Ever had a place you really liked but were reluctant to tell other people about for fear it would become popular and then you would ultimately suffer?
You know, reservations become hard to get, prices go up, and trendy-as-heck people starting calling your place home.
Readers, I’m trusting you with this secret so don’t tell just anybody, OK?
My partner Keith and I don’t precisely remember how we came across the Mill Creek Resort but it may have been after a snowshoeing lesson in Lassen Park in the winter of ’01. After the lesson we might have stopped by on our way back to Chico for a bite to eat.
At any rate, the place made an impression on us as a very relaxing base of operations for future summer trips into Lassen National Park, the south entrance to which is only 11 miles from Mill Creek.
Since then we must have stayed there at least six times, sometimes by ourselves in a one-bedroom cabin and sometimes with another couple in a two-bedroom cabin.
The word “resort” conjures up certain images that don’t pertain to the Mill Creek Resort. Discard any notions of swimming pools and umbrella drinks.
Here’s what’s worth knowing.
– It’s located 3 miles down a side road off of Hwy. 36. Interestingly, this quiet road is actually a state highway (Hwy. 172) that continues on to Mineral although it’s not plowed in the winter beyond Mill Creek.
– Mill Creek is a tiny unincorporated town in Tehama County with a number of private homes and cabins tucked away among the pines.
– Mill Creek Resort opened in 1935 and is family owned and operated
– The main building has a restaurant, general store, and post office
– The cabins are rustic but entirely functional with full kitchens
– Other than when you check out there isn’t housekeeping service
– The resort also offers hook-ups for RVs and trailers, as well as a campground
– The creek itself is accessible via a steep scramble in back of the property. The creek is nearly a river at that point.
– Summer drive-time from Chico is 1.5 hours (67 miles)
– A very friendly 10-year old golden retriever named Radiant is part of the “staff”
INTERIOR OF RESTAURANT & GENERAL STORE:
You shouldn’t choose Mill Creek when you’re seeking a getaway that is spotless, hip and wired.
You should choose Mill Creek when you’d like a place that’s quiet, down-home, and close to Lassen.
TWO OF THE CABINS AT THE MILL CREEK RESORT
This was the first time we stayed for a week and we met a number of other interesting guests from all around including the Bay Area and England.
Some meals we made ourselves and others we ate in the restaurant. The fare is basic American but delicious and reasonably priced. After a tough hike in Lassen, a late summer’s evening spent on the deck at Mill Creek savoring a burger washed down with a pitcher of beer (five taps) is a high point in my book.
Now you know about the Mill Creek Resort. Be careful whom you tell!
LOOKING UP TOWARD THE MAIN BUILDING AND DECK