Frequently Asked Questions: Feathered Pipe Ranch, Helena, Montana

Frequently Asked Questions: Learn about the Feathered Pipe Ranch

We have specialized in creating and hosting yoga, meditation, and other healing art retreats for almost 50 years. We offer a variety of retreat and travel experiences at the Feathered Pipe Ranch, high in the Northern Rocky Mountains just outside of Helena, Montana, and abroad:

 Feathered Pipe Ranch Retreats & Travel (retreats and travel programs planned, organized and hosted by the Feathered Pipe Foundation)

 Corporate & Group Rentals (planned, organized and arranged by the group, business, or organization and hosted by us)

Explore our current Feathered Pipe Health, Wellness and Yoga Retreat schedule here.

It’s simple! You pay a $500 non-refundable deposit to initiate your registration. Winter retreat and travel program deposits vary by program.

Please note: This deposit becomes NON-REFUNDABLE after 2 working days or when our office contacts you to confirm registration and accommodation choice, whichever comes first. Up until that point, your deposit is fully refundable. (Our office typically calls you within the first day after registration online.)

Following initial online registration, our administrative staff will contact you to confirm receipt of your registration and assist with finalizing your choice of accommodation and transportation requirements.

For summer retreat programs, all final payments are due two weeks before the start date of your retreat. For winter retreats and travel programs, final payment is due 10 weeks before the beginning of program. Payments beyond the initial deposit may be made in installments.

If you have questions concerning the registration process, feel free to contact us via email at, or call the office at (406) 442-8196.

Program tuition includes cost all instruction and program activities, as well as basic accommodation. (Basic Accommodations are shared room Main Lodge, Yurt, Sai Condo or single Tipi/Regular Tent, and include three meals per day and use of all amenities.) Following registration, Feathered Pipe office staff will contact you to finalize registration and confirm your preferred accommodation choice. Please visit our accommodation page to view the many options for lodging for Feathered Pipe programs. Shuttle service from/to Helena Regional Airport on arrival/departure day is complimentary (free) for all registered guests!

Please note: If you need pick-up or drop-off on a non-arrival/departure day, that there is a $35 each-way charge.

Pricing for accommodations includes on-site lodging, meals and use of all amenities. Amenities include full access to bathhouse, sauna, hot tub, as well as all Feathered Pipe Ranch facilities and grounds.
Massage and bodywork, laundry, and any additional expenses (unless defined in the retreat listing) for day excursions off of ranch grounds, such as rafting trips, sightseeing tour, etc., are available but not included in retreat tuition cost.

Indoor accommodations at the Ranch include comfy 3-bed dorm rooms in the Main Lodge; each with three twin beds and a full bath. The Ranch Chalet has 6 double rooms, 4 with private bathroom and 2 with a shared bathroom. The Honeymoon Cabin is a private indoor accommodation with electricity and bathroom located near the bath house. It is perfect for couples or close friends wanting their own space, sleeping 2 people. Sai Condo is available for those wanting to be more immersed in nature, sleeping 2-3 people. If you stay in Sai Condo, you’ll use our shared bath house with all its amenities – shower, sauna, hot tub, and the chance to get to know your fellow guests who are staying in our tipis, tents, and yurts.

Teachers Cabin and Lake Cabin are available as guest accommodations for select retreats. Both have two large private bedrooms with bath, a living room, and a shared kitchen with limited cooking facilities. Teachers Cabin is nestled in the woods with a small creek running just outside and is located near the bathhouse. Lake Cabin is located across from the Main Lodge on the outskirts of the grand lawn, with a large back patio overlooking the lake.

Outdoor accommodations include yurts, tipis, deluxe wall tents, and regular tents. We provide raised platforms, foam pads or mattresses, lightweight sleeping bags, pillows, blankets and small camp lights. You are welcome to bring your own sleeping bag if you wish, but we have more than enough bedding to keep you warm. For those choosing to stay in our yurt, deluxe wall tent, tipi, or regular tent accommodations, our bathhouse will serve as your bathroom and shower facility — it’s not more than a five-minute walk from any outdoor accommodation. Give us a call if you’d like to explore whether a particular outdoor lodging choice is right for you.

