Wild Pilgrimage: Backpacking Journey to Esalen (Integration Weekend for April 10-17 Wildtender Program)
April 15–17, 2022
April 15–17, 2022
with Fletcher Tucker and Emily Linders
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Embark on an intentional wilderness journey through the sublime and seldom-traveled backcountry of Big Sur, concluding at the coastal grounds of Esalen. Among the fleeting gifts of Spring – free-flowing creeks, boundless wildflower fields and vibrant wildlife – immerse in the wild with an intimate cohort (up to twelve participants), practice awareness and community, and learn fundamental skills to feel at home on the earth.

Over the course of five nights and full days on the trail, we will embody a contemporary form of pilgrimage, traveling as reverent guests through this sacred wilderness (historic Esselen tribal territory). We will rise with the sun, carry only what we need, wander with presence and curiosity, and gather meaning from our inner and outer landscapes. Much of our time on the trail will be spent in spacious, contemplative, and challenging hiking. As the sun sets behind the mountains, we will share stories and meals by the fire, and sleep beneath a blanket of stars.

Inspired by Esalen’s co-founder Dick Price, who found healing and transformation wandering the Big Sur wild, we will engage Gestalt practices from the Esalen lineage – including group check-ins to help us connect with ourselves, each other, and the land. As we hike and camp, we will engage with what the landscape reveals, encounter philosophies and poetry of the wild, and learn foundational wilderness and backpacking skills.

After our trek, we will arrive at Esalen for a weekend of rejuvenation and integration of our wilderness time. Through the ardor and intentionality of our trek, may we shed some of what no longer serves us, and connect deeply with the sacred, living world.

Highlights of our Wild Pilgrimage include:

  • Five days and nights of backpacking in the Big Sur backcountry, in the contemplative spirit of pilgrimage
  • Foundational backpacking and wilderness skills
  • Natural history, philosophy, and nature connection practices
  • Gestalt practices from the Esalen lineage
  • Weekend of integration at Esalen

Note: This is a partner program with Wildtender, an organization working at the intersection of wilderness and wisdom traditions. Visit wildtender.com/esalen2022 for more details and to apply. Please note the full experience takes place over seven days, from Sunday, April 10th to Sunday, April 17th. Prior to registering with Esalen you must have registered and paid tuition fees through Wildtender for the wilderness portion of the program (April 10-17).

Fletcher Tucker

Fletcher Tucker

Wildtender co-founder Fletcher Tucker is a devoted student and teacher of California natural history, awareness traditions, ancestral skills, and wisdom and trail-craft. Fletcher is committed to re-connecting human beings in body, mind, and spirit with wild nature and our more-than-human relations.

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Emily Linders

Emily Linders

For the past decade, Emily has spent nearly every summer in the California wilderness as a trail worker and backcountry cook in Yosemite and a monk at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. She brings ten years of formal meditation practice, wilderness-based youth development work, hospice work, and Buddhist chaplaincy to her work as a nature-based psychotherapist.

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Photo by Maddy Mannis
Photo by Maddy Mannis
Workshop Schedule

Fri 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Sat 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Sun 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

More activities can be found on our open class schedule.

See general schedule information including arrival, departure and meal times.

Accommodations & Tuition

Click Register Now to view availability of accommodations and all-inclusive, program-specific tuition. Please note that not all accommodation levels are available for every workshop and additional faculty fees may apply.

We offer scholarship funds for those with financial need. Learn more.

Accommodations & Tuition

For this workshop, you will register and pay for accommodations and tuition in two separate steps.

First, sign up and pay tuition directly to
Wildtender.
Wildtender.

Second, click Book Accommodations from this page and enter the password to complete your reservation to stay at Esalen.

Prices for accommodations include your lodging, meals, open classes, and use of the baths and other facilities. View partner program accommodations pricing.

COVID Update

All guests and faculty must provide proof of negative test results at time of check-in. Please read our current COVID safety guidelines for complete details prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

In addition to proof of vaccination, all guests and faculty must provide proof of negative test results at time of check-in. Please read our current COVID safety guidelines for complete details prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective January 7, 2022 in response to the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant, all guests and faculty will provide proof of negative PCR, NAAT, or antigen test results at time of check-in. The test must be taken within 72 hours nd results must come from a laboratory or healthcare provider.Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective December 15 in accordance with new guidance from Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Health, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are required to wear masks in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccine status, for the next four weeks (December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022). Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective November 19, 2021, in accordance with new guidance from the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are no longer required to wear masks indoors on campus. Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Starting November 5, 2021, due to substantial levels of COVID-19 transmission in Monterey County, a mask mandate established by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors will go into effect. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

All guests will be required to provide proof of vaccination upon arrival starting September 3, 2021. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Masks are no longer mandated indoors or outdoors, except during massage sessions. Guests are not required to provide testing or vaccination verification before arriving on campus. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

All-inclusive Pricing
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