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Hand Built Log Cabin in Ponderosa Forest

Bedrooms 2
Property type cabin
Minimum Stay 2 nights
Popular Features
  • Outdoor Grill
  • non smoking only
  • Wood Fireplace
  • children welcome


About the property

Cabin, 2 Bedrooms + Convertible bed(s), 1 Bath, (Sleeps 4-6)

There is no better way to make your Montana vacation complete than by lodging in and enjoying a secluded, authentic hand made log cabin.

This cabin has been a 38 year labor of love by a carpenter who designed it, cut and stripped over 180 lodgepole pine trees, and set in excess of 390 separate logs to create this beautiful log structure, unlike any you may have seen. From the hand built cabinetry, the masonry work, the hardwood and quarry tile floors, the handrailings, to the one-of-a-kind log spiral staircase, the craftsmanship is apparent and admirable.

The cabin has been decorated and tastefully outfitted with authentic antique furniture and Persian rugs to create a truly "turn of the century" ambiance, but still has a modern kitchen and bath for your comfort. It is situated on the edge a Ponderosa pine forest, full of deer and wild turkeys; it is honestly a joy to hike through the forest and explore.

The Hermitage is licensed and inspected by the state to insure your safety and comfort

Privacy and seclusion is assured, as no other structure can be seen from The Hermitage and it is at the end of a 300 yard private driveway.

Picture yourself sitting on the back balcony with a drink in hand, reflecting on your long day of either fishing or floating, grilling steaks (or your fresh catch) as the sun goes down and observe the deer head back into the woods and the wild turkeys roost in nearby trees. Just before dusk the nighthawks swoop down for your amusement. After dinner on the back deck the stars glow brightly in the crystal clear air and the constellations dance across the sky.

This is the way to really relax and experience a memorable evening, Montana Style.

Keywords: Cabin

More Details

Michael Janovsky, Owner
Member since: 2006
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 21, 2017

About Michael Janovsky, Owner

I am a retired Construction Superintendent, starting out as an apprentice carpenter in 1971 after 4.5 years at Indiana University. In 1976 I bought 10 acres outside of Columbus with the anticipation that I would be able to have a "finished" cabin in about 5 years. That was over 39 years ago, and I am still working on the place. I figure that it will be "completed" the day after I die. I moved away from Montana in 1990 as a result of the poor economy, first to the San Francisco Bay Area, where I stopped by to find a wife, and in 1992, again moved even further away to the Big Island of Hawaii where we still live.

I began The Hermitage as a retirement home for myself, but now that I live in Hawaii, I can't decide where to end up, so while i still can, I enjoy them both.

The last several years I have been hitting all of the antique stores, outfitting The Hermitage in ever nicer antiques. In 2014 I secured several pieces that really belong in The Hermitage. As space is limited, I find myself "trading up" as far as antiques are concerned. Also in 2014, I bought two Fredrick Remington statues, one busting a bronco, and the other entitled "The Mountain Man."

Here in Hawaii i spend my retirement beating back the jungle, tending to my fruit trees, and forever remodeling and building. Here too, the project will be complete either when I sell the place or, as is the case with The Hermitage, the day after I die.

Michael Janovsky, Owner purchased this cabin in 1976

Why Michael Janovsky, Owner chose Montana

Ever since I moved to Montana, everyone always spoke about the beautiful Stillwater Valley, the Absarokee region in particular. When an old friend of mine bought a place up on the undeveloped Upper Hawk Valley Road, I fell in love with the forest, the seclusion, and the wildlife.

There are several Montana Fishing Access Sites within a few miles along the blue-ribbon trout stream that is the Stillwater River. Also, as I was really into white water rafting and kayaking, and the Stillwater and Yellowstone are just great.

What makes this cabin unique

I took great pains to design and build The Hermitage with a goal in mind that it would be "time zone transitional," that it would take one out of the 21st century and gently transport you back to a simpler, slower time. When I'm up there, I make an effort to sit and relax in various areas, since each room has its own ambiance.

The living and dining room is furnished with "Old West/Settler late 1800's" in mind, while the den is more "Trapper/Indian Style." The basement, with its sofa/hide-a-bed, in done in old barn boards, with a old barbed-wire display and rusty gold pan and has a great wood burning stove. It also has two large windows, as well as a separate exterior door.

there is a guest book at The Hermitage and I go through it each season, and it seems to be a consensus that meals and relaxing with a cup of coffee on the back deck is a favorite pastime. Numerous honeymoon couples have chosen to begin their lives together visiting The Hermitage, and other guests spend their time reading and recharging. The change in scenery, actually, the relocation back to another century has its own therapeutic effects.

