Ridgedale, Missouri

A Guide to Big Cedar Lodge

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

Travel tip:  we recommend looking into Wilderness Club rooms 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.

Another new addition is the Cedar Creek Spa. Inside you’ll find an inviting walkway and be shown to the locker room area where staff will show you all of the facilities in order to enjoy your stay. You will be given a personal locker with complimentary sandals and a robe to wear during your visit. After changing for your appointment you are shown to a nice waiting area where 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, you can enjoy the co-gender gratto 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.

Recently Big Cedar Lodge opened another area on site called the Top of the Rock. When visiting recently we were able to do the Lost Canyon Nature Trail & Cave Tour and it was magnificent. You have the option of walking the trail or driving a golf cart.

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Lost Canyon Nature Trail
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Lost Canyon Nature Trail
Lost Canyon Nature Trail
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Lost Canyon Nature Trail: Cave Entrance

While your 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 Master’s for a moment.


After playing a round of golf or visiting the driving range 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.

Buffalo Bar
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End of the Trail All-American Wine Cellar

Other than the fact that Ridgedale is roughly 20-30 minutes from Branson, Big Cedar 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 7+ restaurants on site, two golf courses, a new luxurious spa, a boat marina where you can rent pontoons/boats + other complimentary water sports, nature trails, and much more!

We enjoyed going out on this 1930’s replica Chris Craft
Crusin’ on Goin’ Jesse


If you are into the tranquil outdoors another place we also recommend visiting is nearby Dogwood Canyon.

Dogwood Canyon offers a variety of activities perfect for all ages and all size groups. Some of the activities we recommend are:

Stables: there are a variety of different options when it comes to their horseback riding. They offer romantic carriage rides ($25 per person) and a 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 and 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 and how we were able to get up close and personal with bison, elk, and some truly amazing natural springs and water features.


Dogwood Canyon
Dogwood Canyon
Dogwood Canyon: Elk
Up close encounter with elk during our guided tram tour stop
Dogwood Canyon: Bison
It was a unique experience seeing so many bison up close.

Having spent many years visiting Big Cedar Lodge and the Branson/Ridgedale area we feel like we have much more we are forgetting about and will continue to update these posts as we continue to explore. If you have more questions about what activities to do please feel free to contact us! What are some of your favorite sights in this area?

Logan and Kallsy
Pages of Travel


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Add yours →

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


  2. 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.


    • 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. 🙂


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


    • 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!


  4. 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!


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


  6. 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


    • 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. 🙂


  7. 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!


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


    • 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: http://www.bigcedarlodge.com

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


  9. 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.


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