Big Cedar Lodge, A Rustic Retreat in Ridgedale, Missouri

Lost Canyon Nature Trail

A Romantic and Rustic Getaway at Big Cedar Lodge

Being tucked away minutes from Branson, Big Cedar Lodge is in a terrific location! There is always plenty to do at the resort to keep everyone entertained. Big Cedar Lodge offers a variety of rooms at all different price ranges. We typically have stayed at the Wilderness Club timeshare properties. FYI: We do not own a timeshare but have rented them from others who do. We have never been pressured into buying a timeshare when renting them directly from the owner.

Travel TipWe recommend looking into Wilderness Club rooms for Big Cedar Lodge on eBay as many owners put them on there for lower fees during the weekdays.

In the main area of Big Cedar Lodge, you can shop at the gift store, grab a coffee at the Truman Coffee Shop, or dine at the Buzzard Bar which also has terrific live entertainment nightly.

Cedar Creek Spa at Big Cedar Lodge

Another new addition is the Cedar Creek Spa. Inside you’ll find an inviting walkway and lounge area that will instantly make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a wooded forest with beautiful birch trees.

Entryway and exit of the Cedar Creek Spa at Big Cedar Lodge
Entryway and exit of the Cedar Creek Spa at Big Cedar Lodge

Upon checking in you will be shown to either the women’s or men’s retreat area where staff will give you a tour of the facilities. You will be given a personal locker with sandals and a robe to wear during your visit.

After changing for your appointment you will be shown to a tranquil relaxation area. There you can sip on some water, have a light snack, and sit by a cozy fireplace. You will then be greeted shortly and taken to your service.

After your service, you can enjoy the co-gender grotto pool, sauna, steam room, or relax in a more private gender specific pool. After enjoying a morning or afternoon of relaxation, you then can easily begin your day using the open-air showers and complimentary toiletries provided by the spa.

Top of the Rock at Big Cedar Lodge

Recently Big Cedar Lodge opened another area on site called the Top of the Rock. The Lost Canyon Nature Trail & Cave Tour will take you on a winding path of nature, water features, and a hidden cave. You have the option of walking the trail or driving a golf cart.

Lost Canyon Nature Trail
Lost Canyon Nature Trail
View from the top of the Lost Canyon Nature Trail at Big Cedar Lodge
Lost Canyon Nature Trail
Lost Canyon Nature Trail covered bridge
Covered bridge on Lost Canyon Nature Trail
Entrance to the cave at Lost Canyon Nature Trail at Big Cedar Lodge
Cave entrance – Lost Canyon Nature Trail

While you’re at the Top of the Rock you’ll also need to check out the golf courses and the driving range. You might even feel like your at the Masters for a moment.

View of a golf course at Big Cedar Lodge

After playing a round of golf you can relax and dine at one of three restaurants at Top of the Rock or you could grab a drink at the End of the Trail All-American Wine Cellar – stay until sunset, the views are worth it!

A glass of white wine at the Buffalo Bar at Big Cedar Lodge
Buffalo Bar
A Native American statue at Big Cedar Lodge
End of the Trail All-American Wine Cellar

Other than the fact that Ridgedale is roughly 20-30 minutes from Branson, Big Cedar Lodge has a lot of other draws. One example being, they have a tram service that will take you anywhere on the resort without you having to drive. They also have 8+ restaurants on site, two golf courses, a luxurious spa, a boat marina where you can rent pontoons/boats + other complimentary water sports, nature trails, and much more!

A wooden boat docked on water at Big Cedar Lodge
We enjoyed going out on this 1930’s replica Chris Craft
Crusin’ on Goin’ Jesse
Pink flowers on branches

Dogwood Canyon

If you are into visiting the great outdoors another place to visit is nearby Dogwood Canyon, a 10,000 acre nature preserve that is open for hiking, fishing, biking, tram tours and more.

View of Dogwood Canyon main building

Some recommended activities:

  • Stables: there are a variety of different options when it comes to their horseback riding. They offer romantic carriage rides ($25 per person) and trail rides (price depending on the length of time).
  • Trout Fishing: Dogwood Canyon offered self-guided fishing for a $20-25 (adult price) depending on if you catch and release or catch and keep. They also offer guided fishing tours for 4 hours at $250 (only eligible for catch and release).
  • Guided Tram Tours: We typically enjoy doing our own tour and exploring on our own but this was one that we were glad we took. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the history of this preserved nature park. He also allowed us to stop and get off the tram on multiple occasions in order to explore our surroundings. You can see in the photos below the magnificent beauty of this park. We were even able to get up close and personal with bison, elk, and some truly amazing natural springs and water features.
Elk standing next to each other in a pasture
Up close encounter with elk during our guided tram tour stop
Small waterfalls in Dogwood Canyon
Golden trout in a pond at Dogwood Canyon
Waterfall at Dogwood Canyon

Big Cedar Lodge and Dogwood Canyon will always hold a special place in our hearts and we try to get there as often as we can! Have you been to Big Cedar Lodge?
Plan your visit to the rustic, romantic and family-friendly Big Cedar Lodge, Dogwood Canyon, and more!
Plan your visit to the rustic, relaxing, and romantic Big Cedar Lodge, Dogwood Canyon, and more!


