It could be said that the mass counterculture movement ended in the time period 1970-1973 due to various factors.
1. Vietnam War winding down – protesting of the war was some of the glue that held the movement together.
2. Drug burnout – those hippies whose path involved substance use often descended into harder drugs and alcohol, both of which can limit the ability to think and function in the creative manner common to the earlier beats and hippies.
3. Growing up – moving on – By 1972, hippies had achieved many of their initial goals of “Turn on, tune in, drop out” – now it was time for them to move on and prove, in real life, that their ideals may work. The 1970’s, therefore, became a time where the Baby Boomers took various paths to start their families and careers.
The most successful commune in US History, The Farm, started in the early 1970’s as a way to bring ideals of the counterculture into work and practice. The 1970’s also saw the birth and rebirth of various religious and spiritual movements including Eastern Religions such as Buddhism. Many cults and other such groups (EST, etc.) also formed during this period.
4. Mainstreaming – Many baby boomers decided they were not, after all, hippies…and decided to join the mainstream culture or further pursue of a career. Many carried some of the ideals of the 1960’s forward by choosing vocations in social services, medicine or other “right livelihood occupations.