Base Camp - Western Colorado


Paonia, CO

The High Desert Center campus is located in Paonia, Colorado, a picturesque small town tucked between the mountains and the desert in a valley full of organic farms, grapes, orchards, ranches, coal mines and diverse, community-minded people.  Wilderness areas and the Black Canyon National Park are close by. For more see

Our campus is on 80 acres of co-owned Pinon Juniper land two miles above town.  The land is part of a local community of people all living off the grid, in an assortment of earthships, strawbale and cob houses.  A huge dance hall with spectacular views of the Ragged mountains is just above the meadow.

Most people get their water from rain collection, their electricity from the sun, and their eggs from local chicken flocks.


Getting Here and Getting Mail Here

Getting to Paonia using public transportation is a bit of a challenge.  The closest airports are Montrose (an hour’s drive from Paonia) and Grand Junction (an hour and a half).  Aspen is also an option and is two hours away.  Finally Denver is about five hours drive away and Salt Lake City is about six.  Greyhound buses, The Bustang, and Amtrak come to Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs (both an hour and a half away) from either Denver or Salt Lake.  The last leg of the journey, from the town you arrive in to Paonia, requires either arranging a ride with us, hitchhiking, or renting a car.

Mailing address:
Your name
c/o Dev Carey/Marian Pierce
39091 Pitkin Rd.
Paonia, CO 81428

Phone: (970) 361-1233 // (970)275-1166