Feel free to view full description and images of all accommodation choices here.

Please note: Off-campus lodging during our retreat programs is discouraged, as it impairs group cohesion and continuity. There are no discounts for staying off-campus or in your own accommodations.

Partial scholarships from $500 to $1500 are available for those needing financial assistance to attend Feathered Pipe hosted programs*. Click here to learn more and apply. Tax deductible contributions to this fund are always welcome – click here to donate.
The Feathered Pipe Foundation is a registered non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Therefore, expenses of attending a Feathered Pipe program, including travel and housing, may be deductible for US federal tax purposes as an educational expense if incurred to maintain or improve professional work skills. Consult your tax adviser for details to confirm your eligibility for deducting workshop expenses.

A $500 DEPOSIT IS REQUIRED to hold your space at a Feathered Pipe Foundation hosted retreat at the Feathered Pipe Ranch. After two business days or upon our office contacting you and completing registration, whichever comes first, the deposit becomes NON-REFUNDABLE.

CANCELLATION BY REGISTRANT: For Feathered Pipe Foundation hosted retreats, final payment is due 8 weeks from the beginning date of program. For cancellations by the registrant more than 8 weeks from the beginning date of program, THE DEPOSIT is NON-REFUNDABLE (but transferrable to another person for any Feathered Pipe Foundation hosted program within one year if preferred), but any payment beyond the deposit will be REFUNDED. For cancellations by the registrant 8 weeks or less from the beginning date of the program DEPOSIT AND PAYMENTS will be NON-REFUNDABLE (but transferrable to another person for the same program if preferred).

All cancellations must be received in writing by email at or by mail to Feathered Pipe Foundation, P.O. Box 1682, Helena, MT 59624. Cancellations will be considered effective on the day they are emailed or, if sent by regular mail, three days after they are mailed. Refunds, if available and/or applicable, will be remitted within 30 days.

CANCELLATION BY FEATHERED PIPE FOUNDATION: In the event that the program has to be cancelled or postponed to a later date by Feathered Pipe Foundation for any reason, Feathered Pipe Foundation will transfer your registration and deposits/payments made to the rescheduled program, or any other future Feathered Pipe Foundation hosted program, limited to one year from the date of cancelled program. For cancelled programs which have a rescheduled date defined, Feathered Pipe Foundation will refund payments beyond the deposit if desired. For cancelled programs which have no rescheduled date, Feathered Pipe Foundation will refund all program deposits/payments if desired.

TRAVEL INSURANCE RECOMMENDED: In the event of cancellation at any time, for any reason, and by any party, the Feathered Pipe Foundation WILL NOT be held responsible for refund of airline tickets, ticket change fees or other travel expenses. For these reasons we STRONGLY URGE that you purchase travel insurance to protect your investment.

Please Note: Protocols are subject to change based on recommendations from CDC and/or local public health department recommendations.

During all Feathered Pipe Ranch 2024 retreat programs, basic COVID-19 safety protocols will be implemented to ensure the safety and well-being of all guests. See the most recent update here.

We recommend the Helena Regional Airport (airport code HLN) for those coming to retreats and programs at the Feathered Pipe Ranch. Direct flights into Helena currently originate in Salt Lake City, UT (Delta Airlines), Denver, CO (United Airlines), and Seattle (Alaska Airlines).

We strongly suggest that you consider booking your flight to arrive on Friday (a day early) and enjoy a night in beautiful downtown Helena. While being rare, the airlines occasionally overbook connecting flights and/or weather may delay departure from Denver, Salt Lake City or Seattle. Again, we strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance.

