Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

High Desert Retreat address is only available to VRBO guests

Click here to visit their VRBO page!

Dog Friendly: Yes    Kid-Friendly: Yes

**Check out our list of all hidden gems in Jacumba!**

About the High Desert Retreat

A huge thank you to the owners of the High Desert Retreat and Institute of Perception, Q and Twila, for opening their doors to us.  This amazing experience would never have happened without them.  They had this to say about their story, the grounds and how the property has changed, shifted and evolved into what it is today:

“The Institute of Perception was founded in 2000. We had been looking for an area that would be used for ourselves and other perceptual artists or seekers to have visions, record music, create painting and sculpture as well as large Earth works inspired by the wild desert… and later as a gathering location for bigger happenings. The abandoned railroad warehouse was the beginning.

As we walked the wild land, we were given ancient ceremonial sites that foretold of the spiritual nature of these grounds. We realized we were on a natural Power Spot. We had chosen this area through our intention to find a magical location that would allow us to evolve our Seeing abilities.

We also needed a natural location close to major cities, making the pilgrimage possible for many to come and be boosted by the land. After ten years of TeleMagica Gathering, which was a large event with over 70 bands in all genres, performing on this wild Power Spot, we rested.

We then wondered about our next move and how to share this Power Spot and all the perceptual sculptures on the grounds: the white pyramid, the Silent Tower, and WaterSight, without the festival chaos. How could we continue to allow people to love the land and the the magic of this place? The idea that people could walk, sleep, and especially dream with the art inside and outside, opened the door to Airbnb.

We would let each new occupant roam in the wondrous landscape, and also wander inside our Museum Airbnb… Our hope has been realized: Guests’ comments and occurrences have met or surpassed our expectations. We often hear the word “magical” or even “life changing experience” from the guests.

Then we know we did something to protect mother Earth, we helped people See how precious and endangered are these wild areas.. and we consider this our best work, restoring, preserving and protecting this land…”

Personal Experience

Having visited the Institute of Perception grounds before, I felt I had a decent grasp on the experience I would be getting myself into here. The second the High Desert Retreat’s doors were opened though, I knew we were entering a whole new level. The evening did not disappoint.

There is SO much to do and soak in here. We took advantage of everything offered: exploring the abandoned trains and taking the sacred walk, meditating in the pyramid, playing with the instruments, we cooked delicious meals, soaked in the outdoor tub under the stars, made a bonfire, appreciated the art gallery while making our own art, lounged in the indoor tub. This place is pure magic and it’s got to be near impossible not to feel that.

The second we walked in, our jaws dropped:

All art is done by co-owner Q:

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There are historic trains to explore while here:

View of the property from the ‘Sacred Stone’.  We found it intuitively and later matched the same rock to photos on their site and the map they had drawn out. There were little mementos at the rock that also let us know we found it.  See if you can find it too!

The magical pyramid!

We were blessed with a beautiful sunset when we were here:

Playing music at twilight in the pyramid is one for the books:

We did not get a chance to climb this mountain but were both deeply drawn to it:

Look at how our home of the evening lights up at night!

We got our creative juices flowing and set aside an hour to draw at their fabulous art station:

Oh how I wish I had a bathtub like this one! High Desert Retreat

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