Whimsical Woodland Retreat 3

Garland’s Lodge at Oak Creek Canyon Offers a Historical Getaway

When you drive north of Sedona on highway 89A, you will partake in one of the most beautiful and scenic drives in the country. Oak Creek Canyon is known for its incredible canyon views, hiking trails and fantastic autumn colors. However, very few know that tucked away on the creek is a historic resort that has managed to remain serene and private since it first opened in 1928 as Todd’s Lodge.

The original 10-acre homestead was known as Crookneck Flat in the early 1900s. In 1908, Jesse Howard purchased the land and built the first log cabin, which later became the resort’s kitchen and dining room. The early settlers brought with them an irrigation system and planted fruit trees, which are still harvested today. In 1928, Frank and Catherine Todd purchased the lodge, where they entertained many guests visiting from Flagstaff, as well as miners from Jerome. The lodge soon earned a glowing reputation for being a treasured getaway.

After 44 years, the Todds sold the resort to Bill and Georgiana Garland. The Garlands took on the endeavor as a family project, creating the ambience we know today. They remodeled many of the older cabins and built five additional cabins, totaling 17. They also created delicious meals using the eggs, vegetables, fruit and herbs from their organic gardens.

Two years ago, after 42 years of love, hard work and dedication, the Garlands sold the resort. The new owners, from Scottsdale, are committed to continuing the legacy of this wonderful wilderness sanctuary. The resident roosters and chickens are still being kept, Mario oversees the gardens, Rob tends to the trees and Chef Brian Widmer continues to prepare outstanding farm-to-table meals for guests.

“Nothing can compare to the freshness of the produce we get from the garden,” explains Chef Brian, who has been with the Lodge since 2013, bringing with him much culinary experience from the East Coast and Bay area. “I want our guests to be completely satisfied when they leave the restaurant. I want them to eat something that they cannot get anywhere else.”

The grounds are surrounded by huge pine trees with echoes of the babbling creek meandering through. Beautiful flowers and luscious greenery are everywhere. A stroll around the property uncovers a wooden walking bridge, a chicken coop, a greenhouse, a wonderful fruit orchard, a yoga pavilion, a clay tennis court, a massage cabin and a few designated areas with benches and picnic tables. Each whimsical cabin has a charm of its own, and the all-inclusive rate includes tea at 4 p.m., cocktails at 6 p.m., a gourmet dinner at 7 p.m., and delicious made-to-order breakfasts the next day.

Dinners at the lodge are scrumptious, with selections such as sun-dried tomato focaccia, creamy white bean soup with spinach and a mixed green salad for starters; pan-seared parmesan-crusted wild Alaskan halibut with arugula pesto served with ivory and Beluga lentil pilaf, snap peas and baby carrots for an entrée; and homemade strawberry rhubarb pie ala mode for dessert. Compliments to Chef Brian for continuing the resort’s reputation of creating fantastic, memorable meals.

General Manager, Chris Bosselmann, sums up the Garland’s experience simply stating, “This is a place where you can leave the city behind. It won’t take long for you to feel relaxed by the soothing sounds of the creek, the comfortable, private cabins and the excellent, legendary cuisine.

For more information and to make reservations, visit their website at GarlandsLodge.com.