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.
Behind the campus the land rises steeply into the mountains bordering Rio Grande National Forest land. Behind and above the whole property, lifting into another world of weather and spirit, are five impressive fourteen thousand foot peaks: Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle, Kit Carson, Challenger, and Columbia Point.
Along the north border of our campus you can walk up Spanish Creek Trail into a verdant aspen and spruce covered canyon or, further to the south, hike up South Spanish Creek Canyon to the top of Chinese-scroll-looking rocky peak called Dragon’s Rock that dominates the view from the campus. Spanish Creek trail leads all the way up to the ridge, the Bear’s Playground, from where climbers have access to the so-called Prow, a technical route to Kit Carson Peak.
About a mile to the south, you find the beautiful Cottonwood Creek trail that give access to Cottonwood Lake as well as Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle. Directly above the town of Crestone, three well-maintained trails along Willow Creek, South Crestone Creek and North Crestone Creek take you to three mountain lakes and spectacular vistas. Kit Carson, Challenger Point and Columbia Point are most conveniently accessed from here.