Feathered Pipe Ranch Activities

Located outside of Helena, Montana, the Feathered Pipe Ranch is nestled in the pristine Northern Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 5,000 feet.  We are surrounded by the Helena National Forest –  almost a million acres of mountainous wilderness. The Ranch provides a spacious but still intimate setting for wandering, bird watching, aspen-tree gazing, swimming and canoeing on our pretty spring-fed lake, and seeing all manner of wildlife.

Deer freely roam the ranch, with beaver, muskrat, mallard ducks and trout populating the lake. Moose and bear occasionally visit, though largely keeping their distance and wishing to be simply let alone. Large herds of elk roam the high alpine grasslands with rare sightings of wolves and mountain lions in the surrounding wilderness areas. At night, owls and Whip-poor-wills softly usher you to sleep. And in the morning, a chorus of birds make the forest a cathedral urging the sun to rise welcoming in the new day.



The ranch’s surrounding forest has numerous, well-marked trails for your exploration of hidden, highland wildflower meadows, mountain tops where Montana’s “Big Sky” can be appreciated in full grandeur, as well as scenic views of the ranch from high above. And for those more adventurous and adept in backwoods hiking, the trails branch out endlessly into the national forest that surrounds. Hikers stumble on long-forgotten mining trails, remnants of abandoned homesteads, and gurgling mountain brooks emptying into unknown lakes.


Feathered Pipe Trail Maps:

Lower Loop Trail with scenic overlook of Feathered Pipe Ranch (2 hrs)

Skye Farm Trail with scenic view of Colorado Gulch & beyond (1 1/2 – 2 hrs)

Boulder Creek Falls Trail to pine grove above dry falls (1 – 1 1/2 hrs)

Beaver Meadow Trail through mixed forest to wildflower meadow (3 – 4 hrs)


Enjoy Our Water

Right smack dab in the heart of the Ranch is a beautiful spring-fed lake. Between classes on lazy afternoons, hop into the canoe and paddle around, absorbing the healing, hushed sounds of busy western meadowlarks, wood ducks, and sparrows dashing through the aspens, pines, and grasses that encircle the clean water.

Or?  Hop right on in and go for an invigorating mountain swim – pausing at least once to float on your back under the big blue sky.  With healing earth and water all around you, you may hear, even more clearly, the guidance offered by the wise Rocky Mountains that surround us.

Then?  Grab a lawn chair or sprawl your relaxed and restored self on the big green lawn for a well-earned nap.


Afternoon Excursions

When you find yourself with a free afternoon and a hankering for a change of scenery, we’ll work with you to arrange an excursion into Helena.  Montana’s capital city features 19th century architecture and offers a perfect setting to stroll around some of the favorite spots that our repeat guests have come to love visiting during a free afternoon.

The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Artslisted on the National Register of Historic Places and located just outside of Helena, is a 26-acre former brickyard that is widely recognized as a place for emerging and established ceramic artists to gather and create. This nonprofit educational institution was founded in 1951 by brick maker Archie Bray as a “place to make available for all who are seriously and sincerely interested in any of the branches of the ceramic arts.”

A healthy and healing Helena icon – and a favorite of ours and for many Feathered Pipe guests who enjoy their fare in our own kitchen – is the Real Food Market & Deli, Helena’s only certified organic supermarket. We are huge fans of the kind people (not to mention the delectable food!) at this cherished store

The Gothic-style Cathedral of St. Helenalocated in the heart of Montana’s capital city, offers guided tours from 1-3 pm Tuesdays through Thursdays in the summer.

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