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A Monolithic Dome Hobbit House

Image: Hobbit House of Montana — The 1075 square feet of this Monolithic Dome encompass a living/dining area, kitchen, master bedroom and bath, small bedroom and laundry area.

Hobbit House of Montana — The 1075 square feet of this Monolithic Dome encompass a living/dining area, kitchen, master bedroom and bath, small bedroom and laundry area.

Image: Roomy — Some people find it hard to believe that this Monolithic Dome is built into the side of a hill, under 35 feet of earth, so that it’s Mother Earth who keeps the occupants warm and cozy.
Image: Gourmet Kitchen — It has granite counters and everything a chef might wish for and use to scramble up some luscious meals.
Image: Master Bedroom — Designed to appeal to the visitor’s sense of beauty and comfort, this master bedroom has a king bed and handcrafted furniture and accessories.
Image: Hobbit Feet — Steve fashioned a pair of slippers into hairy Hobbit feet that you can slip into and join the fun at Hobbit House of Montana.
Image: Bilbo Baggins’ House — He is the Big Shebang, the Big Kahoonah in these here parts!
Image: Elf House with Mushroom — Steve claims that one night this cute little Elf house just showed up. Note the size of the mushroom.
Image: Gandolf in His Wagon — This beautifully designed piece is made entirely of cement and was handcrafted specifically for Hobbit House of Montana.
Image: Troll House — This Troll house was carved from a 700-year-old cedar tree. Trolls love hiding in its many cracks.
Image: Troll Mine — This is one of the scariest places in the Shire! Trolls live down below!
Image: Mural of the Shire — Three separate murals depict scenes of the Shire.
Image: Harvest Hobbit with Mural — The murals intricately detail the flora and fauna of the Shire.

He’d love it!

JRR Tolkien, best known for his authorship of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, once said, “I am in fact a hobbit in all but size. I like gardens, trees, and unmechanized farmlands …. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humour; I go to bed late and get up late (when possible). I do not travel much.”

Based on that description, it’s very likely that Tolkien would have loved the Hobbit House of Montana. It’s also equally likely that he would have been amazed to learn that this Hobbit House started as a Monolithic Dome.

In the beginning

When Steve Michaels, a 62-year-old, creative business owner and his wife Chris, began planning an imaginative get-away for themselves and their family, they decided to build a Monolithic Dome on their 100-acre alpaca ranch in Trout Creek, Montana. Steve said, “I learned about the domes on Monolithic’s website. I didn’t do a lot of shopping. When I see something I like, I go for it.”

Steve had quickly discovered that a Monolithic Dome had what he primarily wanted: it could be built underground and it was energy-efficient. In 2008, a crew from South Industries of Menan, Idaho completed the shell of a Monolithic Dome that has a diameter of 37 feet and a height of 14 feet and is built into the side of a hill.

But at that point, the Michaels were not thinking “hobbit.” That came about when Stan Hamm, their contractor, said that the dome reminded him of a Hobbit House. Jamie, Stan’s wife and a Tolkien fan, enthusiastically agreed. At that moment, the Monolithic Dome began its transformation into a Hobbit House and its surroundings began becoming a Shire inhabited by Hobbits, Elves, Fairies, Sprites and Trolls.


Since its completion in October 2010, Hobbit House of Montana has opened its doors as a Tourist Home. Reservations can be made online at or by calling (406) 827-7200.

Inside, the 1075 square feet of this Monolithic Dome encompass a master bedroom with king bed, a master bath, a small bedroom with twin bed, a living/dining area, a gourmet kitchen with granite counters and a laundry with washer and dryer. Furnishings are lush, handcrafted pieces that both humans and Hobbits find comfortable and attractive.

For entertainment, Hobbit House has HD-Blu-Ray Color TV, Wi-Fi, XM Radio and a deck with a gas barbeque and a spectacular view of the Shire.

Exploring the Shire

Just about every inch of Hobbit House and its Shire have been planned to look like and make visitors feel like they have truly entered Hobbit land. Hobbit House has a green door and a thatched roof. A giant, ceramic mushroom grows near its entrance. A 2000-pound rock, that was chiseled into a bench in Bali and shipped to Montana, welcomes visitors. This bench, visitors are told, probably was a Troll that turned to stone when he looked at the sun. Retaining walls beside Hobbit House have murals depicting the plant and animal life of the Shire.

Land surrounding Hobbit House brims with delightful surprises. There are more giant mushrooms since they’re a favorite food of Hobbits, who eat six times a day. Very old trees with stoney blue eyes and diamond-shape mouths stand guard and keep the secrets of the Shire.

The wizard Gandolf, complete with peaked hat, beard and pipe, can be spotted in his horse-drawn wagon.

Not be outdone, the Trolls have a house, made of a 700-year-old cedar tree, in whose cracks they hide. They have a mine that’s a scary place, so it’s equipped with a warning sign, a club and a night light. And they have a bridge that doesn’t charge a toll.

In the Shire’s Haunted Forest, there is an Elf House with a straw roof and Fairy Caves with circular doors, that can be seen and inspected but not entered. Strollers may also discover the Hobbit Honeymoon Suite, with its bold “Do Not Disturb” sign since it’s built for honeymooners; Bilbo Baggins’ House, with its round, green door and picket fence; Fredo’s Place, whose entrance and windows are decorated with stone.

Finally, there is a Wishing Well that supplies the water for the Shire. Based on what Tolkien established, at this well the Trolls get first dibs, then the Hobbits, Elves and Fairies. The Sprites are last but they only drink the mist.

Check out these two articles where the Hobbit House made the news. The Billings Gazette and The News York Times.