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For teens who are entering grades 9-12

These trips are for teens who are ready to step out, grow your comfort zone, meet new like-minded friends, seek out new experiences, discover new parts of yourself and experience the magic of the natural world that is always waiting for you. We welcome diverse life experiences and heritages and identities. We strive to offer belonging and sanctuary and authenticity, personal and shared power are encouraged. LGBTQI+ welcoming and inclusive!


We offer a 5-day, 4-night backpacking trip into the rugged Ventana Wilderness in the “backside” of Big Sur. You will experience backpacking and backcountry living skills such as wild herbal and food harvesting, tracking animals, and beginning nature crafts, as well as be guided towards a nature solo. See below for full explanation of the solo. Upon return there will be an integration phone call to bring back into your life what you experienced.


The wild beauty of Big Sur is truly epic. A land of crossroads and meeting points: the humid NorCal ecosystems of lush redwoods meet the dry, arid desert climate of southern California. It’s highest mountain at 5000′ is only 3 miles from the ocean, the most extreme sea-level-to-elevation in North America. Where the largest bird on our continent flies among the tops of the tallest trees, no one leaves the “Big South” without a deep sense of awe. This 4-night, 5-day trip starts in the high coastal mountain range separating the Pacific ocean to the west from the Salinas Valley to the east. On Wednesday morning we gather, pack gear and hike 4.2 miles to Divide Camp where we’ll camp for 1 night. The next day we’ll hike an additional 2.5 miles to beautiful Pine Valley, our home for the next 4 days.


Our teen years are inundated with messages about who and how we’re supposed to be. These are powerful years for re-learning who you are as you grow from being a child to an adult, but it takes a lot of support! Many teens start to feel riddled in anxiety, sadness, loneliness or discomfort. It becomes hard, sometimes near impossible, to hear your inner voice or to know where to turn to for good advice. This trip is a support for you to come into your vitality, joy, aliveness, and connectedness with yourself and through being in an epic natural place with other amazing teens and mentors. This is an opportunity for you to enhance your life and return feeling empowered in your life.


June 24-28th, 2020

Gaia Girls Nature Soul Quest is for you if any of these apply to you …

  • you are moving from one phase to another and you want to mark it (ie in or out of high school, or another significant life change)…
  • you have a sense that there is something deeper waiting for you…
  • you are running into challenges in your life that you don’t have answers for…
  • you have anxiety related to school, peers, family, or other circumstances and would like to find a road to more inner peace…
  • you are running into challenges in your life that you don’t have answers for…
  • you’re looking for more “realness…” outside of the digital life we’ve come accustomed to…
  • you want to spend a week of your summer exploring and connecting to one of the most incredible landscapes in our country…
  • you want to get real with a group of other teens and mentors…

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

– Mary Oliver

Being a teenager or young adult means that you are taking on more responsibility and facing opportunities and challenges in all areas of your life with family, peers, relationships, school, and purpose. A Gaia Girls Soul Quest is a chance to be part of a community of other seekers and explorers while bringing a question or intention for your life to wise and wild places.

Out beyond the distractions of everyday life and modern civilization, if we allow ourselves to become a part of the natural world, our own inner knowing and the drumbeat of the world can be heard more clearly. Amongst the wildflowers, waterfalls, tall trees, burrowing animals, crackling fires and starlit nights, you might just find a treasure (or two or three) that is awaiting you.

We welcome you wanderers, wondering ones, weavers, dreamers, witches, activists, artists, earth warriors…

What is a Wilderness Solo?

Gaia Girls Wilderness Solo is inspired by ancient ceremonies used for finding personal empowerment, connecting with life and mystery, and deepening one’s relationship to the world we are intimately a part of. Each participant will be guided to make their your personal intentions clear and then to find power spot where you will be for the length of your solo.

Because we will have folks in our group representing different age groups, with varied experience of the backcountry, and different needs, the length of the wilderness solo will be determined by the participant (and caregiver where appropriate) in conversation with the mentors. Solos can be from several hours to 24 hours in length. Caregiver(s) are invited and encouraged to join for send-off and return.

We give gratitude to the Esselen people of this region and to the First Nation peoples of the Americas, recognizing the depth of their traditions and wisdom from having lived here for thousands of years. We do not base our Soul Quest in the lineage of any Indigenous community or tribe, and we allow the mystery of nature to be our guide. Sarai and Caitlin have trained in the Four Shields lineage of Stephen Foster and Meredith Little, a contemporary and pan-cultural way of offering Vision Quest.


Early Bird Tuition $900.00
(discount ends Jan. 31, 2020)

Standard $950.00
Median $1,064.00
Actual $1,140.00

Payment Plans Available on our Online Registration. Contact us if you need additional scholarship. No one turned away!

We value ethnic, gender, and economic diversity. All backgrounds and identities are encouraged to join! Payment Plans Available and several scholarship tiers are available on our Online Registration. Additional scholarship can be applied for. Registration and Scholarship info here.

Your support will plant seeds that will bloom far into the future…