Spiritual Centers

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.

In 1979, the Manitou Foundation began to provide land grants and financial support in the Crestone Area to spiritual leaders and organizations, to ecological and environmental sustainability projects, and to related educational endeavors. The vision was to create an inter-faith community for contemplative practice as a framework for the transformative evolution of the human body and mind.

40 years later, some of these groups meet in private homes, some own land with plans to build, and some like the Crestone Mountain Zen Center have developed larger facilities that allow for communal residential practice, reclusive solo retreats, large gatherings, or short individual retreats.

To visit the temples and shrines of the larger communities, it is advisable to call or email ahead of your intended visit. For an introduction to Crestone as a place of natural beauty and spiritual retreat, check out “A Place of the Heart,” a short movie by local film makers, in which some of the local spiritual practitioners speak about their sense of place.


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.

Hot Springs

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.


Staying in touch

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