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Serenity Haven Cottage, 217 Acres, Lake, Skiing,Fishing,Trails

Bedrooms 2
Space 900 sq. ft.
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

Cottage, 2 Bedrooms + Convertible bed(s), 1 Bath, (Sleeps 6)

Located in historic Vallecito, California, Sierra Gold country on 217 privately owned acres set aside as a santuary for people and animals. This home away from home is furnished for your comfort and pleasure. Enjoy the view of flowers and wildlife amoungst mountain ridges, while relaxing on the front porch. Looking for serenity, nature hikes, adventure, sight seeing, fishing and fun activities? If so, this is the place for you! It hosts a lake stocked with fish, seasonal creeks, walking trails, ranging from easy meditation spots to more challenging hikes. A delight for photographers, bird watchers, rock hounds and nature lovers who desire to get away from the busy life and just relax. Located across from Moaning Cavern, within 15 minutes from Columbia state Park, Ironstone Vineyards and 24 additional tasting rooms, caverns, reserviors, mountains, gold mining towns, antique shops. In winter downhill and cross country skiing are within a 30 minute drive; in summer, boating and water skiing are fabulous in New Melones Lake. There are numerous casual and fine dining establishments, shopping, concerts, live theatre, fishing, rafting, gold prospecting and much more. There are many regular scheduled events, the first friday of December, join Murphys' residents in an old fashion Christmas parade and open house on Main Street at 5PM. The Calaveras county Fair and Frog Jump is the 3rd weekend of May, and the Octoberfest and grape stomp are held in October. We also have a fun street fair and parade for Murphys Irish Days in March, plus many other regular scheduled events.

Keywords: Private, acreage, ranch property, gold prospecting, wine tasting, Murphys, retreats, wedding venues, reunions, hiking, skiing, fishing, nature, adventure

More Details

Margaret Jensen
Member since: 2010
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
November 17, 2017

About Margaret Jensen

I love nature & the country and have enjoyed water sports, gold prospecting, photography & wild life so when we came across this property it was near Lake Melones, had seasonal creeks with a small lake and had so much of what I love. The land is composed of gold mining claims and a Homestead. This beautiful property has much history and is being developed into a Biblical Garden. Many trees, Trails & meditation sites have been added for the enjoyment of visitors and to attract birds,, butterflies and other wild life. There is also a fellowship hall and a small chapel. The property has been used for Weddings, Baptisms, Prayer Meetings, Day retreats, family reunions, school group outings, Passover & other Religious celebrations and much more. The use of the Fellowship Hall, outdoor stage and other areas are available for events with or without the rental of the vacation rentals. The development of the Biblical Garden is an ongoing proess with new sites and trails being added. This property is great for those wanting to get away, relax, enjoy time with nature and get back in touch with themselves and loved ones. Many have come only to find that they love it here so much that they keep coming back and have become great friends of ours. We look forward to meeting you.

Margaret Jensen purchased this cottage in 1989

Guestbook comments from the owner

“We loveed staying at the Airbnb outside of Murphy's. It was labor day weekend and it was wonderful to be away from the crowds. The kids had so much fun giving apples to the horse, the deer were walking through and wild turkeys flew by. The stars were shining and the house was very clean. Plenty of room for all of us easy cooking facilities with a peaceful porch to sit on. ”
Sep 2016
  • 1 of 17


Vallecito Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 900 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Lake View
  • Mountain View
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer
  • Towels Provided
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Queen size Beds (1), trundle beds (1) Sectional with queen size bed
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Television
  • VCR
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • sailing
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • spelunking
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
Fishing in 3 acre lake, historical gold rush area, Indian grinding rocks, 217 acres to hike, close to 4 golf courses, Bear Valley Ski Area, New Melones Lake, boating, local caverns across the street, rural setting minutes from Murphys, close to Columbia State Park, Ironstone Vineyards, Angels Camp, Wineries, Caverns, reserviors, Antique Shops, Casual and Fine Dining, abundant wildlife, bird watching, photographers


Excellent! 4.4/5 -
(16 traveler reviews)

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Serenity Haven Cottage, 217 Acres, Lake, Skiing,Fishing,Trails
average rating of 4.4375 based on 33 reviews
San Diego, CA

Wonderful stay - wonderful hostess

  • 4 of 5

We had a wonderful stay at this property. Enjoyed the property, enjoyed meeting star the horse, enjoyed Margaret's cookies and hospitality. She couldnt have been more accomadating. The house is quainy, and sufficient for everything we needed - rustic country stay. Thete is wifi. Thank you Margaret

  • Submitted: Jul 24, 2016
  • Stayed: July 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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  • 4 of 5

right from the start where we were greeted with fresh baked cookies to a neat cabin to stay in. All the rooms were neat and tidy with fresh linens. The Restroom was clean and hygenic with ventilation. Bit old style cabin but a perfect retreat spot for quiet weekend. Ktichen had all adequate stuff for us to cook for and near by you have places to buy essentail stuff.

the surrounding is beautiful with great landscape forcing you to sit out on nice evning and having a fun time with the group.

