The Lodge at Running Y Ranch: a Holiday Inn Resort in Southern Oregon

In remote Southern Oregon at the edge of the Cascades, just outside the small town of Klamath River, The Running Y Ranch offers relaxation and fun for families. This golf community of private homes, condos, and guest rooms is small enough to feel cozy, yet large enough to have everything families want: high-end dining, recreation, pampering, and outdoor adventure. The property is within easy driving distance of mountain lakes, Crater Lake National Park, and world-class fly fishing.

lodge at running y

The Lodge at Running Y:

Guests will want to book at The Lodge at Running Y, a Holiday Inn Resort property. This lodge reflects the feel of the rest of the property: it’s intimate without being small. The spacious lobby–which is modern and fresh–is appointed with fireplace, cozy chairs, and an outdoor recreation center (more on that below), and the grounds include deck and lawn space with seating overlooking the resort, nice landscaping, and beautiful golf course and Klamath Basin views.

Running Y lobby

We stayed in two adjoining standard rooms, appointed with Holiday Inn Resort touches (we love the pillows and beds of this brand). Rooms include mini-fridges and microwaves for easy breakfast preparation and snacking, plus free wifi, decent coffee, and spacious bathrooms. (Some rooms have only a shower while others have shower/tub combination.) The only thing our rooms lacked that we missed: balconies on which to enjoy the nice views. From our windows, we saw eagles, pelicans, and deer during out visit.

running y ranch


Golf is a central sport at The Running Y, but not as much part of the lifeblood of the resort as at some other Oregon resorts. Meaning, if you don’t golf, you won’t feel as though you’re missing the main aspect of the property. There is one 18-hole Arnold Palmer-designed course, which is challenging and beautiful. We took the kids out on the links for 9 holes, and everyone at the golf clubhouse from the golf pro to the starter was very friendly and welcoming to kids on the course. The other golfers sharing the course with us that day were relaxed and casual (no uptight golfers on our visit!) and we were able to relax and let the kids play at their pace for the most part (not always true everywhere). With no fewer than five tee boxes, there was a tee for everyone to play his own game. If you get hungry on the course, there’s both a mobile snack cart which makes an appearance or two, plus a sandwich and hot dog counter at the clubhouse for lunch at the turn.

Also of note: take the kids for a practice run on the Running Y putting course: it’s a very fun 18 hole course that’s perfect for a warm-up the day before golfing or in place of golfing for young kids!

Running Y Ranch pool

Sports Center:

When not golfing, your whole family will want to be at the Running Y sports center. Located adjacent to the lodge, this complex includes a beautiful indoor pool, hot tub, and children’s wading pool, a sauna, nice locker rooms, tennis courts, an outdoor basketball court, a ping pong table, pool table, and air hockey table. There’s also a children’s playground on the grounds, and sun decks with lounge chairs. The Sports Center is also home to a cardio room, exercise room holding daily classes, and the spa. The center is open early and stays open late, making it the place families gather before the day’s activities and after.


The Running Y spa is small, but friendly and of high quality. It lacks a large relaxation room area (though does have a small one), and shares the locker room with the pool, so you don’t feel truly transported into a calming environment until you’re in the treatment rooms, but once there, you’re certainly taken care of. Guests can enjoy massage services, facials, pedicures, manicures, and waxing services, plus there’s a hair salon with stylist. I opted for a much-needed pedicure and manicure after days on the road hiking, biking, and swimming, and thoroughly enjoyed my time with Stephanie: she was a great source of information on the resort and area, plus simply great company.

Ruddy Duck at the Running Y


The Ruddy Duck is located just off the lobby of the Lodge at the Running Y, and serves breakfast and dinner in a warm, casual environment. The views onto the golf course are lovely, and deck seating in summer allows families to stay out-of-doors at dinnertime to continue watching for swooping eagles and other wildlife.Kids eat free off the kids’ menu at the Ruddy Duck when dining with an adult and staying at the lodge (part of a larger Holiday Inn Resort program) and the food is excellent. Dinner is on the costly side for a family (thank goodness for the free kids’ meals) but wonderfully prepared: we recommend the salmon and the tri-tip sandwich most. Breakfast is very affordable and delicious, ranging from pancakes and eggs to breakfast burritos and french toast. There’s a full bar in the evenings, and a small store on-property if you need basic supplies.

Running Y ranch

Nature Programs:

The Running Y is situated in the heart of the Klamath Basin, adjacent to the very large Klamath Lake and many hiking trails and scenic vistas. The ranch plays host to a number of outdoor opportunities throughout the year, including complimentary birding presentations and guided hikes through arrangements with local chapters of the Audabon Society and land trust. During our visit, we were lucky enough to be present for the opening hike of the Skillet Handle trail, which Running Y residents and staff cleared themselves. We watched a birding slideshow at the lodge to better acquaint ourselves with what birds we’d view on the trail, then drove a short distance from the lodge to the trailhead. The trail itself was moderate, and now that we know where it is, we can easily hike it solo on our next visit. To hike the 2 mile Skillet Handle, drive past the pro shop over the top of the hill to the far side of the resort property by the lake. The parking lot is marked. Where the utility road splits, take the single track trail.

Partnership with Roe Outfitters;

For families looking for more outdoor adventure while in the Klamath Basin, The Running Y offers multiple packages with Roe Outfitters. This local outdoor company has been leading trips in the area for 30 years, and owner Darren Roe is a pro in every sense of the word. Roe offers guided fishing trips, river rafting on both the Klamath and the Rogue rivers, and boating on Klamath Lake. We joined Darren Roe for his sunset cruise on the lake, which I told him afterword should be called an ‘adventure cruise’: everything about the excursion was high-energy, fast-paced, and big on fun. His answer was the trademark of any good outdoor operation: the cruise is adapted to suit the guests, and he knew our school-aged boys would love an active experience. He was right. We learned a lot about this unique lake during our cruise, but what the boys remember most: helping to drive the 22 foot jet boat, seeing bald eagles and pelicans, and getting splashed on quick turns.

klamath lake

Date last visited: June 2013

Distance from the interstate: Right off Highway 97 in Klamath Falls, and directly on Highway 140.

Room rates: At the time of our visit, rates for a double bed room were $199.

Directions: The Running Y is located at 5500 Running Y Road. From Bend, take Highway 97 to Highway 140 (toward Medford). From I-5 in California, exit at Medford and take 140.

Disclaimer: we experienced The Lodge at Running Y as guests of the resort, for the purpose of review. This hospitality came with no expectation of a positive review.

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About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.




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