Airlines fly in from all parts of the country on a regular basis, with Delta serving those flying from the East Coast, Midwest, Mountain and West Coast via their Salt Lake City hub, United Airlines serving passengers from all over via the Denver hub, and Alaskan Airlines serving West Coast flyers via their Seattle hub.

Missoula International Airport and Bozeman International Airport are also feasible points of arrival, but be advised that this will require a two-hour commute via bus or auto that you will need to arrange yourself. For those interested in art and cultural events, Missoula is a great place to spend a few extra days. If you are planning to go to Glacier National Park consider Great Falls, and Bozeman if you wish to spend some extra time in Yellowstone National Park.

For those coming for a Feathered Pipe Ranch retreat, we meet flights at the Helena Regional Airport. Shuttle service from/to Helena Regional Airport on arrival/departure day is complimentary (free) for all registered guests! Please note that if you need pick-up or drop-off on a non-arrival/departure day there is a $35 each-way charge.

Our driver will meet you at baggage claim wearing a Feathered Pipe t-shirt.  We group some pick-ups, so you may have a 30-minute wait. Call or chat with us directly on the day of travel if for any reason there is a change in scheduled arrival or if you have not located your pickup at (406) 417-7866 or on WhatsApp.

If you prefer to arrive early and stay in Helena, we will contact you at your hotel to arrange your pick-up. There is plenty to do and see in Helena. Contact our local Chamber of Commerce at (800) 743-5362 or Helena is halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks (3 hours’ drive in either direction), so you might consider coming a few days early or staying a few days after your retreat to take in one or both of these natural treasures!

Check-in time on arrival day is 3pm. Please plan to arrive at the Ranch by 5pm so you have time to settle in before our 6:30pm dinner. We will gather for orientation in the evening after dinner. We request that our guests depart their lodging by 9am on departure day to give our staff sufficient time to prepare for incoming guests. If your flight is not scheduled to depart until later in the day, we will be happy to accommodate you and ensure that you get to the airport.

The Ranch is located about eight miles west of central Helena off of Highway 12.

If you are driving from Helena, take Highway 12 West a few miles out of Helena, turn left (south) at the sign for Colorado Gulch. If you are driving from Missoula, you turn right (south) at the sign for Colorado Gulch a few miles before you reach Helena. We are at the very end of this road, about 5 miles in. You’ll see rolling lawns, a small lake, and the Main Lodge on your right. Pull into our loading area (past the parking lot) and unload your luggage. You can get settled in, park your car in the parking lot and walk down to the lodge.

If you are using a GPS to get to the Ranch, the address is 2409 Bear Creek Rd., Helena, Montana.

The last mile of the way to the Ranch is on a small private road. Please drive slowly (15 mph or less) on that stretch to keep the dust at a minimum for our neighbors and also allow you to soak in the serenity as you enter.

As we are limited in staff on weekends with everyone busy with departures and readying the facilities for the incoming group, it is essential that you keep the Ranch phone number handy throughout your travels as this is the only way in which you can notify us of a schedule change. Call or chat with us directly on the day of travel if for any reason there is a change in scheduled arrival or if you have not located your pickup at (406) 417-7866 or on WhatsApp.

If you plan to be in the Helena area prior to the date when your retreat begins, several options are available for you to consider. Please note that during summer months, lodging options fill up fast in Helena, so please do not wait until the last minute to make your reservations. Staying at the Ranch before or after your program is not an option, so please plan accordingly.  For those choosing to come in a day early and stay the night in Helena, recommended local lodgings include:

Tom Ryan’s Guest House – Tom was long-time Feathered Pipe Ranch caretaker, now retired. He lives right up the road from us on Old Hippy Lane overlooking the entire property. He is open to taking guests that need a night or two accommodation before or after your retreat program at the Ranch. Call early as space is limited. (406) 442-5138

Sanders Bed & Breakfast – Charming, elegant, historic, with true Montana hospitality and a full breakfast. Located near downtown. (406) 442-3309

