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All-Wood Sierra Cabin in the Woods Near Arnold/Bear Valley

Bedrooms 3
Space 1,600 sq. ft.
Property type cabin
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

2 bedrooms + 3rd bedroom loft with 5 bed, 2 full bathrooms, laundry, kitchen

Mountain House is located at 5,200 feet only minutes from the Stanislaus River, Lake Alpine and the Bear Valley Ski Area. Nestled on a 1/2 acre lot with large cedars and fir trees you in the forest over looking the woods yet only minutes from recreation that includes down hill skiing in the winter, kayaking and canoeing in the summer, swimming and always great hiking.

The peaceful and beautiful surrounds of the Mountain House cabin make it a great retreat from the San Francisco Bay Area only 3 hours away off Hwy 4.

There is also the historic gold mining towns of Murphy and Angels Camp only just 20 minutes down the hill and of course the Big Trees State Park with it's towering 1000 year old redwoods.

Come and enjoy a weekend away in the summer or winter for a great retreat back to nature.

Snow parks and Bear Valley ski area: We have easy access to Winter recreation areas. The Bear Valley ski area which includes down hill skiing, cross country and events through the winter is only 16 miles or 20 minutes from our cabin. In addition, there are to Snow Parks monitored by the State of California near by. The Stanuslaus Snow Park, only 15 minutes up Hwy 4, and The Lake Alpine Snow Park. You need to purchase a daily pass and can park your vehicle in plowed parking lot. Cross country, snow shoeing, sledding are available at these two locations.

Summer fun with rivers, lakes and hiking: Our cabin is perfectly located for local recreation at by rivers and lakes. The Stanislaus River is only 15 minutes away, Lake Alpine is 16 miles east past Bear Valley and the wonderful Utica and Spicer Reservoirs that are perfect for kayaking are about an hour away. And for our 6 year old, we go to White Pines Lake near Arnold a great, simple place to be in the afternoon with family just down the road. For hiking the options are endless as you get up into the national forest.

More Details

Steven Donaldson
Member since: 2006
Speaks: english, french, german
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 14, 2018

About Steven Donaldson

We've co-owned Mountain House our large rustic cabin for 14 years now with two other families that are good friends of ours. We love the Sierras and found our cabin, which is located on a half acre amongst tall cedars and pines, a perfect place for relaxing and as a base camp for swimming with our kids, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and in the Winter, cross country skiing. And of course, it's a perfect place for our dogs, we now have two. We love it up here, hope you can too.

Steven Donaldson purchased this cabin in 1999

Why Steven Donaldson chose Arnold

We love the Sierras. And we particularly like the Hwy 4 area near Dorrington and Bear Valley. It's never too crowed as the Lake Tahoe often is. And, it's only a 3 hour drive from the Bay Area. It's easy to get around and spectacular views here. It's also unique, and wonderful up in the mountains where you get all four seasons of weather in a great wooded environment.

What makes this cabin unique

We have a large deck facing out into the woods with massive pines. It's totally quiet location, very peaceful. Our cabin's interior has high ceilings that are all wood. The interior is a lot of hand done wood work, wood stove and cosy comfortable feeling. This isn't a fancy place. It's a cabin...lots of wood and great location!

Guestbook comments from the owner

We had such a good time. Show falling the whole time. Nice warm fire in the wood stove. The great room with the big windows looking into the woods makes such an impact! Would highly recommend this to friends.
Jan 2017
  • 1 of 6


