Synchronisity is when you are at the right place at the right time
Let’s answer your questions
We are located 33 miles northeast of downtown Flagstaff, Arizona. We watch the sunrise over the Painted Desert of Dinetah, the Navajo nation, and the sun sets behind Dook’oo’sliid, the Navajo sacred mountain of the West (the San Francisco Peaks on maps). Beyond the Little Colorado River Valley, the Hopi mesas rise in the distance to the north.
Rest assured, you’ll receive detailed travel instructions upon registration.
Travel options to Flagstaff include driving on I-40 or I-17, Amtrak, shuttles from the Phoenix Airport, or flying into the Flagstaff airport. From there, possibilities include rental cars, taxi or limo pick-up. Special arrangements may be made with Gateway event organizers to use our twelve-seat Mercedes Sprinter for transporting guests.
You will have a choice of flying into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and then renting a car for a freeway drive through the Arizona desert and up toward the mountains. Or you can take a shuttle from the Phoenix Airport to the Amtrak station in downtown Flagstaff (about 3 hours). https://www.arizonashuttle.com/schedules/flagstaff-phoenix/
As another option, you may explore flying directly into Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, which may or may not add significant cost to the airline ticket. This airport is small and convenient, and now they have small jets for the half hour hop into Flagstaff that aren’t as bumpy as the propeller planes from a few years ago. Rental cars are available at the airport.
- When you come through the Gateway, continue up the driveway to the marked parking areas.
- Turn off your motor. Step onto the land and feel the volcanic cinders under your feet. Breathe in the fresh desert air. Take a few moments—or as long as you like—to look around in all directions, let yourself expand into the open space, soak up the silence, and notice what the world sounds like without traffic.
- Then come to the main house, the first one you see as you arrive.
- Please drive only on existing roads and paths. In this desert, environment plants may take several decades or longer to recover.
The Gateway Ranch lies near the edge of a volcanic field, between the last two cinder hills in the area. These are known as craters although some are more rounded mounds, like the one named Baby’s Bottom.
One of these distinctive landforms is being sculpted as the monumental Roden Crater art project – http://rodencrater.com. Artist James Turrell – http://jamesturrell.com began this project in the 1970s and the total cost is expected to reach $100 million. It has been under intensive construction recently in anticipation of its first public opening in a few years. There are no homes or other buildings between Gateway Ranch and Roden Crater, and we watch the light and shadows play on it every day.
Please don’t try to visit Roden Crater. Visitors are turned away by a round-the-clock guard who monitors their security system, and we want to keep a good neighborly relationship. Our 80 acres is surrounded on all sides by open Roden Crater ranch land, and their access road goes through our property.
Structures include two houses, outdoor amphitheater and dome, fire sculptures, sweat lodge, Navajo Hogan, “superadobe” Gnome Dome, and the Temple of Life.
Main House: Four bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, dining room with seating for up to 24 (a few more if we squeeze), outdoor deck with a campfire, BBQ and picnic table, living room, meeting room for a circle of up to 30 or so. This house has three queen-sized beds, twelve single mattresses, one sleeper sofa and one futon bed.
Guest house: Samadhi (floatation tank) suite with queen size futon, two twin beds, caretaker’s suite upstairs. Meeting room with couches and a formal dining table that can be covered and used for crafts and projects.
Navajo Hogan: Rooted in the traditions of Dinetah, all Navajos lived in the Hogan until recent times. This eight-sided log structure has been built for hundreds of years according to a design said to be handed down by the Holy People. Under the intricate domed ceiling, we feel embraced in the womb of the earth.
60’ Geodesic Dome: Patterned after the Buckminster Fuller-inspired 60’s, we originally built our dome for Alex and Allyson Grey at Burning Man. The fire sculptures in and around the dome have also been to Burning Man and back.
History: The original house grew around an old one-room rancher’s shack. The straw bale guesthouse grew around… well, we’ll save that for a surprise!
The nearest public utilities end about 17 miles down the road toward Flagstaff. Thus everything here comes from a known alternative source—electric power from the sun, water from rain, snow, or brought in with a truck from our local well when necessary. All water then returns to the Earth. We use grey water in the greenhouse and gardens and recycle as much as possible. Our trash and recycling have to be hauled into town. Kitchen scraps go to our chickens, which then give us fertilizer for the gardens and greenhouse.