Guestbook comments from the owner

This was the perfect get-away cabin. There is no place like this to bring two people together without the interruptions of everyday life. My favorite part of the cabin was the back deck. There were several things we saw and enjoyed but sitting on the deck, drinking coffee was absoultely beautiful.

We will remember this vacation our entire lives and may always look for the peace, solitude, and pure romantic setting that this cabin has.

Thank you so much for making this cabin available to strangers. It is so beautiful. When we walked in, we were in awe and it exceeded the expectations. The pictures of the cabin were very accurate & its as unique as I hoped.

Thanks again and hope to come back.
Sep 2010
  • 1 of 6


Stillwater County Cabin Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cabin
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1100 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy 6
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • children welcome
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Village ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Wood Fireplace ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • The bath at The Hermitage does not have a bathtub. It is rather spacious.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , Master Bedroom/Loft
    Entertainment Den - 1 sleep sofa /futon , Double Futon
    Bedroom 2 - 1 sleep sofa /futon , New Hide-a-Bed sofa in Daylight Basement w/ Separate Doorway
    Little Loft - 2 twin/ single , 2 Air Mattresses for Kids; My Daughter's Favorite Spot
  • Queen size Beds (1), Twin or Single Beds (1), Sleep Sofa or Futons (1)
  • Books ...
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • churches
  • library
  • museums
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • skiing
  • water tubing


Excellent! 4.5/5 -
(18 traveler reviews)

Hand Built Log Cabin in Ponderosa Forest
average rating of 4.5 based on 24 reviews

Thank you Michael for sharing your wonderful Cabin with guests. Location is serene in forest.

  • 5 of 5

We rested well in a very quiet forested mountain top Cabin. Your own work in building the cabin shows wonderful craftsmanship and placement of the logs. Your design is beautifully laid out in the floor plan.

Electric power, stove , refrigerator, microwave, fireplace and indoor plumbing with shower was greatly appreciated.

We heard coyotes at 4:30 a.m. one morning. Saw dozens of deer.

My wife and I enjoy remote mountainous areas to enjoy the beauty and serenity of nature.

We definitely would book this Cabin again.

Galen and Wanyce Thostenson, Mound, MN.

  • Submitted: Sep 15, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Secluded, authentic log cabin, hand built by the owner

  • 5 of 5

The Hermitage is a hidden gem in the hills of Montana. From the moment you drive onto the property, you'll notice the uniqueness and charm of the structure, which stems from the owner's lifelong commitment to building a mountain getaway. It does not pretend to be luxurious, but is comfortable and clean while providing most modern conveniences.

Mike, the owner, is rightfully proud of his cabin and goes above and beyond to make you feel welcome.

The drive up to the property can be a little unnerving for those of us not used to switchbacks, and the driveway is long, unpaved and more suited to a truck or SUV with high clearance -- I scraped the bottom of our minivan once. Keeping the transmission in low gear is a must.

The cabin has an open floor plan: a living room, kitchen, dining area, and den on the main floor; two lofts on either side; and a walkout room on the lower floor. The bathroom on the main floor has the only interior door in the building, and is the only place for complete privacy. The master bedroom is located in one of the lofts, and includes a small deck. Some of the log beams are low enough that my hair would brush on the underside (I'm 6'1"). Perhaps the best feature is the larger deck off the den, which holds a grill and a patio set. We really enjoyed morning coffee and evening dinners overlooking the mountainside.

Decorations are authentic and interesting, we enjoyed seeing pictures of the construction from the 70's and the many antiques and furs.

The wildlife is abundant: deer, rabbits, squirrels, and birds. Fishing access is just a few minutes away on the Stillwater River.

A trip to Yellowstone is about 2 1/2 - 3 hours, with access to either the northeast or north entrances. The northeast entrance is a drive past Red Lodge and over the Beartooth Pass with many switchbacks and climbs, which is absolutely amazing and terrifying at the same time. The north entrance is a faster drive but less scenic. We only went to Yellowstone two days, as we found that there are great hikes in the Beartooth mountains, thanks to a guide book on the coffee table.

There is no wifi in the cabin, and cell coverage can be spotty (AT&T) or non-existent (T Mobile).

Overall we loved our vacation at the property, and would encourage others looking for a remote cabin to stay there. If you're not afraid to get your car dirty, scrub cast iron pans, and live without air conditioning and laundry, then you'll love the Hermitage.

