The solitude and elemental quality of our Center and the larger Crestone Area is ideal for those who seek quiet time away from their busy daily routines.
At 8,400 feet, the Main House and its vegetable and flower gardens look out over the San Luis Valley, an ancient dry lake bed, beneath which hides the second largest fresh water aquifer on the continent.
From our Center, you can see 50 miles across to the San Juan Mountains in the west and about 80 miles each direction, north and south. Fifteen miles below in the valley to the south you can see the Dunefield of the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the tallest sand dunes in North America. Beyond that lies Mount Blanca, 14,345 feet high, one of the sacred world mountains of the pre-historic Anasazi and present-day Native Americans in the Southwest.
If you like to explore and use our Center as a starting point for local excursion, the Sand Dunes are definitely worth a visit. See our suggestions below for more activities: hiking, hot springs, and maybe a tour of the many spiritual centers that call Crestone their home.
There is first-class hiking all around the Center with trails starting right at the campus, which is surrounded by 240 acres of piñon pine and juniper forest. On campus, we have created a network of easy trails that the resident monastic community uses for walking meditation. Off campus, there is a multitude of trail options leading up into the high country or along the streams into the valley.
There is a variety of mineral hot springs in the San Luis Valley. Guests at the Crestone Mountain Zen Center can reach these destinations by car within 30-50 minutes to the north and south. The hot springs are part of a geological fault system that created the dramatic visual appearance of the precipitous and linear Sangre de Cristo mountain range.
The Crestone Area is home to some 25 spiritual practice communities representing most of the major wisdom traditions of the world. Many of them welcome guests and day visitors. We have ongoing neighborly relationships with most of the Spiritual Centers in Crestone. If you want to go a tour or would like a personal introduction to a specific Center, we are happy to help.