We ask that you observe the procedures that will be described when you arrive, including being aware of what can and cannot go down the drains or into our various labeled receptacles. If you’re not sure what goes where, please ask! Oh, and enjoy the mindfulness practice.
Sometimes it seems like the ranch has special procedures for almost all aspects of daily life, from parking when you arrive at the last pit stop before departure. There’s an element of truth to this—after 28 years, we have a sense of what works and what doesn’t out here in this sensitive environment.
- Be aware of where things come from and where they go.
- Use what you need. Help yourself- we’re glad you’re here!
- Don’t use what you don’t need (e.g. don’t leave the water running, turn off lights when you’re the last person leaving a room).
If you find yourself going “oops!” or needing a reminder, please realize that this is often the way we dance at the ranch. No big deal, just do the best you can. We know we’re asking people to develop new habits in a short time. Bottom line: try to be mindful of the consequences of all of our actions, while still relaxing and enjoying the bounty of life.
Good question! We’ve picked the first week of May specifically in the hopes that it would be warm during the day and no longer cold during the night. However, the weather out here is hard to predict in advance, so we advise you to start checking the 10-day weather forecast as soon as it is available.
In general, at 5300′ elevation we average about 10 degrees warmer than Flagstaff, and 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix. For weather forecasts, check Flagstaff and Leupp, AZ, the nearest town on the reservation. We are a little cooler than Leupp and more likely to have precipitation.
In the winter, we hope for snow although it has been sparse in recent years, and there are days of just wearing a sweater, or even a t-shirt, in January and February. In the summer, daytime can be hot, especially in June before Monsoon season starts in July, bringing clouds billowing from over the Peaks along with refreshing afternoon showers.
During most of the year, nights can be chilly in the high desert, and visitors are often startled at the speed that temperatures plummet after sunset.
The wind can pick up at any time. Periods of 30 mph wind are not unusual, and sometimes, especially in the spring, we hunker down indoors during a day of blasting wind. Be prepared and don’t leave loose items outdoors!
Our tents and ShiftPods have been chosen for their sturdiness and have passed the test. Living out here, we’ve made friends with the challenges of the wind. It’s become part of our exhilarating wildlife.
Layers! Due to the high desert temperature fluctuations, at any time of the year, it’s a good idea to check predicted highs and lows and be prepared for anything in between.
Bring comfortable walking shoes that don’t easily trap cinders. Hiking boots and maybe a pair of sandals are good, as well as shoes that you can easily slip off when you come indoors. Each group sets its own policy about shoes in the house, and you might want to bring some slippers.
Toiletries and personal items. A good hat to shade your face. Sunglasses.
Most people like to bring sunscreen, although we usually avoid being out in the sun for extended periods in the middle of the day.
You will not need to bring bedding and towels (unless you want to), or bug spray since we have plenty on hand and mosquitoes are rare.
Please do not bring anything with a heating element, such as a blow dryer or curling iron, which could easily overwhelm the solar electric system.
Yes, you are welcome to bring your own foods, however, fridge space is extremely limited and can only be made available for a few special items that absolutely must be refrigerated. We recommend that you bring dry snacks and foods that you can store in your room, tent or car.
Participants staying in the main house have access to two full bathrooms. Participants staying in tents or pods have access to 9 outhouses on the property. To avoid rush hour traffic for showers and toilets in the morning, we will create alternating bathroom hours. During the day retreat participants can use all available bathrooms, including the full bathroom in the Healing House.
Think camping rather than a resort! The ranch will be working on expanding bathroom capacity, but we will not be making any promises until we are sure of our timeline. When everyone has adjusted their expectations, considered each other’s needs, and spaced shower times accordingly, we’ve done all right with what we have.
What you can expect from us is a warm welcome with a unique opportunity to get a new perspective!
Be prepared for seven miles of dirt road. It is graded and accessible by any vehicle, but along with washboard areas, you may find an unexpected rock, rabbit, cow, or Pronghorn.
As mentioned elsewhere, our off-grid location gives us space and silence, and also the need to conserve power and water.
