Thunderbird Lodge- Shell House #2

Cabin - Entire home/apt · La Contenta Rd, Joshua Tree, CA 92252, United States

The Space

**I'm currently running two specials: the first, for midweek reservations (from tuesday thru thursday) and the second, for early bookings on summer reservations made from June 21, 2014-Sept. 23, 2014. See the details on our website (see second photo for the web address) or send me a message. If the latter, then please be sure to reference the special you're interested in.**

The 600 square foot studio cabin sleeps four to six with a king sized bed, fold-out queen sleeper sofa, and day bed (with trundle). Sit on the swing at dusk and take in the lavender and lilac-hued San Bernardino Mountains and breathe in the sweetly scented creosote bushes that surround the cabin's 22.5 acres. One acre of the property is lined with a fence to keep dogs and horses in, deer and coyotes out.

Spend the evening free from coyotes and free from internet concerns because we've got your free WiFi covered. Once your email is checked, we suggest making dinner in our fully equipped kitchen. Or, if the mood strikes you, head to the back porch and use the grill that features my custom tile work.

I live on La Contenta Rd. (the same street on which Shell, Mountain, and Rock house reside) so I'm around should you have any questions while visiting. Though I'm close by, all of my cabins are private, secluded, and separate from my own home.

In order to preserve the land from development, to restore the integrity of these homesteader cabins, and to upcycle discarded slabs of granite into artistic tile work, I started Thunderbird Lodge Retreat in 2011.

Features of the Shell House:
-600 Sq. Ft., sleeps 4 comfortably
-Free Wifi
-1 large room with king sized bed and 2 sleeper sofas
-1 bath with restored claw foot tub
-Full-sized kitchen equipped with cookware
-Sits on 22.5 acres with outdoor bar, grill, porch swing, and a number of seating areas
-Washer on site
-Wood burning stove and swamper cooling fan allow for a comfortable temperature year round
-Within walking distance to a rarely traveled dirt road that leads into the Covington Flats section of Joshua Tree National Park

Room type: Entire home/apt
Bed type: Real Bed
Accommodates: 6
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Beds: 3
Extra people: $15 / night after 4 guests
Minimum Stay: 2 nights
Weekly Price: $650 /week
Monthly Price: $1200 /month
Security Deposit: $200
Cleaning Fee: $30
Check In: 3:00 PM
Check Out: 12:00 PM (noon)
Cancellation: Moderate

Overall Guest Satisfaction

Check In
  • Thank you Lori for providing us with a nice place to stay on our road trip! The house is lovingly constructed and decorated and the location is superb, with the back yard up against a mountain full of Joshua trees. It would be fun to stay for a week next time while we explore the National Park.

    April 2014
  • The Thunderbird Lodge was beautiful. It was the perfect place to get away and just relax. It's not too far from conveniences like grocery stores, but feels so secluded. My husband and I decided to get married here and it was perfect for the the intimate rural wedding we were aiming for. I thank Lori for everything.

    April 2014
  • We stayed in Shell House #2 for 3 1/2 weeks this spring. If you love the desert, you will love Lori's place. The cabin is very private and opens up onto a magical desert world. We hiked daily and never had to drive to get there! It was fantastic walking directly into the surreal landscape. What an experience to be able observe the delicate balance of the desert plants and animals. The cabin was equipped with everything we needed and, because it was springtime, we used the wood heating stove to keep warm in the morning and enjoyed the fresh smell of burning firewood. Lori was a fantastic host and able to respond quickly to anything we needed, as she lives close by. We will definitely return to that cabin or try one of her other cabins in the future. (We also found a wonderful restaurant in the town of Joshua Tree called The Natural Sisters Cafe. Delicious, healthy food!)

    April 2014
  • This is a special place. We loved every minute and didn't want to leave (we apologize again to Lori and her next guests for being a bit slow to check-out)! In the comfort of the Shell House #2, surrounded by the beauty and serenity of the desert, our usual frenetic pace settled down to a more natural, unscheduled pulse. It was a wonderful way to welcome the new year. The house was clean and cozy and the kitchen had everything we needed to prepare meals. Great location! We took a number of short hikes behind the property and were lucky to catch one magical sight of a coyote at dusk. Lori was quick to help us with directions and recommendations which led us to some highlights of the week: Eureka Peak and NewYear's Eve at Pappy and Harriett's in Pioneertown. We miss the other-worldliness of Joshua Tree and can't believe we're back in Upstate NY with a foot of snow!