Arnold Cabin Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cabin
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1600 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 10
  • pets considered
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Lake ...
  • Mountain ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • Rural
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Activities Guide
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Broadband Access ...
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Firewood
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Blender
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Freezer ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Kitchenette
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , laundry in bathroom
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , Sky light and high ceiling
  • Bathroom down stairs also has washer and dryer. Upstairs bathroom has a sky light and shower.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , 1 sleep sofa /futon , has dresser and side table
    Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , has dresser and side table
    Bedroom Loft 3 - 1 queen , 2 double , 1 twin/ single , 1 sleep sofa /futon , loft has separate sleeping area for sleep sofa
  • The bedrooms are down stairs and private. Upstairs their is a very large loft bedroom area that has a queen, two full size beds and a twin bed. There is a separate sleeping area in the loft with a fold out hide-a-bed. The loft has it's own full bathroom, a separate entry to the outside on a small deck and very high all-wood ceilings. We do not provide linens. We request that our visitors bring their own sheets and pillow slips. Our place is a basic, rustic place with a lot of room but nothing fancy. We do not provide linens but we do provide towels.
  • Books ...
  • Books for Adults
  • Books for Kids
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Games for Kids
  • Music Library ...
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys
  • Barbecue
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Wood Deck
  • 6 garden chairs
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • autumn foliage
  • caves
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • restaurants
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • horseshoes
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • sailing
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • spelunking
  • swimming
  • whitewater rafting
If you have any questions about accommodations or what to bring please ask. We love families, individuals and couples who love to go up to the mountains and appreciate the natural world of the Sierra's. The biggest amenity we offer is the location, the quite and access to the great outdoors.


Excellent! 4.3/5 -
(30 traveler reviews)

63% Complete
20% Complete
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3% Complete
6% Complete
All-Wood Sierra Cabin in the Woods Near Arnold/Bear Valley
average rating of 4.3 based on 36 reviews


  • 1 of 5

Received the “welcome” packet with the key a few weeks prior to our weekend getaway. I noticed it stated renters to clean prior to vacating.....dusting, vacuuming sweeping, moping, bathroom sinks, toilets, washing all towels....even though there's a cleaning fee. Most cabins call for the standard straightening up, removing trash, and leaving dirty towels in the laundry room. I also read that we would have to take our trash to a nearby trash facility which is about 20 min away so I contacted the owner and his response was that this was on his posting clearly noted and actually it’s not otherwise I would have never rented this place. He apologized for the misunderstanding but what could I do, it was already too late to cancel.....then he tells me that the dishwasher is broken and that a door seal is on order but won’t be in until March so we would also have to wash dishes!!

On our way, the owner texts me and ask me could I dispose two bags of trash that was left by the previous renter, that his cleaning lady doesn’t dispose trash of and that he apologizes for the inconvenience.....I said sure.

Now the check in.....we get there around 8:30pm and walk in to yes, it’s an old cabin but that wasn’t the problem. I love old and rustic but what I don’t like is a filthy cabin. Nothing had been cleaned. Dust everywhere, dirty kitchen & bathrooms down to urine and pubs on the seats, pennies and debris all over the carpet, dirty tissue on the floor, old food in the fridge and no sheets on the beds even though the listing shows "linens provided". I called the owner and was sorry and said the listing was inaccurate about the sheets. I told him we would clean but I wanted the cleaning fee refunded and fire his cleaning lady....he agreed to the refund. So after hours of cleaning and finding a few flat sheets to wash, we covered the stained urine and old blood mattresses and crashed. Beds, by the way, are horrid.

We left the next day after a few hours of snow play even though we were paid up for the weekend. We cleaned our messes, even vacuumed and removed all trash from the cabin but we left the trash at the curb with the previous renter's trash. The cabin looked better than we found it. The security deposit was refunded quickly but not the cleaning fee.....surprise surprise.

***Oh read all the reviews, the owner left himself a glowing review....HILARIOUS! I bet the other "glowing" reviews are family/friend related as well.***

  • Submitted: Mar 7, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: As I mentioned to the renter our cleaning person did not come as arranged (we found out later do to a family emergency). We apologized for the condition, it should not have been like that and it is not our policy to have every renter clean the cabin. Our materials request simply "leave the cabin as you found it" with some basic cleaning and picking up. Yes, it's an old place and we love it. We are very sorry they had a bad experience. I was in touch with them continually on this and hope they can understand this unusual situation.
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No thrills and no problems PERFECT!!!

