Welcome to The Gateway Ranch
Post-apocalyptic, barren, pure, and potent with new potential. As the name suggests, The Gateway Ranch is a powerful place of transformation. Located in the high volcanic desert of Arizona, east of Flagstaff at the southwest corner of the Navajo Reservation, the ranch rests on a high plateau where stars meet Earth. The land draws you in, calms you down, brings you to your knees, and most certainly shows you what you’re made of.
“This place gives new meaning to the Middle of Nowhere!” This has been said about the Gateway Ranch. Google won’t guide you there. There’s hardly cell phone reception and the footsteps leading to the ranch are those of jackrabbits and pronghorn. There are few places left on the planet that are this far out, yet less than an hour away from the next local airport. As you arrive at the Gateway you will be received with the warmest hospitality. You’ll be right at home while ‘out of this world.’
Entering into this vast desert landscape puts everything into a new perspective. Under endless stars in an inky sky, you feel connected to something enormous. Daily agendas and pressures shrink in proportion and “must-haves” and “must-does” fade into the background. Suddenly, sacred, hidden missions surface and what’s really important for you become clear.
Away from the busy noise, you find your inner voice. With days defined by sunrises, sunsets, and the cycles of the moon, we remember what it means to be human again in an intimate relationship with All That Is.
Expect a lasting transformation and a deep knowing of who you are and why you are here.
Spiritual Entrepreneur · Über Brander · New Paradigm Visionary
The Story of The Gateway Ranch
In 1988, Kate Hawke and Mark Sorensen were feeling called to the open desert at the edge of the Navajo Nation, where they worked in a reservation school. After two unsuccessful attempts to follow a realtor’s directions, they found the eighty acres that later became the Gateway Ranch. It was a fixer-upper for sure, but the price was right due to the remote location. Rattlesnakes, black widows, and an occasional cow inhabited the sad shells of vandalized buildings surrounded by broken bottles and hypodermic needles, with debris from a deep pit of household trash marking the direction of the prevailing winds. The gateway had not only been abandoned, but it had also been desecrated. Nevertheless, Kate and Mark saw beyond the rubbish and were inspired by the gateway vision. Their decision to buy this sacred land was sealed after being surrounded by a herd of 25 pronghorn as they drove away. Pronghorns are known as the American prairie antelope and are considered sacred by the Natives.
The house had originally started as a rancher’s cabin and then grew to become the home of someone known as Crazy Janie. After she left the area, never to be seen again, teenagers started taking their dates out to the “Haunted House.” A photo of the abandoned property was featured in an art exhibit, entitled “When a Dream Dies” (see black and white image to the right). After spending a couple of years attempting repairs that didn’t keep up with the ongoing vandalism, Kate and Mark committed to making the house livable with a resident caretaker during a period of construction. Finally, in 1990 they moved in shortly after the ranch hosted its first event, a local Rainbow Gathering of about 300 people with a Hare Krishna group feeding everyone out of a classic hippie school bus. Not to bash hippie buses – there are two of them here!
The ’90s were years of raising children, hosting trauma therapy training, and leading Native Youth events. The family moved back to the town where their three children attended school. During this time the ranch was rented to a group ever since referred to as “The Guys With The Band.” Legendary equinox parties drew a crowd of young Flagstaff residents who still speak of these wild weekends that served them well as coming-of-age ceremonies.
Starting in 2000, Kate and Mark devoted their energies to founding the country’s first off-grid solar powered Charter school. The STAR School’s name stands for Service To All Relations (www.starschool.org) and it now serves about 140 Navajo students from pre-school through 8th grade. Our story, which we’ll be glad to share with you when you’re here (in the Hogan around a fire?), includes struggle, miracles, major awards, and serious threats – sometimes all in the same day!
Since then, Gateway events included ten years of Arizona Burning Man “Decompressions” and other creative gatherings as well as many sacred ceremonies. Global festival events such as the Restival are now bringing together international travelers with an interest in Navajo wisdom. But whatever their form and style, all of these gatherings are based on personal relationships and a shared purpose. It has never been possible to simply book the ranch for a commercial event.
In recent years, The Gateway Ranch has become more selective and focused on exploration, discovery, and contribution to our evolving world in these critical times. As we respond to synchronicities that call us to host inspired retreats in collaboration with our talented friends, the story continues. Looking toward the future, we are reaffirming our dedication to healing and awakening for individuals, families, and groups, especially when it involves working with trauma in Native American communities. Along with healing the wounds of the past, we support those who are building an empowered and sustainable future.
The name Gateway Ranch was chosen, reflecting the intention to use as a gateway between cultures and states of consciousness. Other meanings of the name have emerged over the years. Everyone who finds their way out to the ranch is invited to discover their own inner Gateway and to use what they find here to take the next step on their journey.
In this spirit, we are delighted to host Sabine Messner’s Soul Purpose Wealth Retreats, both in 2018 and 2019. We are looking forward to cross-pollinating between the spiritual entrepreneurs who are coming and the keepers of the land who are welcoming them.
A pathway between inner and outer realities
Cultivating Gateway Relationships
A Gateway allows us to explore the relationship between…
- The known and unknown
- The parts that are considered acceptable and those that have been pushed away
- What has been to what is next
In this sense, The Gateway Ranch offers a gateway to you. When we fully come home to ourselves, there is nothing missing, no need to go anywhere, no reason to judge. Is there anything better than this sense of “I AM”? We know we are enough, right here, right now. Life at The Gateway Ranch is a journey that doesn’t need a destination, just a knowing when it’s time to take the next step. Then we get out of our own way and…. Leap! It’s less scary when we have support and a general map of the territory. It’s more fun when we do it together with friends.
The Gateway Ranch serves as a gateway between the indigenous cultures, Dine’ (Navajo) and Hopi, that have inhabited this area for untold ages, and the more recently arrived people of European ancestry. We have also been blessed by visitors from a wide rainbow of humanity, including many other tribes from around Turtle Island (North America) and representatives of South American, Maori, Australian, Asian, African, and other worldwide cultures. The amphitheater has hosted everything from the chants of Tibetan ceremony to the growl of Harley Davidsons at a biker wedding!
It means something that The Gateway Ranch has been here for thirty years. It may be a drop in the bucket as we gaze up at the heavens, but at least we’ve been here long enough to get to know each other through victories and heartaches and to watch generations being born and passing away. We’re not just tourists, we didn’t come to take and not give back, and we’ve earned some trust. If we invite our treasured friends to the Gateway, the local Natives know that they will be welcomed and appreciated – and they’re likely to meet some other interesting folks – like you.
Gatekeeper and Owner of The Gateway Ranch