The only downside i felt it was a little old style , may be a bigger television with more variety of DVDs and board games could have added more stars to this near perfect place.

But again if your a are group of 4 looking for a quiet retreat a perfect place !!!

thanks Margaret

  • Submitted: Jul 8, 2016
  • Stayed: June 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Beautiful Picturesque Property! I would stay again and again!

  • 5 of 5

This was a perfect place for our group of 4 adults, she has bigger units if you inquire. As the ad said it is on 200+ acres of beautiful serenity filled property and it is not exaggerating in the least. If you stay at the Radisson or the Hilton keep looking, you probably won't like it, this is down home staying with grandma except grandma won't ask you awkward questions or pinch your cheeks but she just may leave you delicious fresh baked cookies. Only Hotel that provides cookies I know of is Country Inn & Suites and these cookies were twice as good Mmmmmmmm! Sincerely was a little dated and country but that didn't stop the beautiful experience we felt on this property!

Last and most important this home is owned and managed by an incredible beautiful kind hearted soul, who has devoted her life to helping others. Your stay here continues her wonderful missionary work both abroad and locally. As a fellow believer of God I pray you will fill her place beyond it's capacity, she needs the rentals to continue her good works and right now she is not filled because people want shiny and new with great advertising, unfortunately Margret doesn't have that yet.....

Fellow Christian keep reading:

I prayed for God to show me that an idea with a home & 4 cabins that could feed and help the homeless could work and then I stayed here. It has exactly 4 cabins and a home for the owner. I am now pursuing finding my own property to build my 4 cabins and a home. Please pray with my family for us to achieve this.

This idea is bigger than just cabins, I believe any one who follows God can be more effective with their money beyond tithing. Take staying at a place that donates say every day over 100 ( 100 days paid the owner) and 200+ days of its rental went to charity, imagine how many people it could feed! Or if say a tshirt company said I need 1000 shirts printed and every shirt over 1000 went to charity! As a fellow Christian or anyone wanting to do more with there dollars wouldn't you want to stay there or order the shirts, have your addition built etc if the owner pledged to donate everything over what they needed. I would like to start an Org like this and include owners who do more with their dollars. We would help owners out with the advertising, photos and updates if needed after all who's got time to learn social media when they are feeding orphans in Africa! Contact me through the owner if you would like to do more. Thank you and God Bless!

  • Submitted: Jun 20, 2016
  • Stayed: June 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nice cottage, but charged for window we didn't break

  • 1 of 5

We had a very nice stay at this cottage, though found it quite difficult to get any of the windows to open (or stay open) and the weather was hot so we needed the air. About two weeks after we returned, I contacted the manager to inquire when we would receive the return of our $250 deposit as I had heard nothing from her. She responded that a window was broken and she would not return our funds until it was repaired. We did receive part of our deposit a week later; however, we did not break a window. Frankly, the windows in the house are so old that any one could break with just the normal force necessary to open one. I wish the manager could recognize that the windows need replacing just as part of upkeep. For this reason, we will not stay here again.

  • Submitted: Jun 18, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: It is impossible to please everyone no matter how hard we try. Our desire is for our guests to enjoy their stay and have a wonderful experience by providing homes are safe, clean and comfortable. Vanessa did not stay in Serenity Haven as it was rented & not available so we upgraded them to our Glory Manor, a 3 BR. & 2 bath with a big discount. I am glad Vanessa and her guests did enjoy their stay and sorry that she doesn't see the truth. When everything is in good order and nothing broken when they are welcomed and given a key and they and their guests are the only people to enter the house and a double pane window is broken on the inside pane there is no question that one of the guests is responsible. There were 4 adults and 2 children and who did it and it would be nice if the person who broke the window would admit it. A chunk of glass was missing so the person who broke it had to be aware of it. A picture of the broken window with a piece of glass missing, a statement from the people who repaired it and a letter of explanation was sent the day the window was repaired along with the refund check. We legally could have kept the whole deposit but shared the cost of repair. This party brought more people than when booked and we did not charge the extra per night for over 4 people. When we entered the house after the guests departed the house smelled like smoke. Like someone started a fire without opening the damper. There was soot in the fire place where an electric heater was and a smoke smell that had to be eliminated. The drapes and draw string was messed with and furniture was moved and not returned to its original place so that was also extra work for the cleaning person. There are 14 windows that open in the house and 4 picture windows. Of the 14 windows 10 of them slide sideways & 4 slide up and down so I don't understand why it was hard to open or keep them open! Normally full refunds are issued and sent a few days after the guests depart and an inspection reveals there is nothing missing or broken. We love serving our guests and continue to strive to make their stay with us one that they will always remember with fondness and joy.
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A great place to stay to explore Gold Country

  • 5 of 5

We had a great stay. The grounds were incredible, and the friendly horse and turkeys were enjoyed by the whole family. We stayed here with 4 adults and 2 kids. A little cramped in one of the rooms when the trundle was pulled out, but we knew what to expect.