  • Reply
    Branson, Missouri – Pages of Travel
    April 6, 2016 at 6:19 PM

    […] –Big Cedar Lodge: This is by far our favorite place to stay while in the Branson area due to the location and amenities it has to offer. Big Cedar has a wide variety of accommodations and we have yet to stay in all of them. In order to be cost effective we have often staying in the Big Cedar Wilderness Club. These are timeshare properties but let us be clear, we do not own one. We often find deals on eBay from people renting out their property. To learn more about Big Cedar check out our post here. […]

  • Reply
    October 30, 2016 at 9:00 PM

    Wow I love your pictures! That Cedar Creek Spa looks amazing!

    • Reply
      October 31, 2016 at 4:54 PM

      Thank you so much! It was really nice to relax at. 🙂

  • Reply
    Paula - Gone with the Wine
    October 30, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    Wow! Looks so nice and inviting. I never knew Missouri would look like something like this. I especially like the corridor with trees. Reminds me of my home country Finland.

    • Reply
      October 31, 2016 at 4:48 PM

      Paula, I never knew that Missouri could be so beautiful either. This resort area in the Ozark Mountains definitely goes above and beyond in details and small touches. I also love the corridor of trees leading into the spa! I hope to visit Finland someday so I can see what you mean. 🙂

  • Reply
    Galia Vu
    October 30, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    Fantastic! Your gallery about Ridgedale, Missouri really really wonderful. I like the way you show the landscape at Missouri. Thanks

    • Reply
      October 31, 2016 at 4:44 PM

      Thank you Galia. Missouri can be an overlooked state. I know that I never thought of Missouri as “beautiful” until I moved here a few years ago. Makes me realize that beauty is everywhere when you are looking!

  • Reply
    October 31, 2016 at 12:03 AM

    Big Cedar Lodge is a dreamworld…what a place to escape to, for a few days! Beautiful collection of nature pictures, and the lodge…wow!

    • Reply
      October 31, 2016 at 4:43 PM

      Glad you felt the same! It’s hard to capture such beauty sometimes. I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the midwest.

  • Reply
    October 31, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    Beautiful pictures! And that spa is set in such a stunning place – very inviting (I could definitely see myself there right now)!

    • Reply
      October 31, 2016 at 4:42 PM

      Thank you Lydia! The spa was so relaxing I spent quite a few hours lounging there!

  • Reply
    October 31, 2016 at 10:12 PM

    Wow, this really looks like an incredible place. At one moment, it might seen as though you are in the Scottish Highlands whilst a little later in Pre-colonial America and the next, you might feel you’re in Monte Carlo or some other high brow location. The spa looked exquisite and while I’m not a golfer, the golf course looked pretty damned cool. Looked like it was a sensational trip and thanks for sharing

    • Reply
      November 2, 2016 at 7:14 PM

      Gareth, I’ve been hearing that this looks similar to the Scottish Highlands lately so it sounds like I need to head there to check it out for myself. It is a very unique place to visit, especially being in a Midwestern state that is typically so flat and lacking in luster (sorry Missouri!). Thanks so much for reading. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 11:24 PM

    Love your pictures and tips. And yes, agree with you. We also mostly plan our own trips but sometimes, taking a guided tour proves to be best!

    • Reply
      November 2, 2016 at 7:15 PM

      Thanks so much! Yes, the Guided Tram Tour is one that I definitely was glad we did. It was very informative and fun! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 2, 2016 at 6:55 AM

    This place looks so majestic. What massage therapy did you guys try out?? What all did you guys eat??

    • Reply
      November 2, 2016 at 7:18 PM

      It was a beautiful and relaxing area for sure. We did each did a 60 minute Swedish massage and it was GLORIOUS. As for food, Big Cedar Lodge has many terrific restaurants on site that serve a variety of cuisines. I highly recommend taking a look. Here is their website:

      My personal favorite is the Buzzard Bar or the Osage for a fancier dinner. 🙂

  • Reply
    Vanessa and Steve
    November 3, 2016 at 3:56 AM

    Gorgeous! Ridgedale is so gorgeous. We never knew Missouri had that kind of natural beauty. Thanks for sharing this jewel and the tips about renting on eBay.

    • Reply
      November 3, 2016 at 7:08 PM

      It’s hard to believe isn’t it? Thank you so much Vanessa and Steve.

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