What we expect from you… be alert, pay attention, be self-responsible, no victim, speak up for your needs with no whining and complaining.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and ask. We want to do whatever we can for you to have a magnificent experience as you step through the Gateway!
We raise consciousness rather than livestock! Our only animals are a small flock of chickens and Jumpin’ Jack Flash the cat. However, you are likely to see cows since the Roden Crater project raises a Black Angus herd that roams freely in this area.
The desert is home to an array of fascinating birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects. Hawks, ravens, hummingbirds, and occasionally eagles or condors fly overhead. Jackrabbits and cottontails hop around, along with desert rats.
You may have the good fortune to see pronghorn or foxes on your dirt road drive. Coyotes are rarely seen but often heard howling in the night or greeting the dawn.
Caution: Some of these desert creatures are poisonous. Every year we see a few rattlesnakes, although they do their best to avoid humans. They are most likely to be spotted away from the inhabited areas on a sunset hike. If you do see or hear a rattlesnake anywhere people are likely to walk, have someone keep an eye on it from a safe distance and let Kate know immediately. She will catch and remove it safely.
Black widow spiders like dark places that have been undisturbed for an extended time, so don’t put your hands or other body parts where they could be hiding out. This is not a concern in the houses, where you are likely to find some whispy, harmless spiders that like the corners of the ceiling where they catch flies for us.
We see centipedes occasionally, and small scorpions rarely—on average of about one every five years so far. Tarantulas are also rare, but harmless and fascinating.
In approximate order of distance, here is a list of places of interest:
The Navajo Nation begins just a mile and a half to the east of the ranch. You can visit by going back out to the mailbox and turning left. The small town of Leupp is then about 17 miles down the highway. There’s a flea market there—most active on Saturday mornings—along with the usual reservation mini-mart and schools, housing, and government buildings.
The STAR School, a solar-powered Navajo charter school started by Kate and her former husband (and now good friend) Mark, is one mile from our mailbox and available to visit by special arrangement.
Grand Falls is on the reservation just a few miles away from the ranch, although accessible only by going back to the paved highway.
Sunset Crater and Wupatki: Eight miles past the ranch, after driving over a lava flow that calls for high clearance, the dirt road meets up with the pavement that links these two National Monuments. This road can be accessed more easily from Highway 89 on the east side of Flagstaff.
Walnut Canyon National Monument is just off of I-40, a few miles east of Flagstaff.
Meteor Crater is about 35 miles further east off of I-40 toward Winslow
Sedona, 30 miles from Flagstaff, a splendid drive by way of Oak Creek Canyon. If you are driving between Flagstaff and Phoenix, be sure to treat yourself to this incredibly scenic route. It adds a bit of time but no further distance.
The Hopi Mesas are about 70 miles from our mailbox via Leupp.
Grand Canyon- South Rim is 75 miles from Flagstaff (North Rim is considerably further). We recommend taking a loop that starts by going north toward Cameron, then follows the rim of the canyon before heading home by way of Flagstaff. Have lunch, dinner, or cocktails at El Tovar on the canyon rim if your schedule allows.
The Petrified Forest is about 100 miles via I-40 to the east. Stop by La Posada in Winslow for an outstanding locally sourced gourmet meal in a fascinating historic building.
Lake Powell is about 140 miles north of Flagstaff. Antelope Canyon (tour required) and Horseshoe Bend (quick detour, no charge) are popular attractions near the town of Page.
Monument Valley is a three-hour 170-mile drive from Flagstaff. You can make a big loop through the Navajo Nation that includes Canyon de Chelly before returning to I-40 and the Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, Winslow, and Meteor Crater.
If you’re up for an extended tour of the Southwest while you’re in the area, you might consider Zion and Bryce Canyon, and even Las Vegas.
The simple answer is – no.
Due to the deep transformational healing work that we’re doing at the Soul Purpose Wealth retreat, we cannot allow any alcohol use or other mind-altering drugs during your stay here at The Gateway Ranch. Instead, we encourage you to get a natural high just watching the breathtaking stars. What could be more exhilarating than an opening to space and remembering that each of us is an essential part of All That Is?