The Barrister Bed and Breakfast – 19th century mansion, very elegant with the most gracious welcoming owners. Located near downtown across from Cathedral of St. Helena. (406) 443-7330

The Carolina Bed & Breakfast – Total elegance with a spectacular breakfast and near downtown. (406) 422-0418

Great Northern Best Western Hotel – Helena’s version of luxury in the heart of Helena. Single or double, full breakfast and airport pick- up. Please ask for the Feathered Pipe Corporate Rate. (406) 457-5500

— Double Tree by Hilton – Located on downtown walking mall and near micro-breweries, fine dining and Helena’s many tourist attractions. Please ask for the Feathered Pipe Corporate Rate. (406) 443-2200

Our shuttle service is happy to pick you up at your hotel on arrival day. We will notify the hotel front desk of our pickup time the night before pick-up.

*If you are not able to arrive before 5pm on first day of the retreat due to scheduling problems or flight delays, please call or chat with us directly at (406) 417-7866 or on WhatsApp, and we will be work with you to arrange for your pick-up.

Helena and the surrounding area has an incredible variety of attractions, historical landmarks and natural beauty to explore. You can get a good head start on planning your dream summer vacation here.

Cathedral of St. Helena tour

State Capital tour

Montana Historical Society Museum (including Charles M. Russell exhibition)

No Sweat Café (as hippie old-school as it gets and great food)

Mercantile Coffeehouse

Holter Museum (photography, painting and pottery)

Archie Bray Foundation (world-renowned ceramic arts institute)

Broadwater Hot Springs

Blackfoot River Brewery

Mediterranean Grille

On Broadway (Italian fine dining)

Myrna Loy (performing arts & independent films)

Lewis & Clark Public Library

Reeder’s Alley (funky businesses and walking tour)

Climb Mt. Helena

Download Helena Walking Tour App

Absolutely yes! And we’re happy to boast that we have some of the best body workers around. Professional massage and bodywork is available during all retreats. Our practitioners offer a broad range of modalities that support our guests as they to dive into deep states of relaxation, stress relief, and healing to enrich their overall Feathered Pipe experience. Introductions to our bodyworkers and details about how to sign up and where to go for your session will be shared at the retreat orientation and appointments can be made then. It’s a good idea to sign up early as their schedules often fill quickly! The body workers are usually around at arrival dinner so can meet them early and sign up. Payment is by cash, check, or credit card. Please note that bodywork is not included in the price of your program.
We do not have an ATM at the Ranch and the closest one is about 10 miles away in Helena. Please try bring enough cash for staff tips and incidentals. The body workers and store prefer cash or checks, but DO accept credit cards. Shanti Boutique sells all kinds of yoga clothes, souvenirs, jewelry and a wide assortment of fabulous goods and gifts. If Shanti Boutique doesn’t have something you need immediately available in the store, we will work with you to find a way to get it. Depending on the week, there may be various pop-up shops ranging from rock shops and carpet sellers to temporary tattoo parlors.
You may have to walk out up to the parking lot to try to access cell phone service as we are at the very end of the road up in the Rockies, but we do have free high-speed wireless Internet access within the Dining Hall, Lake Cabin and Teachers Cabin which extends quite a distance outside those buildings. If you enable WiFi calling on your smartphone, you will be able to make calls from the Ranch. It’s best not to count on reliable cell phone or high-speed Internet service while you’re at the Ranch. If you need to be reached in an emergency, you can share the main phone number of the kitchen with family and friends; we will send that to you, along with your guest information packet, following registration.

You can expect to eat very well!

We are fortunate to have access to organic food through the Real Food Deli and Market in Helena – Montana’s first and only certified organic grocery store. All the meat we serve comes from organic, local and/or transitional producers as does much of our produce. Every day you will enjoy our nutritious salad bars and international menus . Vegetarian, and fish or chicken alternatives are available at most workshops although we do honor the requests of some of our teachers to keep a vegetarian table during their retreat.

