Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I get there?
  The Directions.....

The driveway entrance is located a few meters east of the Benton Crossing Road intersection with Highway 120. It is set back from the road with a sign stating name and address.

From South: Dutch Pete's Ranch is located in Mono County, California, 7 miles northwest of the community of Benton. To reach the property from Bishop drive 34 miles north on Highway 6 to the town of Benton. Turn left (west) on Highway 120. Go through the historic town of Benton Hot Springs and climb the hill to your destination, Dutch Pete's Ranch, west of the intersection of Benton Crossing Road and Highway 120. (Be advised that Highway 120 through Adobe Valley is not maintained in winter.)

From West: Dutch Pete's Ranch is located in Mono County, California, 7 miles northwest of the community of Benton. To reach the property from Mammoth Lakes, drive about 5 miles south of Mammoth on Highway 395, past airport, make a left and drive 30 miles on the Benton Crossing Road to where it meets Highway 120. You will drive around the north & east side of Crowley Lake, where you cross the Owens River, you will pass Layton Springs, then Wildrose Summit and descend down into the Adobe Valley . At the end of the Benton Crossing Road, make a right for 100 yards, then left on to the dirt driveway with two marked wooden posts.

From North on Highway 120 East is open (summer season):
Dutch Pete's Ranch is located in Mono County, California, 7 miles northwest of the community of Benton. To reach the property from Lee Vining/Highway 120, drive about 5 miles south of Highway 395, then make a left onto Highway 120 East, and drive about 35 miles southeast to the Benton Crossing Road junction. You will pass Panum Crater, South Tufa Reserve, the Mono Craters, and Mono Mills, then Sage Hen Summit, then downhill towards the Adobe Valley. On the left you will see the Granite Mountains Wilderness area and on your right you will see the Glass mountains and exotic table mountains. You will keep descending in to the Adobe Valley, home to several hundred wild horses that roam freely. Watch out for roaming cattle and extreme dips in the road as well. Once past the 5 miles of dips, the final stretch to Dutch Pete's Ranch will be in site. On your left, you will see Black Lake Preserve, once a part of Dutch Pete's, and once you've arrived at the turn off to the Benton Crossing Road on the right, start looking for the entrance to the property on the left, a few meters beyond. 

What is the closest airport?
Mammoth Yosemite Airport, about 40 minutes west of Dutch Pete's. Bishop Airport is also about an hour's drive; now offering winter flights from San Francisco. The International Reno Tahoe Airport is about 3 1/2 hours north.

Is there someone we can hire to be a local concierge to help design an itinerary?
Yes. Please inquire with owner to contact. tel. 760/937-6581

What does it mean when you say you are off-grid? Do you have electricity?
We are off the electric grid that connects the majority of towns and cities. We operate off solar power with a back-up propane generator. The solar-made power is stored in large batteries, which can support the small household. If there are several cloudy or stormy days the generator will kick on to charge the batteries and convert the DC electricity to 120 V AC through the inverters to the house. Certain appliances can run down the solar-generated power faster, such as a blow dryer, an iron, or a dishwasher at nighttime. The house should operate pretty normally like a house on the grid.

How do I make a reservation? What about check-in?
You can make a reservation on this website. The owner encourages you to email or call with additional questions in advance. You will need to plan ahead the long distance travel to arrive within the 3-6pm window in summer; 3-5pm window of time in winter. You are able to check yourself in, yet we ask you to text your host, Sarah, tel.760/937-6581, 45-60 minutes from the destination (Lee Vining, Mammoth Lakes or Bishop).

What should I expect at high altitude in the Eastern Sierra?
Dutch Pete's Ranch sits at an elevation of 6,450 feet above sea level,  which can take several days to adjust to, but drinking extra water can help. The high altitude also means faster sunburns so sunscreen is strongly recommended. 

