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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Private Retreat in Paradise, 22-Acre Park & Wildlife Sanctuary

Bedrooms 2
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

House, 1 Bedroom - queen + 1 Convert. queen + 1 single ,1 Bath, Sleeps up to 5*

At 4,400 feet, the undiscovered gem called PIPES CANYON VALLEY, just a stone's throw from historic PIONEERTOWN, is a refuge of serenity nestled at the foothills of the BIG BEAR MOUNTAINS adjoining 33,000 acres of WILDLANDS CONSERVANCY. Our gorgeous solar and wind-powered Southwest casita, graced by fine art within, is situated on 22 acres of nature's own artistry without.

Serene setting, artistry and comforts to sooth the soul. A high desert pied a Terre or a one-of-a-kind healing experience with yoga, meditation and nature immersion with Max Thomas.

Actually, our guests describe it better than we can:

"Here, you can learn to just be."

"Staying at the Casita on this property was an amazing experience. Max and Robin have created a symbiotic environment with the animals and earth and all you have to do is blend in and enjoy."

"Their property is amazing! So many fun spots to explore. They are on acres of land that you can hike, relax on- they have a hammock, tons of rock gardens, a fire pit! They also have a screened in porch that has a bed so you can sleep outside but still be protected."

"My best friend took me here to relax for four days for my 50th birthday and it was life changing and the best gift ever! I have had over the last two years major health issues and surgeries. My soul was broken. But for the first time in two years I felt this wonderful peace and it truly healed my soul!"

"It's a sweet homely, clean perfect place close to nature! I never want to stay anywhere else not even a 5 star resort!"

"The screened-in porch was amazing - it allowed us to wake up to the chirping of the birds in the morning and go to sleep feeling like we were camping out. The scenery around the casita was wonderful -flat top mesas, big boulders to climb, gullies to explore…"

"What an unbelieveable natural setting, with a feeling of remoteness despite the relative proximity to LA. Good food and entertainment up the road at the inimitable Pappy and Harriet's. Magnificent night skies with the distant howl of Coyotes."

"Robin and Max are gracious and generous hosts; they have built and lovingly maintain a nurturing oasis of peace for us pamper-seeking humans as well as a home for a fabulous biodiversity of birds, animals, plants, and rocks. They offer here what we all need most - the rest and renewal that comes from slowing down and paying attention to the elemental essence of life itself - inside and out. We could hardly drag ourselves away to go out and get groceries."

"Waking up to cottontail rabbits outside our bedroom window. Following fresh tracks to the nearby wash for a gorgeous sunrise heralded by coyote howls. Back at the comfortable casita eating breakfast with a primeval view while a covey of quail wander by outside. Midday hike along a ridge of low hills for long views with hardly any signs of civilization--without leaving the 22 acre property."

"At night, since the place is far enough from the light pollution of the city, so many stars are visible - we saw the Milky Way and even caught a few shooting stars while sitting out by the fire pit (which was ready for us when we got there - filled with wood and easy to start up with just a lighter). The bed out on the covered outdoor patio was very comfortable and perfect for spending the night if you want to have more of a "glamping" experience."

* Sleeping arrangements for winter months: Warm weather and cold weather impact the sleeping arrangements. In warm months the screened sleeping porch is everybody's favorite, with its comfy queen bed, which (with the queen in the bedroom and the pull-out queen couch in the living room) makes a total of 3 queen beds (a maximum of 5 guests). In winter, while some are happy to brave cold temperatures on the porch with flannel sheets, down comforters and wool caps, it's not for everyone. A 5th guest can stay on a comfy single couch in the living room or an equally comfortable single fold-up bed in the large bedroom. This works best with adults and kids, but if it's all adults, you need to be a very cozy group.

Keywords: Southwest, luxury casita, wildlands-adjacent, ancient trees, boulders, stargazing, labyrinth, tee-pee, kid-friendly

More Details

Robin Maxwell and Max Thomas
Member since: 2010
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 13, 2018

About Robin Maxwell and Max Thomas

Your hosts are yogi and healer MAX THOMAS and his wife of 35 years, bestselling author and screenwriter ROBIN MAXWELL. They are privileged to be caretakers of the land and creators of the High Desert Eden sanctuary. Countless artists, writers, musicians, healers, yogis, parents and children have found quiet, comfort and inspiration in this remarkable 'home away from home.' Now Max and Robin have decided to share their little corner of paradise with you. Depending on your wishes, they will grant you total privacy or offer guidance for your many adventures.

Robin Maxwell and Max Thomas purchased this house in 2004

Why Robin Maxwell and Max Thomas chose Pioneertown

An Eco-Friendly Destination

'We'd always dreamed of owning property adjoining public lands and to live a sustainable life. The magnificent WILDLANDS CONSERVANCY on two sides of High Desert Eden is that dream come true, and we're proud to be off the electrical grid, with a photo-voltaic array mounted on a state-of-the-art 'tracker,' augmented by a wind generator. While we have all the modern amenities here, we've learned to be conscious about consumption and live lightly on the land. We ask all our guests to do the same.' Max is available for discussion and consultation about our system.

What makes this house unique

PRIVATE YOGA RETREATS: If you make yoga a part of your HIGH DESERT EDEN getaway, you will enjoy the most delightful, tailor-made experience of your life. With 35 years of yogic wisdom at his command, MAX THOMAS offers his own eclectic and non-dogmatic style of yoga to everyone from raw beginners to seasoned practitioners. You can choose gentle, restorative session to promote healing from injuries or illness; basic to more complex breath work; or learn how to use 'Yoga as Preventive Medicine.' Yoginis and yogis might wish to kick-start their days with energetic classes, to refine or re-design their current practice...or even create one from the ground up. And there is no one better than Max at just 'playing yoga,' with kids from 9 - 90. LODGING AT THE CASITA, YOGA CLASSES and HEALTHY GOURMET MEALS included.