    January 2014
  • Amazing. If you're even considering staying here, don't hesitate. The house is adorable and full of quirky things to keep you entertained, but more importantly, it's the perfect getaway in the perfect location. I stayed on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, and Lori was absolutely amazing. She answered every question I had and was close by if I had needed any assistance. She checked in on me via text a couple of times, as I was staying alone and she just seems like an incredibly attentive, sweet person. If you're into fires and stars and just checking out of the modern world, you will love this place. I hiked in the backyard the first day and went for a run along the road in front of the house, which was perfect. The house is also super close to the entrance to Joshua Tree, so I did the park after a very lazy breakfast at the house the next day. It was a perfect way to spend my holiday. I will be back for sure.

    December 2013
  • We unfortunately found the Shell House to be very dirty and unpleasant smelling, and ultimately left after the first night. On the plus side, Lori was very gracious and helpful.

    December 2013
  • Decided on a last-minute trip to JT with my brothers. Lori responded to our inquiry really quickly. Nice location, great sunset view from the porch, cozy and the wood stove kept us toasty at night. plenty of pots and pans for cooking.

    December 2013
  • First off, the Shell House is SO cozy, comfy, clean, and beautifully amazing. Such a nice desert retreat. It was chilly when we stayed, but the wood furnace heater and space heater warmed the place up in no time. Lori checked in on us via email just to make sure we had everything we needed, and was super accommodating and so nice!

    December 2013
  • Lori is such a sweet host. She lives right across the way so is available anytime. We actually did not meet her, but that was just fine as well. She definitely makes herself available anytime! Thanks Lori!!

    November 2013
  • Perfect place, great house!!

    November 2013
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Paramount High, Harbor City college, San Diego Community College, Copper Mt. College
Owner Thunderbird Lodge Retreat, Cook for a large spiritual retreat in Joshua Tree
I was born and raised in Paramount, right in the heart of LA near Compton and Lakewood. I met my husband Abel when I went to work at Bethlehem Steel. My husband had been raised in Brawley in a desert hotter and not nearly as scenic as this. I was 18-years-old when Abel and I got married, and I was one of the first three women to be hired at Bethlehem as a mill worker. Bethlehem Steel used to make ships and bridges and things, and it employed almost 30,000 workers. But then Joshua Tree had for a while been piquing my family. In the early 40's when they were offering homesteaders free 5 acre parcels in exchange for building a cabin on it, my mother tried to convince my father to do it. My father said, "Who would ever want to live in the desert?" At the time, my grandfather had already been living here for 10 years. When my grandfather--a former LA police officer-- came here in the 30's, there was only a dirt road from Banning on--probably going for 30 miles. He was a well-known character who made his own beer during prohibition and ran the cabins now known as Willie Boy's restaurant in Morongo Valley. So, we'd visit my grandparents on the weekends and in the summer and, while working around noisy, hot machines at Bethlehem, I kept thinking and dreaming of hiking around the hills behind their old house. When Bethlehem Steel closed in 1981, Abel and I started looking for a place to buy in Joshua Tree. A place we could rest ourselves into. When we looked around, we found a house on the north side that had just been finished. It was a 2 bedroom with a new water tank, a septic system, electricity--all of that. But when we came here to see this little cabin on La Contenta Road, I was sold. The real estate lady was trying to convince me to buy the other one. They were both listed at the same price: $24,500. I told her, "No, I want this one; we can get a toilet later." -------- The Thunderbird Lodge Retreat, located on La Contenta Road and comprised of four fully restored homesteader cabins, is the product of this history of the land and its inhabitants, of its seekers and sojourners. It is desert life turning to face itself and learning to respect its natural home for its plenty as well as its dearth. The Thunderbird Lodge Retreat takes its inspiration from upcycling, believing that out of apparent scarcity can emerge the plentiful and the aesthetically interesting. Out of old, previously discarded things can be conceived new lives. In our cabins you'll find a dresser turned into a kitchen island, a bed frame turned into a fireplace mantle, and seemingly useless scraps of granite pieced together to create unique tiling on the floors, walls, and countertops.
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