Residential programs chock full of adventure and community that build meaningful skills and explore the West.
We practice and teach homesteading, natural building, global thinking, outdoor skills, communication, travel, and a mindset of choice and play.
Affordable programs for those who value freedom, personal responsibility, and out-of-the-box living.
We attract adventurous spirits who seek the skills and inspiration to enjoy life and effectively create change.
Thru hiking: Mexico to Utah.
March -May 2019
Thru-hike the Arizona trail–800+ miles of rugged, challenging terrain stretching from the boarder of Mexico to the boarder of Utah. Along the way, we will learn songs and harmonies, pursue cool skills, and examine boarder issues and immigration policy.
A semester exploring the South West.
15 weeks of high-powered learning and adventure focused on the landscapes, stories and connections surrounding the Colorado River. Travel from high in the snow-covered high mountains of Colorado to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico and back again.
At the High Desert Center, I felt for the first time in my life that I had a place and a purpose entirely to myself. The environment provides a hands-on education in sustainable living and community building, and the staff engages each participant earnestly, asking participants to discover what we truly care about and to explore the numerous options presented by our ambitions. Each day feels like an experience and adventure to itself, and also preparation for the great adventure of life. In short, I cannot recommend this gap year high enough to any young adult in the process of discovering fulfillment.
Dev thrives on adventure and connection with others. He’s had “normal” jobs like working for Sterling College, with inner city youth as a VISTA Volunteer, as a counselor at Not Back to School Camp, and as a river guide, but mostly he’s created off-the-beaten path adventures with teenagers. He has a Ph.D. in ecology and still now and then writes plant and animal guides with local youth. While working on his disertation, he found himself being an advocate for students and families learning outside of the classroom. That advocacy turned into The Vision Program, which utilizes public funds to support over 600 students in learning however and wherever they want while still earning a diploma. Currently, he lives in funky old houses he built and shares land and meals with various folks and his family–Seraya, Huckleberry, Marian, and “adopted” teenagers.