  • Submitted: Aug 6, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Quiet Hide a way

  • 5 of 5

Very much enjoyed the cabin, wildlife,and peace and quiet. The view was spectacular. It was far enough from town for undisturbed relaxation but yet close enough to get necessary things conveniently.

  • Submitted: Aug 2, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Stunning and peaceful

  • 5 of 5

This cabin is just stunning, it was such a great little hideaway and so close to all Yellowstone has to offer. The owner, who built the cabin, has a generous wealth of information in the cabin about its own rich history as well as plenty of reading material around the cabin to help you plan any day trips you may want to take. We honestly didn't want to leave, and were generously allowed an extra night before our long journey home, "back to reality." The best part is there isnt much you need to bring besides food and clothes, maybe a few spare towels and pillows if you're as large a party as we were. We enjoyed ourselves so much we are already talking about possibly going back for a longer stay, it really is a mountain paradise.

  • Submitted: Jul 25, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nice secluded site.

  • 1 of 5

The cabin is tucked away down a winding dirt road, with nice views from the back deck. That said, don't expect a whole lot. The bedrooms are just sleeping areas with a double bed in the loft, a futon in the hallway and a pull out couch in the basement. If you are in the basement, there are no windows that open, so its a little damp and musty. Also the cleaning crew must be on summer vacation, the place was pretty dirty, the microwave was filthy and unusable. Don't forget your own soap and shampoo, because you won't find any there. We ran our of dishwashing soap too, so we had to use the shampoo someone brought. If you are adverse to mouse droppings everywhere this place is not for you, so make sure you pack anything edible in sealed containers. If you are looking for seclusion and river access, there is plenty of that, if you are looking for a clean comfortable place to stay, not so much.

  • Submitted: Jul 22, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I have opened up The Hermitage to dozens of families from all over the globe for well over a decade, and this negative review seems to be way out of line with any others that I have received. It is evident that this guest did not like anything about The Hermitage; not the driveway, the layout of the cabin, or the accommodations. Contrast this review to the others that lauded how well stocked The Hermitage's pantry is of common necessities. I question the honesty of this reviewer. How "filthy" does a microwave have to be to render it "unusable," or impossible to wipe it out? No other guest mentioned The Hermitage being "pretty dirty" or anything about an abundance of mouse droppings. My cleaning crew, who have been with me for years, carefully goes through The Hermitage between each guest, changing linens and towels, and doing general clean-up. They do not ignore cleanliness, and I believe that other reviewers made note of that. At first I was really hurt by this review, but after reading all of the other positive reviews, I feel that this particular guest just wanted to have a negative impact on The Hermitage; a phone call might have remedied the situation, but apparently writing a scathing review was more rewarding for this guest. Bless him.
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Amazing retreat for Father's Day!

  • 5 of 5

We spent Father's Day weekend at the Hermitage and had a wonderful, relaxing time playing hide and go seek in the forest, cards, fishing, and making Dad feel like a king. The cabin was clean and had everything we needed to make our stay (2 adults and 3 kids) enjoyable. Owner was very attentive and called upon our arrival to ensure our needs were met. Each day we were greeted by deer, turkeys and squirrels and the kids loved fishing in the Stillwater. Thank you for letting us stay at your beautiful log cabin! We look forward to making a return visit soon!

  • Submitted: Jul 19, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Rates & Availability

Stillwater County Cabin Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $200
Tax Rate 7.0%

Although Montana is one of the few states without a sales tax, the State requires vacation home owners to charge a 7% "bed tax" that is used to fund the rigorous inspections that all publicly available lodging facilities are required to submit to. These inspections ensure your safety and comfort.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
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Nearest Airport
52 Miles
Billings, Mt,
Nearest Barpub
6 Miles
307 & New Atlas, Columbus; 5 Spot in Absarokee
Nearest Motorway
8 Miles
Interstate 90
Nearest Restaurant
6 Miles
307 in Columbus, China Wall in Absarokee
Nearest Ski
39 Miles
Red Lodge Mountain

There are numerous "day trips" that many previous visitors have mentioned in the Guest Book; a trip to Custer Battlefield, about 2 hours; Red Lodge is a great town 39 miles away, and going up the Beartooth Switchbacks to the lookout is a must, if not all the way to Cooke City.

River sports are great in Stillwater County, fishing, floating, or just taking a dip, from small mountain streams to the Stillwater and Yellowstone Rivers, Stillwater County has it all.

Many previous guests have written about walking the road above and property surrounding The Hermitage, seeing wild turkeys and deer, and just enjoying the Ponderosa forest.


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