Deer Hill Basecamp

Deer Hill’s Basecamp is located on 130 acres of meadowland and pinion-juniper forest at the base of Menefee Mountain in the Mancos River Valley. Located 30 miles west of Durango, CO, and six miles from Mesa Verde National Park, the Mancos Valley has a long tradition of agriculture kept alive today in multigenerational ranches and small organic farms. Basecamp serves as a place to prepare for your expedition, to prepare for your return home after an expedition, or to conduct your retreat.

Basecamp acts as a place for our group programs to prepare for their expeditions, and over the years has grown into the perfect space to hold company retreats, family reunions, educational workshops, yoga sessions, or other events
When you stay with us overnight, you’ll enjoy homey common spaces, pristine lodging, and a ranch-like feel
Our strawbale-constructed Meeting Place, with its many south-facing windows, wood floors, and custom woodwork provides an inspiring venue for meetings, yoga retreats, a group program gathering area, or other custom events
Deer Hill’s beautiful outdoor grounds include lush grassy fields, a volleyball court, hiking opportunities right from the property, and a great palapa on which to relax in the shade by the pond

Lodging at Deer Hill

The Loft

The Loft is Deer Hill’s premier lodging option. Located on the second floor of a building erected in 2015, The Loft includes 6 bedrooms, each with two twin beds, 4 bathrooms, a central living room area, dining area, and an expansive kitchen including a full-sized refrigerator and range, microwave, coffee maker, and plenty of counter space to prepare meals. Guests enter The Loft by ascending a staircase with handcrafted rails made of repurposed steel to a porch with views of Mesa Verde, Deer Hill’s pond, and the sunset over the Mancos Valley.

Staff Cabin

During the spring and summer months, the Staff Cabin houses program support interns, but is open to guests in the fall and winter. With four bedrooms, each with two twin beds, and a central common area, including a full kitchen, the Staff Cabin is more rustic than The Loft, but not without privacy or its own charms, including a covered porch, perfect for a morning coffee, bathed in the mottled sunlight coming through the piñon and juniper. Guests use the bathrooms in the neighboring building.

Participant Cabins

There are three participant cabins at Basecamp. Each cabin has an open floor plan, with bunkbeds along the perimeter. Tucked amongst the piñon and juniper trees, these cabins provide the classic “camp experience” for guests. Guests use the bathrooms in The Showerhouse.

Food & Dining

Prepare Your Own Meal

Your stay in the Loft comes with its own included kitchen. If you choose to stay in one of our Staff or Participant Cabins during a facility rental, you can rent the Staff Cabin Kitchen, which has a basic setup, or our full-size commercial kitchen in the House. Each kitchen comes with full-sized refrigerators and ranges, as well as cookware and dishes.

Prepared Meals

Deer Hill has a complete commercial kitchen and staff to prepare home-cooked meals, and can accommodate a wide variety of dietary restrictions and preferences. This is included for all group programs, and can be added on for facility rentals.

Gathering Spaces

The House

The House, where the kitchen is located, is a great place to relax and read a book or play a game. There are dining tables in the House, and picnic tables just outside its doors. The House creates an incredibly authentic, homey feel at Deer Hill, as it was our Founders, Doug and Beverly Capelin’s, primary residence for most of Deer Hill’s history.

The Meeting Place

Constructed of energy efficient straw bale, with passive solar design, and an infinitely configurable open floor plan, the Meeting Place stays cool in the summer, and warm in the winter for your conference, yoga class, lecture, workshop, or whatever else you have in mind. Wirelessly connect to Deer Hill’s internet network, or unplug and enjoy the view of Weber Canyon and the Mancos Valley.

Solar array on the roof of the Meeting Place


Environmental sustainability is a highly held value at Deer Hill, and is considered at each decision point. Vegetables are grown organically at Basecamp to supplement the meals we serve, and food waste is composted and returned to that garden. The central buildings were constructed in a passive solar design, and all of Basecamp is completely powered by the solar panels installed on the roof of the Meeting Place, The Loft and the Deer Hill Store. Additionally, being situated right where we lead our expeditions, we keep our fossil fuel consumption down, and drive times to a minimum for our experiential education programs. We minimize our paper waste in the office by reusing as much as possible, and stopped printing a paper catalog of Summer Expeditions in 2014 .

In community development terms, sustainability also includes economic and social factors. In addition to the ways that Deer Hill approaches environmental sustainability, it also makes a significant contribution to the local economy, and the influx of Field Staff from all over the country adds social value to the Mancos Valley by connecting this sequestered community with people from all over the country and world.

Create Your Expedition with Deer Hill

You provide the group, we provide the facility. Certain building availabilities are dependent on the season, but Deer Hill operates year-round. Inquire below about availability and customizable facility options.

  1. Review the options above
  2. Contact the Program Sales Manager by submitting an inquiry (see below)
  3. The Program Sales Manager works with you to design a rental for your group

Facility Rental Inquiry


Deer Hill has been a major part of my life, even though it has only been two summers. I always remember the leaders and the spectacular views in the mountains. I always cherish the memories made and the life lessons learned. At Deer Hill I have matured far beyond what I was when I first showed up.

Alex, participant