If solitude is more important to you than being on Yosemite's doorstep, Indian Peak Ranch is your kind of place. It's 35 miles (55 km) to the nearest Yosemite entrance, but you won't hear traffic noise or other tourists here. Indian Peak Ranch is a 122-acre semi-working ranch (a few cattle roam the grounds acting as self-propelled lawnmowers) with a 2-bedroom, 2-bath guest cabin on a hilltop with far-ranging views in most directions. The cabin has weathered barn wood interior walls, a full kitchen, copious windows, and a pool and hot tub.
Though the cabin is nice, the views are the star here, thanks to a hilltop location 600 feet above the surrounding countryside (see the terrain map). Besides encountering hills and foothill-range mountains in just about any direction you care to turn, you can also see all the way to the Central Valley - the owners have sat on their deck and watched Madera's 4th of July fireworks through their binoculars before.
The ranch is also one of 30 monitoring sites for the Hummingbird Monitoring Network, a non-profit organization that conducts research on hummingbird habitats and populations. Ranch owners Duane and Barbara Robinson, who live just down the hill from the guest cabin, run hummingbird banding sessions once every two weeks from March through October, and guests staying at the cabin during a banding session are welcome to watch. The Indian Peak site bands about 1,500 hummingbirds every year, nearly double the amount of any other site in the network. During the peak season in January, the ranch's feeders go through two gallons of sugar water a day, and though it hardly seems possible, it takes more than a thousand hummingbirds to consume that much fuel.