First the negatives....the actual house is a bit dated (general wear and the art on the walls is a bit faded). And the place is also used for Christian retreat activities, so if signs of this in the art, the movies, etc. offend you, keep that in mind. And that's about it.

Margaret, who runs the houses was wonderful and very accommodating. And she got us set up and didn't bother us again....but she is on the grounds and available by phone, so I suspect if we had any issues, she would have been there if we need her (based mostly on my dealings with her getting this set up).

The accommodations have everything you need, and for the price, made for an incredible stay for my extended family. Was very relaxing, clean, movies and DVD player and a few books, a few games, room in the living area to feel comfortable.....was just perfect.

Location is not right in anything, but close to what we wanted to be close to, mainly Angel's Camp, the Moaning Caverns and Murphy's. Easy drive to everywhere we needed to go.

Everything you want in a get-away type vacation rental.

Also the cookies waiting for us was a really nice touch. Just the right balance of hospitality and staying out of our hair.

  • Submitted: Apr 23, 2015
  • Stayed: March 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for your response and we are so happy you had a great stay and enjoyed your time with us. This is an older home and it is part of it's charm. Not sure which picture or art work was deemed faded, however, the pictures are mostly airy pastels to add to a relaxing atmosphere. We have around 200 movies which can be checked out and there is a wide range with something for just about everyone. They are all suitable for family viewing. There are movies for children, horse lovers, romance, animals, war, sports, adventure, etc. We are a international ministry, however, the Vacation Rentals are separate from the ministry and the income is used to support our ministry whereby we feed orphans, help the homeless and those in need. They also help with the upkeep and to maintain the grounds. The guest are not expected to participate in any of our events unless they choose to. The property here is also available for different events like weddings, baptisms, small retreats, etc. Thank you again for choosing our place for your getaway and sharing your comments with us. You have a lovely family. I enjoyed meeting all of you and it was a pleasure to chat with you. Star, our horse enjoyed your company also and we all look forward to seeing you again sometime.
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Fresno, CA


  • 4 of 5

We spent six days at Serenity Haven and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Margaret is a very sweet lady and interested in ensuring your stay is pleasant. The house was neat and tidy and comfortable for the two of us. Always nice to have a kitchen and we BBQ’ed in the evening several nights. You will enjoy the openness of this property including the three acre pond. Take a carrot for the very friendly horse Star. Several mornings and evenings, we viewed the “march of the turkeys” as they travelled near the house. Many places to explore in the vicinity including Angels Camp, Columbia, Murphy’s and several wineries. Take a drive to Lake Alpine at 8,000 ft elevation. We had a picnic at this pristine lake. I took my boat and we fished at New Melones Lake a couple of days. A very nice place for a couples get away.

Hal & Glenda-Fresno, CA

  • Submitted: Jun 30, 2013
  • Stayed: June 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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"Beautiful gardens, vineyard & museum along with gift shop are enjoyable."
Moaning Cavern Park
"Located across the road and is great for adventure seekers as they offer cave tours, sip lin..."
Natural Bridges
"Located within a few minutes from us this is a great natural site that needs to be seen in o..."
The Spice Tin
"Spices Galore. A fun place for those who love to cook and bake. "
Columbia State Historic Park
"Take a walk into the past. Located only 10 minutes from us. A delightful gold mining town ..."
Angels Camp
"Visit the Museum, enjoy antiquing, go to a movie, have a great breakfast or lunch at Rodtz f..."
"Known for it's Wines, uniqueness, foods, arts and shops it is a great place to visit and enj..."
Calaveras Big Trees State Park
"A wonderful place to take a picnic, do some hiking, or just relax in the midst of huge trees..."
New Melones Lake
"Fantastic for boating, site seeing, skiing, fishing, jet skiing, photography, gold prospecti..."
Nearest Airport
6 Miles
Columbia Airport
Nearest Barpub
5 Miles
Nearest Golf
7 Miles
Greenhorn Creek
Nearest Motorway
2 Miles
Hwy. 4
Nearest Restaurant
5 Miles
Nearest Ski
5 Miles
Melones Lake
Car: necessary

Across the road from Moaning Cavern and about 3 miles from Natural Bridges. Just minutes from several attractions including Columbia State Park (a delightful gold mining town that the state has preserved) Several wineries nearby along with fine dining & fast food eateries.

Nearby museums, live Theatre and many other activities including gold panning, golf, water and snow skiing along with bicycling, hiking, etc.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

linen & cleaning $75
Refundable damage deposit $250

Owner's Cancellation Policy

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