Feathered Pipe - Frequently Asked Questions

Feathered Pipe: Frequently Asked Questions

We have specialized in creating and hosting yoga, meditation, and other healing art retreats for 45 years. We offer a variety of retreat and travel experiences in 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)

 Weddings & Special Occasion (planned, organized and arranged by the families, group, or organization and hosted by us)

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 eight 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 info@featheredpipe.com, 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 as well and view upgrade fees for select lodging. 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, 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 4-bed dorm rooms in the Main Lodge; each with three lower twin beds and one upper bunk 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 the Ranch map get an idea of the layout of the Ranch and the location of various accommodations.

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 are available for those needing financial assistance. Recipients assist ranch staff with small, but important, tasks such as keeping the main room clean and helping keep the dining hall tidy. Click here to submit an online application. 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 NON-REFUNDABLE deposit is required to hold your space at a Feathered Pipe Ranch retreat. For winter or travel retreats NON-REFUNDABLE deposit amounts may vary. Please note: This deposit becomes NON-REFUNDABLE after 2 working days or when 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.)

For Feathered Pipe retreats, final payment is due eight weeks out. For cancellations from eight weeks to two weeks out, THERE IS NO REFUND, however we will credit any payments over the deposit to another workshop in the same calendar year. For cancellations within two weeks of the start of your class, there is NO REFUND AND NO CREDIT. A workshop may be transferred to another person (minus the non-refundable, non-transferable deposit).

For winter retreats, final payment is due 10 weeks out. For cancellations before 10 weeks out, THERE IS NO REFUND, however we will credit any payments over the deposit to another workshop in the same calendar year or during the next retreat season. For cancellations within 10 weeks of the start of the retreat THERE IS NO REFUND, NO CREDIT, AND NO TRANSFER.

For travel programs, the deposit, payment, cancellation and refund policy will vary based on the requirements of that tour. Please see the specific travel program listing for details.

The Feathered Pipe Foundation sometimes finds it necessary to cancel a program due to insufficient registrations or teacher cancellation. In the event that we must cancel a workshop we are not able to refund airline tickets or ticket change fees.

Our cancellation policy is firm, therefore we strongly suggest purchasing travel/cancellation insurance. Our local travel agents may be able to assist you in finding a travel insurance. Please call: Flathead Travel at (800) 338-8785. All cancellations must be received in writing; refunds will be remitted within 30 days.

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), Minneapolis (Delta 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. Unfortunately it is not uncommon for the major airlines, particularly those flying to Helena out of Salt Lake City and Denver, to overbook flights to Helena. 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 Minneapolis and 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.  Please contact the office at info@featheredpipe.com or call (406) 442-8196 to arrange and confirm pick-up. Call the Ranch 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) 443-0430.

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 www.helenachamber.com. 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.

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. The Ranch grounds phone number is (406) 443-0430, or in an absolute emergency contact eric@featheredpipe.com.

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. If space is available (and please know this is rare), you may stay at the Feathered Pipe Ranch, but you must call our office in advance to discuss this option. For those choosing to come in a day early and stay the night in Helena, recommended local lodgings include:

— Tom Ryan’s Guest Room – Room in Tom’s custom-built house about 1 mile up from the Ranch. (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

Comfort Suites – Close to the airport. Please ask for the Feathered Pipe Corporate Rate at $129. (406) 513-1140

Day’s Inn of Helena – 2001 Prospect Ave., Helena, (406) 442-3280

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

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.

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 the office (406) 443-0430, and we will be work with you to arrange for your pick-up.

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: info@featheredpipe.com or call (406) 442-8196.
Due to the nature of the retreats and Ranch accommodations, please do not bring your pets.