Wilderness Treatment Center Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Wilderness Treatment Center


wilderness-treatment-centerWilderness Treatment Center Review

Located on a working 4,000-acre cattle ranch in a small town 20 miles from Kalispell, Montana, Wilderness Treatment Center blends the traditional model of substance abuse treatment with an outdoor experience. The 60-day program helps boys and men between the ages of 14 and 24 with chemical dependency and mental health issues. Residential treatment consists of 39 days in the house and 21 days out in nature, providing clients with intensive therapy, structured living, 12-step meetings and a camping trip.

Accommodations and Food

The 35-bed treatment center opened its door to clients in 1983. It sits 2,959 feet above sea level on the Western slope of the Rocky Mountains, making for a gorgeous campus. Fifty percent of the ranch’s original log buildings are still in place and quaint ponds and farm animals are just a short walk away from the residential cabins.

Residents are housed in single-level log cabinsthink rustic getaway or summer camp at a dude ranch. Each cabin contains four sets of bunk beds and two bathrooms, maxing out at six clients. The ranch also has a dining hall, offices in the barn house and a main hall where therapy is conducted.

Staying active is a huge part of treatment. For those looking to get in a traditional workout or play a game of ping pong, a large recreation hall is available in the mornings and during free time. Off-site activities such as skiing, rope courses, hiking and rock climbing occur on the weekends. Clients are also assigned chores around the ranch, such as helping to feed the animals, tend the land and build wooden furniture. Smoking is not allowed at the ranch.

All meals are prepared on-site by a chef who focuses on providing adequate nutrition. Favorites are ribs, burgers and BBQ chicken.

Treatment and Staff

For the first 30 days, clients stay on-site for the traditional residential experience; detox must be done prior to arrival. During this phase, they participate in group therapy, lectures, 12-step meetings, recreation and individual therapy several times per week. Group topics include relapse prevention, family relationships, stress management, life skills, nutrition, processing and trauma. Families have a chance to join in on recovery during a four-and-a-half day family week; this includes lectures, meals and group therapy.

Twelve-step based recovery is a big part of treatment, with residents attending an AA/NA meeting every day.  The meetings are both on-site and off-site, giving residents a chance to participate in an outside recovery community, as well host meetings on the ranch.

After the first 30 days have been completed, clients are ready to head out into the mountains. For 21 days, they are away from home base, learning how to camp and make their own food. The challenges of living in the woods teach them how to deal with their everyday struggles in healthy ways. This phase of treatment is not just simply rugged survival, as clients still participate in group and individual therapy. When the 21 days are up, they return to the ranch for another week, which allows them to process their new experience as well as prepare for discharge.

The staff is comprised of a medical director, a psychologist, therapists and counselors.

In Summary

Wilderness Treatment Center has combined a traditional rehab with a wilderness adventure to create a solid program for boys and young men. With 30 years of experience and a beautiful setting, it prepares clients to thrive once they return to the outside world.

Wilderness Treatment Center Location

200 Hubbart Dam Rd
Marion, MT 59925

Wilderness Treatment Center Cost

$13,000 (30 days). Reach Wilderness Treatment Center by phone at (406) 854-2832. Find Wilderness Treatment Center on Facebook and Twitter

Do you have a complaint or review of Wilderness Treatment Center to add? Use the comments area below to add your Wilderness Treatment Center review.

Photo courtesy of Dan Petesch (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (https://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)



  1. Parent of Addict on

    Our experience could not have been more different. Our Son was at the facility in Summer 2016 for 60 days. We met an amazing staff, group of families and patients during Family Week. This facility has a long track record of results and many healthy, productive alums. Do they coddle the addicts? No, they do not. They stress accountability and they can’t put up with people who are not serious about recovery. This is pretty much true of any program like this (and most halfway houses as well). The end point of this program is three weeks in the wildnerness that is truly transformative. I am sure there are problems from time to time with patients. This is an inpatient treatment program after all. I want to balance the review above with my own extremely positive experience.

  2. Our experience with WTC was traumatizing. This is a Disorganize program with limited supervision and they do not care about the kids or their families. When I called up initially I emphasize that my son is 18 years old and is a runner. They told me that they specialize in Young adolescents like this. Which is not true. Every time my son wanted to leave they gave him his phone and said go. After leaving three times in 11 days and they called and told me that he had to leave the program because he left three times. Which makes no sense because I told them that he was a runner and they never told me about this rule. The day before I had a conference with his counselor who told me he was doing better. As a parent dealing with a problem child we still worry and love our child very much. Which is why when we received a call from Mark telling me that our son had to leave immediately and that they were going to drop him off at a homeless shelter my wife and I were shocked, welded and panicked. I had to have my attorney call them and arrange them to take my son to the airport and not a homeless shelter. They also took away his phone the day before and mailed it to us so there was no way we could even communicate with our son. Luckily at the airport they assisted him because this WTC program that I paid $7000 for 11 days did nothing but traumatize our family. Also as a point of interest the first night my son was asked by another student to show me his penis. When I brought this up to Marc I believe he is the program director he said he would look into it. A week later we got a phone call from WTC that two students were molested and that the person was arrested and that my son was safe unharmed and uninvolved.

    • Debbie Kutcher on

      Our family also had a very different experience. My son is also a runner and left the ranch after 10 days. However, we choose not to save him and allowed consequences to occur, understanding it was his choice. He decided to return to the ranch and complete the program. Today he is sober and happy. WTC made a great impression and was the beginning of his road to recovery. The family week is crucial and provides support and information about addition. Enabling by family will destroy an addicts chance at recovery. The staff is the best addiction counselors we have encountered. My son now lives in a sober living house and many of the guys he meets have attended WTC. They tell stories and laugh about how hard the program is but how badly they needed it, and are so glad they went to WTC.

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