A Small Log Cabin Perched Cliffside in Montana

(Click to enlarge photo)
©Gibeon Photography,

Just outside Red Lodge, Mont., this small, 840-square-foot cabin is perched on a 500-foot cliff overlooking the wilderness. The retreat is perfectly placed to view beautiful sunsets while relaxing on Adirondack chairs on the porch. Not visible here, there’s a walkout lower level and an outdoor shower. The structure is made of tamarack logs with hand-hewn ends. Lights placed along the perimeter of the cabin property help cabin-goers establish boundaries at night, before wandering too far.

The view is simply terrific no matter which direction one looks. The 120-mile vistas include five mountain ranges. The location is spectacular for watching meteor showers, since there’s no ambient city light.

The owner of this small retreat lives in Red Lodge, so it’s a short trip for a “small cabin escape.” He uses the cabin for hunting, hiking, winter snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, randonee skiing and entertaining. Randonee skiing (aka alpine touring) involves a kind of “hiking” on skis and downhill skiing. The skier ascends a mountain through use of specialized bindings and skins on the bottom of their skis. Once they get to the top, they remove the skins and enjoy the ride down.

The cabin was built in 1996, and was off the grid until 2000. The current owner ran electrical two miles up the mountain from the property gates in 2006.

The ledge stone chimney is made of granite from western Montana. The floor planks inside are 1½-inch-thick locally milled old-growth pine. The fireplace has a wrought-iron hook for a cauldron, which the owner uses for making stews.

The main level has a galley kitchen, sitting area, dining nook with a shed-horn chandelier, and a full bath with an antique claw-foot tub shower. There’s an antique icebox in the kitchen that has a modern refrigerator apparatus inside. The interior walls of the cabin are made of reclaimed barn wood.

The lower level sleeps four, has a half bath with a stackable washer and dryer, and has access to the seasonal outdoor shower.

A loft has built-in drawers under the eaves and a king-size bed made from antique iron bed elements. The rest of the furniture in the retreat is either “old hickory” or historic trunks.

There is an antique green iron pump that is functional, but the owner also has a deep water well which supplies the property. A small outbuilding contains a backup generator with enough fuel for two years. The enormous tank is buried for aesthetic reasons. And this property sure is beautiful.

Photos ©Gibeon Photography,