What do I do if I get lost? 
Look at your map again. The house stands alone and is easily seen for miles on Highway 120. Please do not visit our neighbor, the Inn at Benton Hot Springs, which is 3 miles down Highway 120 from entrance to house. They are busy and under-staffed, and don't appreciate catering to lost guests. That is why we ask you to TEXT your host, Sarah, at 760/937-6581 while in a town 1 hour away (Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake or Lee Vining). One way to reorient yourself, is to drive down 120 until it dead-ends in to Highway 6, at Benton Station (there's a gas station there). Then you can measure your odometer from that way point. Dutch Pete's entrance is about 7 miles uphill from there, after cresting the hill between the rock crags, the entrance will be on your right just behind a large CalTrans highway sign showing mileage to Lee Vining. If you get to the turn off to Mammoth Lakes, you've gone too far. 

*First time visitors are strongly recommended to arrive BEFORE dark, because of the high probability, that one can get lost. We are off-grid, so the only lights are solar-powered and closer to the house, for your safety.  There is a half-mile long dirt driveway, with two cattle gates; one of which needs to remain closed. Winter darkness: 5pm; Summer darkness: 8pm. For your safety, if you are accidentally running late, and it's dark, please TEXT your Host Sarah (760/937-6581) know ahead of time, while you are still in a town with cellular service, about an hour away, that means Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake or Lee Vining. At Benton Station, 7 miles downhill where Highway 120 meets Highway 6, there is a pay telephone and gasoline. In a worst case scenario, we can ask our local host to meet you.

Do you have Wifi? Phone Service? TV?
Our small house is a perfect place to unplug and retreat, away from the urbanity. However, we understand the need to connect and communicate with friends, family and work for some. We have Internet Wifi via Hughes Net Satellite for basic communication via e-mail and telephone-calling; there is a television and a DVD library for guests to use; 4G AT&T cellular service may work near the mudroom. *The internet service will not support downloading and uploading lots of data, like movies, and will rapidly dissolve the speed of service desired. We are able to track the daily use remotely. If you love to watch movies, we suggest you download films before you leave home onto your personal tablet or laptop computer. 

Where do I go in case of emergency?

Call 911.  Allow up to an hour for Sheriff response; however, there is a local Volunteer Fire Department in Benton, who would likely be your first responders.  Northern Inyo Hospital at 150 Pioneer Lane, Bishop, CA 93514. Tel. 760/873-5811 (allow 45-60 minutes). Bishop altitude 4,150' Non-emergency: Rural Health Clinic a 153 Pioneer Lane, Bishop, CA 93514. Tel. 760/873-2849 Mammoth Hospital 85 Sierra Park Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. Tel. 760/934-3311. Mammoth altitude in town: 7,900' Non-emergency: Sierra Park Family Medicine Clinic, 85 Sierra Park Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. Tel. 760/934-2511.

How safe is it out there?
Historically, it has been safe and serene.  The house is situated about half a mile from the main road, with gates on the driveway and behind dense sageland and fence and barbed fence around. The inner cattle gate must remain closed at all times due to cattle grazing.

We request that you lock the house when leaving the property and at night, just as a safety precaution. Winds can surprisingly blow doors and windows open, and even screens out. Theft of property (ours and yours) is your responsibility. To keep unwanted animal critters outside, we request that our guests keep the front door closed, even when enjoying outdoor patio and BBQ during day.

What do I do with my trash? And basic cleanup before I leave?
 There are two trash bins hidden in the breezeway for our guests. One is for bagged & sealed trash and one for recyclables. There is a compactor for organic trash, and a recycle container under sink for recyclables (cardboard, plastic, glass, cans). Thank you for sealing trash bags before placing in trash containers outside, in order to avoid attracting unwanted critters. Excessive waste i.e. unfolded cardboard boxes, dirty dishes and excessively dirty oven could result in an extra cleaning charge.

