Tom Miner Basin, Montana
From the time of Native tribes seeking the cool mountain landscapes for seasonal hunting and fishing, or traveling along its open slopes while moving between the Gallatin and Yellowstone River valleys, to its present ranching community, Tom Miner Basin has been a treasured home and resource for physical and spiritual sustenance. Mountain men and trappers plied its creeks and forests for beaver and other furs. Herds of horses, essential for freight and transportation in Yellowstone Nat’l Park’s early development, grazed its meadows. In the years straddling the turn of the century, homesteaders settled in the Basin, hard-working families blending subsistence and small yet diverse commodity economies – cattle, sheep, dairy, chickens, eggs. Economic depression hit Montana in the 1920’s. Many landowners were unable to survive economically and sold to neighbors who had the capacity to expand. Over the next fifty years, the number of ranches, though increasing in size, declined from around thirty to five, while also narrowing the commodity production to almost exclusively cattle.
Today, the Basin continues to hold five distinct ranches under long standing family ownership. Cattle grazing, primarily in the summer, eco-tourism, and hunting are the central economic activities.
Positioned on the northern border of Yellowstone National Park, Tom Miner Basin boasts an abundance of wildlife and stunning landscapes. During Summer months, visitors and residents frequently see wildlife of all kinds, from birds such as golden eagles, bald eagles, hawks, owls and sand-hill cranes. Deer, elk, and moose are year-round residents, and along with those we see fox, coyotes, wolves, and grizzly bears. Tom Miner Basin is host to one of the most densely populated grizzly bear habitats in the lower 48 states, posing a unique opportunity for those who visit the basin to learn about the intricacies of this thriving ecosystem. Visitors will not only be offered a rare and powerful viewing experience, but will be immersed in the center of a truly unique, dynamic, and wild landscape!
Our Retreat Basecamp
Basecamp will consist of 9 fully equipped sleeping quarter teepees - each sleeping two - for guests, facilitators, and guides. While our intent is to have every person who attends feeling safe and comfortable, we are also creating a space that truly feels removed from every day life; living and feeling as though we are a part of the natural experience while still having a cozy place to rest.
Our council tipi will be a large, 24 foot diameter tipi with all of the necessary comforts for social gatherings and relaxation. Come and go as you please, share stories with fellow guests, and engage in facilitated conversations.
Our large fire pit will be located just steps outside of the council tipi, with a view shed of Tom Miner Basin that will almost certainly take your breath away. 360 degree views will showcase the silhouette of mountains that shape the basin. Here we will share stories and firelight, celebrating libations that have been bringing people together for centuries.
We understand the importance of basic necessities and have designed a modern yet rustic bathhouse suitable for all of our guests. Our bathhouse will be equipped with separate showers and bathrooms for men and women and a centralized hand-washing station.
Basecamp is located approximately 1/2 mile from headquarters and will be a hike-in location only. Our intent is to draw guests away from the typical retreat experience. This will require physical movement every day, but our goal is to create a truly rewarding transition to and from basecamp. It is worth sharing that one of the reasons we offer a hike-in only experience comes from a deep understanding that our presence - even on foot - does not go unnoticed by the animal kingdom. Our basecamp is located approximately one mile from a known wolf den, has been the grazing grounds of elk, deer, and moose, and is an area that connects commonly used pathways for grizzly bears, fox, and coyotes. We travel in groups, we travel light, and we ask all of our guests to carry with them a sense of curiosity AND sensitivity for the animals who share the landscape with us.