication from host.
We arrived too late at Lori's place for her to welcome us, but she was super helpful and detailed with her messages and her notes pointing out where our room was. The room itself was great! Very cozy and clean and was a great place to spend the night. Lori also asked us to call her if we needed anything and was a really helpful host!
Including fees and cleaning, we paid $167 for our one night stay for four people. We chose Birdsong over several 3-star locations with positive guest ratings and a lower overall cost: like Ravensbrook B&B, Sierra Sky Ranch, The Pines Resort. I noticed more negative reviews at those 3-star hotels, I imagine that in a community like Airbnb, other guests could find a negative review “staggering,” as if a negative reviewer has “no soul.”
We chose Birdsong in part for its reviews. I remember as a child traveling through the western states, staying at distant relatives’ houses. Maybe some of those distant relatives had a back yard that was more junkyard than the grounds to a 3-star hotel, but it was amazing to me as a city-kid to see a few animals – and I wanted to recreate that experience for my city-kids.
A review for the Ranch stating that there were “hundreds of animals walking around the farm” swayed our decision in particular. Our children were happy to see any number of animals. One of the children who lived at the house graciously brought out some carrots and demonstrated the feeding of the horse and ponies to my child. There is quite a pecking order amongst their horse and ponies; my children watched the big horse take quite a staggering bite of hair out of an old and skinny pony who also got a slap on the nose from the owner’s boy when reaching for a carrot. We saw less than a dozen animals when we went to Yosemite National Park; most of the animals we saw were squirrels, but we saw around five pony size mule deer, and a couple of goat size animals.
I once lived in an apartment that was carved out of a larger house. Though it was in the owner’s “house,” that apartment was more like a duplex, completely separate from the main house, with the only entrance to the apartment being the entrance I used to get in. The room at Birdsong is inside the owner’s house, with an exterior glass patio door used as the main entrance, and an interior door to a hallway that connects to the owner’s house locked from the owner’s side, like the door to a suite room in a hotel.
Although the owner warned of cat allergens, and one of us has a cat allergy, we brought and slept on our own sheets, and didn’t have any allergic reactions. We didn’t check out the creek, beyond the dogs, or the facilities at the High School, beyond the fences.
Lori accommodated our late arrival. We arrived an hour later than expected, at 2 AM. She had left the key in a lock box for us and we didn’t expect to be attended to on arrival, but Lori came out of the house and welcomed us, even at 2 AM. Above and beyond the call, and it turned out to be quite helpful for finding the door to the room.
Lori was a wonderful host. Her place is private, nicely set-up and comfortable. She and her husband have clearly put thought into how to make it comfortable, including having a comfortable bed, comfortable pull-out sofa futon, Netflix set-up, wifi and other appreciated amenities. Their Pony farm is charming and would be great fun for kids. Their location was very convenient to Yosemite National Park, and the stay was just about perfect.
We had a great stay at Birdsong Pony Retreat. It lived up to the promise of both birds and ponies (and goats!) My husband was thrilled to see acorn woodpeckers right there on the property and our three year old daughter loved the ponies and other friendly animals. The space was very comfortable and the hosts worked hard to make sure we had everything we needed. It was a great location for exploring Yosemite and made for an easy drive to Monterey afterward.
A wonderful peaceful place to stay with such a friendly family and animals, particularly the ginger cat! The location is perfect for exploring Yosemite and Oakhurst has plenty of restaurants and bars only a short drive away. The unit is spacious and comfortable overlooking the garden and animals. Highly recommended as a place to stay.
Excellent location very close to the southern entrance to Yosemite. The room was a great size with a fully functional kitchenette, clean towels and shower supplies, and lots of privacy. The host was very friendly and set us up with everything we needed.
The animals were friendly and a perfect addition to the atmosphere.
Thank you very much!
This host has 55 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Lori
I am a elementary school teacher turned homeschool mom who loves hanging out with kids. My husband is very much into technology and works for Children's Hospital. Our three children love making new friends, and are very imaginative playmates!