What should I bring? 
Clothing for various types of weather. Summer days can be warm, 80-95 degrees Fahrenheit and summer nights quite cool, around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter days are mostly sunny (when not a snow storm) in Mono County, yet commonly very cold, just above freezing temperatures. Dress in layers, year-round. Warm jacket, hat, sunglasses, water bottle. Groceries, your cooking spices & oils, and other supplies, such as your own flash light, DVDs, etc. Good walking shoes, boots for walking through sage brush and for the cooler season. See list of recommended grocery stores on the Explore by Location page. Travel with tire chains for snowy roads in winter.

What type of amenities does the house have?
The house has basic cooking utensils—plates, pots, coffee maker, coffee filters, glassware, flatware. The house has sheets and duvet covers for the king bed and queen pullout in the master bedroom upstairs; as well as two single duvets for the two couches in the living room. There are extra blankets and pillows. There is a small first aid kit.

Are pets allowed?
For dog owners, we can understand your desire to bring your furry friend, and if so, we request that you take full responsibility for your dog's behavior. We expect the dog to be with the owner at all times and not to be left alone in the house. Only one dog please. We reserve the right to charge your credit card for assessed damage. A dog blanket is provided in the upstairs linen closet, if pooch is used to sleeping above the floor level.

Can I bring ATVs, bikes, dune buggies?
You may bring ATVs, bicycles and dune buggies, but all of them need to be used only on the designated driveway. There are thousands of miles of dirt roads on public lands in the Adobe Valley and Mono and Inyo counties, which extend in to Nevada as well.

Can I bring my RV or tents for my friends to stay in when this visit?

Our operating permit only allows us to use the main house for overnight guests, each of whom is to be named on the reservation form. There is only one king bed and one queen bed in the upstairs bedroom suite; as well as two couches in the main living room for overflow.

Can I have my own party since you are in a rural location on 160 acres? 
This is not a party house. There is only one full bathroom and one half bathroom. 

Will my car be okay driving on the ranch driveway?
Regular cars are fine for the 1/2 mile long driveway, which is composed of dirt and/or gravel. In wintertime, we recommend only four-wheel drive because the snow accumulation, can range from 6 to 36 inches. If planning to explore the area's dirt roads, we recommend a higher clearance vehicle with all-wheel or four-wheel drive.

What precautions do I need to take when travelling around rural Mono County year-round?
I would advise any guest coming during the winter months (November through April) to prepare by checking the NOAA weather forecast, as well as calling CALTRANS tel. 1-800-427-ROAD for updated road conditions. The Eastern Sierra is notorious for weather events, even during shoulder seasons. Get into survival-mode, by being prepared. We suggest guests travel with a couple of sleeping bags, plenty of water, some food, because in a rural environment, without cellular service, if a car breaks down, one might get stuck, on a back road or highway. Always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to arrive or return. Most emergency service trucks are not allowed to travel off pavement. 

And what about travelling there in the Winter?
During the winter, a storm can move in quickly. Dutch Pete's gets little snow historically; yet, nowadays it can get an extreme weather event with much snow at once!  Always carry chains and a small shovel, and know how to change your tire. Snow load varies annually throughout the Eastern Sierra. The Adobe Valley is more or less in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada, with milder weather and snowfall. Snow accumulation can range from 6" to 3 feet. Highway 120 East, just north of Dutch Pete's entrance is closed most winters due to snowfall. The Benton Crossing Road from HWY 395 is usually open for local residents who commute back and forth to Mammoth Lakes for work; with the exception of a severe snow storm. Highway 6 from Bishop is open and sits at the lowest altitude.  If planning a stay at Dutch Pete's during the winter months, you might want to consider bringing cross country skis or snowshoes. More details can be communicated with the owner as desired. If you get stuck in a snowstorm, general thought is to stay with your car instead of wandering off because the car provides shelter, and is easier to find in poor weather conditions.

Do you have a washer and dryer?
We do, however, we request that you leave your bed linens on the bed for us to wash.

Is Dutch Pete's Ranch available for Weddings and events?
We are working on this.