Personal Retreat Information
What to bring and how to get here!
Choying Dzong is located in the high mountains of the San Luis Valley of south central Colorado. It is a breathtaking place to hear and practice the dharma. It is also located at 8,500 feet above sea level, situated on steep and rocky terrain. We advise retreatants to drink plenty of water and avoid over-exertion when getting settled in order to help your body adjust to the altitude. People with health conditions should be aware of the environmental challenges when preparing for any length of retreat. Bring sturdy walking shoes, a warm jacket and clothes that can be layered for variable changes in the weather.
Smoking & Pets
There is no smoking of any kind permitted on the retreat land. Please do not bring or use substances for smoking during your stay. Although we appreciate that animals can be a great support for practice, we do not have a place for pets at the retreat center, therefore, please make arrangements for them to be cared for while you are away.
Preparing for your Retreat
Please note: The following list is offered only as suggestion. The cabin you stay in may already be supplied with some dry food, candles, shrine objects, etc. Retreatants are welcome to use these but are also responsible for replacing items they use with items of similar value or usefulness before departing.
- Personal shrine materials, books, paper, pens or pencils
- Bedding, toiletries, sun shower, towel, toilet paper
- Food, beverages, supplements, medicine
- Candles, matches, lantern, flashlight, extra batteries
- Clothes and shoes or boots for changeable mountain weather
- Fire starter (recommended during spring and winter months)
As Crestone is somewhat remote, if you are arriving by air, we recommend trying to get oneself at least as far as Alamosa, Colorado.
United Airlines offers flights to Alamosa on Great Lakes Airlines (1-800-554-5111). Other airports to fly into are Denver, CO, Albuquerque, NM or Colorado Springs, CO.
Transportation from Alamosa, CO or Salida, CO can be arranged by contacting either Cynthia Peters at Blue Pearl Taxi & Shuttle Service: 719-256-4346, or Tilopa at Windhorse Transportation: 719-256-4177. Both of these services operate as local Crestone businesses.
Another service is Arrow/Black Hills Stage Lines Bus Transportation. This bus service has a stop in Moffat, CO. Moffat is located 20 miles West of Crestone and arrangements can be made thru Yeshe Khorlo to be picked up from this stop and brought to Yeshe Khorlo Chöying Dzong. Check the Arrow/Black Hills Stage Lines site to see if they come thru your city.
From Denver and points north of Crestone:
Approximate Drive Time: 4 - 5 hours
- Take I-70 west to C-470 (south-east)
- Take C-470 to the exit for Hwy 285 south
- Follow Hwy 285 south through Bailey, Fairplay, Salida, etc. Just after Villa Grove, take the left exit for Hwy 17 (south).
- Follow Hwy 17 to Moffat. Turn left (east) on “T” road to Crestone. The “T” road is at mile marker 105. Then follow the directions for "in Crestone" below.
From Alamosa and points south of Crestone:
- Take Hwy 160 east to Hwy 17. Turn left (north).
- Follow Hwy 17 to Moffat. Turn right (east) on “T” road to Crestone. Then follow the directions below.
- As you near Crestone, you will see an entrance to the Baca Grande on the right. Turn right. Follow this road until it turns to gravel. After the road turns to gravel, the entrance to Yeshe Khorlo Chöying Dzong, which is marked by five prayer flags and a dharma wheel sign under a small roof, will be the first driveway on your left. Drive all the way to the top.
We look forward to supporting you in retreat. To arrange a retreat please email your preferred dates along with a brief statement of the intention for your retreat. For general inquiries or more information, please e-mail.