  • 5 of 5

The cabin is nice and had everything. I didn't have to look for or go buy anything, pretty much set up nicely. Roomy and quiet, had a little family reunion with no problems. Steven rates a 5 star in working with us and our cleaning deposit was returned within 7 days. (nice) Oh one thing was my 80yr old mother had a little trouble with the stairs but we over-came and made-do. My bad for not checking it out beforehand. I made the reservations only 2 weeks before our stay so no complaints. I would recommend to my friends. Thank You!!!

  • Submitted: Feb 16, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Good cabin, maybe needs some updates

  • 5 of 5

I personally loved this cabin, however there where a few quirks, quite a few of the chairs had been repaired several times, and at best feel a little precarious. One was broken when we arrived at the cabin. The twin bed upstairs was in a sad state and should probably be replaced. Along with that the downstairs bedroom I was in the blinds still let the light in during the morning, I am a light sleeper so this was a bit of a nuisance.

Still despite all this I would heartily stay here again. It's a comfortable cabin that has a lot of rustic charm. The upstairs would be great if you have a lot of kids and need to get rid of them. Also I can confirm this cabin does in fact have smoke detectors.

  • Submitted: Jan 16, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Erik - Thanks for your review. We're replacing the batteries of the two smoke detectors this weekend. The twin bed is very old and part of our family history. We'll do some updating there. Everything else will also review to make sure this place is in good shape for the next family.
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Menlo park

Rustic cabin in the woods

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I rented this house as a base camp while he worked in the area. My husband loved this place; it was very convent to the all the places he needed to be during the week and on weekends there was a ton of places to explore. The lay out is perfect for large groups, the kitchen is nicely stocked. After reading some of the reviews about the bed comfort I opted to bring an air bed for the one weekend I was there just in case. It was unusually hot this summer so I sleep outside of the porch one night when it was too hot to sleep inside, I was happy to have this option. This is a rustic cabin but very comfortable. If you are looking for a 5 star hotel, I would not stay here. If you looking for an inexpensive comfortable place to stay were your dog is welcome this is the place to be. Thank you for letting us stay in your cabin. It was perfect for our needs.

  • Submitted: Oct 2, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0

we had a blast.

  • 5 of 5

Thank you for allowing us to stay in your home. We had a great time. We felt quite at home and the cabin location kept things nice and cool.

  • Submitted: Jul 17, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: You were a great guest and we look forward to you coming back.
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a peaceful stay

  • 4 of 5

True to the owner's description, this is a simple old mountain house. It is a cozy and peaceful place surrounded by tall trees. There were six of us and a dog with plenty of room to be comfortable. We cooked and slept at the house, and spent most of the day out and about visiting different sites. During the week of our stay, the weather was very hot. The ceiling fan in the house was not enough to cool the house down. We had to purchase a fan to get through the stuffy and hot afternoons until the night air brought relief. Overall, we enjoyed our stay.

  • Submitted: Jul 5, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Yes, it was an unusually hot week you were there. It's rare that it's that hot during the day and the tall trees near by often provide some shade and keep our place cooler. We're really glad you had a great time!
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Nearest Airport
156 Miles
Nearest Barpub
3 Miles
The Lub Room
Nearest Motorway
1.5 Miles
Hwy 4
Nearest Restaurant
3 Miles
Dorrington Inn
Nearest Ski
15 Miles
Bear Valley
Nearest Beach
5.4 Miles
White Pines Lake
Car: necessary

Stanislaus National Forest, Big Trees State Park, Lake Alpine, Utica and Union Reservoirs, Bear Valley Ski Area, Snow Parks, The Dardanelles, Ebbetts Pass, Pacific Crest Trail, Bear Valley Music Festival, Murphy's Musical Theater, Wine Tasting, Angels Camp, Sonora, Jamestown, Moaning Cavern Caves, Winery's, Mountain Biking, Kayaking, Cross Country Skiing, Swimming Stanislaus River, Fly Fishing, Trout fishing, kayaking, canoeing


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning $90
Pet Fee $20
Refundable damage deposit $200

$150 - $180 per night
Winter rates vary from $160 to $180 per night. However, rates over the Christmas and New Years periods may vary. Please contact us for a quote.
Summer and Fall rates vary from $150 to $160 per night

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.

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