Head north from the Dearborn exit on I-15. Travel 30 minutes along an uneven gravel road, filled with ruts. Enjoy the stunning scenery. Pass several bullet-ridden ‘private property’ and ‘no trespassing’ signs. And eventually you’ll arrive at 11 Highpoint Lane. It’s a 92-acre lot currently for sale at the top of a mountain, with an asking price just under $350,000.
In the time of social distancing, everyone wants to lay claim to some space to call their own, and one could do worse than this little slice of heaven just West of Cascade. The scenery alone is almost worth the asking price, but the property holds more than meets the eye.
A nondescript hatch in the middle of the lot opens to reveal ladder which takes you 24 feet underground - and that’s where you’ll find one of the more unique homes in Montana.
“The owners were looking for a place that was kind of off the beaten path, somewhere where they could build their dream home,” said listing agent Ryan Wilkinson of Big Sky Brokers in Helena. “They also wanted to be prepared for any kind of disaster whether a forest fire, flood, or a pandemic at this point. So, they decided to go ahead and build an underground shelter in case there was any kind of issue that was threatening in the area.”
When you think ‘underground bunker’ - you think dark, cold, barren. But the place is surprisingly livable. Enough room to sleep six, a satellite TV, couch, kitchen, shower and bathroom. The supplies already inside the shelter are included in the asking price. Notably during this pandemic, that means a 12-month supply of toilet paper.
“It’s fully self-sustainable,” Wilkinson said. “It has well water with cisterns and the well is powered by solar battery and generator systems. It’s all off the grid. You could live here underground and there isn’t much that you would need for probably about a year.”
The bunker itself was made off site by Utah Shelter Systems, hauled up the mountain in large trucks, and lowered underground with a crane. It’s the perfect spot for someone who enjoys their privacy and isn’t turned off by the idea of a little subterranean living.
“It’s a very interesting, unique place,” Wilkinson said. “Lots of wide-open skies. I don’t think you can see any neighbors from here that are anywhere close.”
The owners had planned to build a home on top of the bunker, but health problems forced them to seek a warmer climate. But there is an excavated pad on the property just waiting for an above ground home to be built.
If you're interested in a one-of-a-kind dwelling, visit the Big Sky Brokers website for more information.