We are happy to accommodate most special diets – please remember to complete the allergies/special diet section of the Guest Information Form that you will receive a couple months before your program starts so we can be ready for you when you arrive.

We provide bedding, towels, and all the amenities you’d expect with indoor lodging. There is a cedar wood bathhouse with showers, a sauna, a hot tub, and bodywork rooms on site. Outdoor lodging guests have their own storage nook for toiletries and personal effects in the bathhouse. The bathhouse is no more than a five-minute walk from any accommodation.

There are hiking trails leading in pretty much every direction, allowing you to enjoy time to yourself. We encourage hikers to go with at least one hiking companion. The lake is fed by a pure mountain spring and like all Montana lakes and rivers, it’s never quite warm. It is refreshing if you care to go for an afternoon dip!

The wide-open lawn and meadows give you plenty of opportunity to stretch out, read a book from our eclectic and diverse library, or simply gaze up at the Big Sky above and dream away.

We have plenty of mats, blankets, blocks, supports and straps, but we encourage you to bring your own mat if possible, clearly marked.

The daily schedule for individual workshops is customized by the teacher(s), but a typical day often looks like this:

8 am – Breakfast
9:00-12:00 noon – Morning class
12:30-1:30 pm – Lunch
1:30-4:00 pm – Leisure time
4:00-6:00 pm – Afternoon class
6:30 pm – Dinner and optional evening program, time to soak in the hot tub, indulge in a sauna, and relax as you gaze at our spectacular Rocky Mountain sunsets.

The atmosphere is casual so please dress for your comfort. Clothes you’ll potentially need include: shorts, t-shirts, a rain jacket, slacks or jeans for chilly evenings, light daytime attire, bathing suit, and a warm sweater or jacket for our delightfully cool summer evenings. There’s no need to bring bedding – we have more than enough to keep you warm whether you are in the Main Lodge or snuggled up toasty in a yurt, tent or tipi.

It’s a good idea to bring comfortable walking or running shoes for wandering here and there throughout the Ranch grounds. Slippers or socks are appropriate for wearing in the Main Lodge practice room, as we do not permit outdoor shoes on the Main Lodge room floor. You will need a travel alarm clock, flashlight and water bottle as well as cash or a check for any end-of-retreat staff tips you might wish to offer.

Those desiring to indulge in the full experience of being in Big Sky’s great outdoors by choosing to stay in our yurt, deluxe wall tent, tipi, or tent accommodations can enjoy our cedar bathhouse as their bathroom and shower facility. It’s no more than a five minute walk from any outdoor accommodation. The sauna, hot tub and bodywork facilities are also located in the bathhouse. There’s nothing like a late-night stroll under the stars to your yurt after a perfect day of practice, deep relaxation and a warm soak in the hot tub!
Yes please! Near the end of your retreat, we will put out a basket for all tips that the hardworking staff will share equally. If you have been happy with their service, we recommend tipping a minimum of 5-10% of your workshop cost. Your voluntary gratuity will help all the wonderful folks who will be making your meals, cleaning the lodging, doing dishes, keeping all the public areas in tip-top shape, tending to any special requirements you may have, and generally just working their hearts out to make sure our guests are happy.
Due to limited housing, it is difficult for us to accommodate children, although we sometimes make special arrangements. Please inquire with our office at: or call (406) 442-8196.

Yes, we accommodate service animals as defined by the ADA (American with Disabilities Act). Service animals must be pre-approved by FPF, must be leashed/in their handler’s control and accompany their owner 24 hours per day, including during class sessions. An animal that provides comfort only (emotional support, therapy, etc) or is “in training” does not qualify as a service animal.

According to the ADA, service animals are defined as animals usually dogs “that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.”

Due to the nature of the retreats and Ranch accommodations, please do not bring your pets.
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