Pioneertown House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 5
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Mountain View
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace ...
  • Heating
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Dining Area
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
  • Tile shower, washer/dryer
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • Living Room - 1 queen , 1 twin/ single , sofa bed is incredibly comfortable, memory foam topper
    Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , Great queen bed with memory foam topper
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , 1 twin/ single , In good weather the screened sleeping porch is divine!
  • Queen size Beds (3), Twin or Single Beds (2). Starting now the screened sleeping porch is the most sought after bedroom in the casita.
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television
  • Video Library
  • Lanai / Gazebo
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • alternative lifestyle
  • wheelchair accessible
  • cinemas
  • live theater
  • museums
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • wildlife viewing
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • rock climbing


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(97 traveler reviews)

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Private Retreat in Paradise, 22-Acre Park & Wildlife Sanctuary
average rating of 4.9793816 based on 97 reviews


  • 5 of 5

our family had the most wonderful time in this desert wonderland. Fabulous for families, couple or singles.....

  • Submitted: Feb 7, 2017
  • Stayed: February 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We have so many happy memories of your visit. Still haven't gotten up into the boulders to find your cairn. Didn't the kids love "mining for stardust?" Can't wait for your next visit.
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Beautiful secluded location comfortable space

  • 5 of 5

This is a site for any desert lover who craves seclusion and quiet, with just the flutter of birds in the morning coming for the seed provided by Max and Robin. The space is delightful, with beautiful vistas to the horizons.

  • Submitted: Mar 19, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: Vacation Rentals, from HomeAway
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Clean, comfortable, spacious, beautiful surroundings

  • 5 of 5

This is truly a slice of desert paradise. Robin and Max take such good care of their land and home that life flocks to it. We enjoyed birdsong in the morning, coyote song at night. The Casita was very comfortable, plenty of room for three, and the land surrounding it offered easy hikes and beautiful views. Would love to return here!

  • Submitted: Mar 13, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

The reviews and the listing itself were spot on. The hosts were lovely, knowledgable and had lots of good tips; the casita was clean and well appointed; the grounds were perfection for stargazing, hiking, labyrinth walking, and hare/rabbit/bird sightings. Have already recommended to many friends and family.

  • Submitted: Feb 22, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Love this place!

  • 5 of 5

This was our second stay at the private retreat in Paradise. We've now been once in November, and once at the New Year, which were both lovely. Robin tells us we need to visit in the spring when everything is in bloom, so hopefully soon! What do we love about this place? The owners, Max and Robin, are very welcoming, but unobtrusive. They are involved in lots of interesting things, and happy to share with you, but won't impose their lives on you if you don't ask. For example, Robin is a well-known writer, who can tell you lots of interesting things about her subjects (historical fiction, lots of travels). Max is a yoga master, and will offer yoga sessions on the rocks, but no pressure. Max has set up a very cool off-the-grid electrical system, with solar, windmill, and batteries, and will give you a tour if you ask. Also, they have "developed" their 22 acre property to be a real desert Eden preserve, which is really fun to wander around or learn about from Max and Robin.

The house is clear, comfortable, in good-repair, and well-stocked. But it is not laden with tchotchkes, so you don't feel you are invading someone else's home. Outside are a firepit, as well as a barbecue, both stocked. Nice outdoor chairs and chaises. Many little details show that the hosts go above and beyond.

More important than the house itself is the amazing surroundings! It is really desert wilderness, with jackrabbits, coyotes, and many birds strolling, hopping and flitting through. There is also a lot of cool geology, including a wash (stream bed) with iron from meteorites that you can collect with a magnet (very cool for kids). The property backs onto a Preserve (forget the name), so you can just wander for miles. And if you are not familiar with this kind of desert environment, you really can just wander. There are no tall trees to block your view, and the vegetation is sparse enough that you can walk without a path. You might worry about getting lost, but just climb up one of the many knolls, and you can quickly orient yourself.

Although the place feels delightfully remote, it is a 5 min drive to Pappy and Harriet's, and also quite short to the Joshua Tree NP entrance.

Thank you Robin and Max for a great stay. We hope to be back again.

  • Submitted: Jan 9, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Well Albert, this is one of the most wonderful reviews we've ever gotten. Thanks for tooting our horns and the place's as well. We've been here 18 years and we fall in love with it more all the time. It's guests like you and your family that make running a vacation rental worth it. We do hope you come back in the spring. It's a whole other world. And since it rained more than 2 inches today, we have a good chance at a wild wildflower bloom.
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A beautiful place to watch the sun rise!

  • 5 of 5

My two daughters (18 and 22) and I stayed two nights at this beautiful, relaxing Desert Eden and couldn't have been more comfortable. Max and Robin were wonderful hosts, providing us with recommendations on where to eat, buy groceries, and which places to see in Joshua Tree. They provided coffee and Mother Nature provided beautiful weather and gorgeous sun rises over the Joshua trees. Their very large property boasts several interesting rock formations (their own Hidden Valley), cholla cacti, many kinds of birds, at least one jack rabbit, and a wild bobcat, which scurried away when he saw us. This is the perfect home- away- from-home to reunite with nature.

  • Submitted: Jan 6, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
50 Miles
Palm Springs International Airport

Private yoga on site, exploring back roads, historic Pioneer town, caves, birding, rock hunting, petro glyphs, guided nature hikes and photography, eclectic live music scene




Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $60
Tax Rate 7.0%

Private yoga classes with Max available upon request - $75/hr per person. $15 for each additional person

Retreat services and prices tailored to your needs

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.

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