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Dark Sky Wilderness Retreat

· Borrego Springs, San Diego, California
86 acres hosted by Tamsin W.
2 lodging sites · 2 tent sites
Nestled within an ancient ironwood forest with some of the best wildflower viewing around, you'll find the Borrego Institute for Living Design, a non-profit dedicated to "rehabilitating feral humans for reintroduction to the wild," with an emphasis on climate resilience and "biocultural renewal"––reconnecting people and place through hands-on naturalist practices like tracking, observation and listening, plein air arts, Biomimicry innovation and discovery, ethnobotanical cultivation, harvesting, renewal, and arts, "living archeology" fieldwork and trainings, and good old campfire stories. We call it The BILD. Once the home of Gale Gordon, producer of The Lucy Show and a dear friend of Lucille Ball, noted Hollywood figure and former Borrego Springs mayor, the house and grounds retain their rustic Hollywood charm. We offer two 3 bed suites for retreats, guests, and short creative residencies, shared Infrared sauna and communal kitchen, with extensive grounds and incredible cactus garden. A photographers' delight! Campers will discover their own classic Springbar-style canvas glamping tent with Memory Foam queen size mattress. Nature-lovers, artists, and creatives of all kinds will enjoy endless inspiration, glorious birdsong, beautiful wanderings, and incredible sunrises in this unique place. Enjoy birdwatching or artistic pursuits in deep solitude and silence under the Milky Way. It's like having your own State Park, minutes from the amenities of Borrego Springs, yet worlds away. We offer two spacious Kodiak canvas tent-cabins for you, 10x10 and 10x14, with complete 4 wall ventilation as desired. Each has one Queen and we are happy to add an additional mattress or cot for you for maximum occupancy 4 persons. We also offer two car camping sites among the ironwoods––protected from wind and sun, with unbeatable views. The campground offers Insta-worthy campfire chairs and bistro table dining, enchanted solar lighting, a gas BBQ, grill and campfire. Communal kitchen prep area. Easy access outdoor bathroom with privacy and eco-friendly toilet. Water and electricity accessible (no hookups). Are you an artist, naturalist, tracker, researcher, or Indigenous biocultural practitioner? We are happy to accommodate special requests for spaces to draw, paint, do research, conduct Indigenous biocultural practice etc. How can we help you grow and support your connection to place? Find out what we do by visiting BorregoInstituteforLivingDesign.org or TEEMLab.com. Please note: this is a remote wilderness area, home to much wildlife, including bighorn sheep, coyotes, bobcats, even mountain lions and rattlesnakes (though we haven't see either of those), and a great deal of fascinating (but prickly) cactus. It is not suitable for pets, and young children should be closely supervised. Bring good shoes, drink lots of water, and stay out of direct sun.
Off-roading (OHV)
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3 ratings · 3 reviews
Kiyonna N.
May 27, 2024
Ironwood Grove 1
had awonderful windy desert weekend
Overall a positive experience. There was plenty of space for our pups to roam around and for there to be privacy from the other family camping there on our second night. The wind was a LOT the first two days! And we didn’t really find wind breaks to set up next to that weren’t in the common area for campers. However there was a spot that seemed to have an abandoned tent and mattress that might have been protected from the wind. The host was very communicative with directions to finding the site well! Which definitely helped because the coordinates from hip camp wasn’t correct. The location was nice and close to the town and the state park.
Ashley W.recommends
May 6, 2024
Ironwood Grove 2
Perfect place to unplug!
We spent booked our stay on Tamsin's land last minute and were had the best time reconnecting with nature. She provided detailed directions when finding the property and we enjoyed the scenic dirt road drive to the site. The space was very big and felt so private. The stargazing was unbelievable and the sunrise was even better. Can't wait to visit again soon!
Dani H.recommends
April 25, 2024
Ironwood Grove 2
It was a nice set up. Really windy but host was accommodating
Borrego Springs, San Diego, California, United StatesTraditional, ancestral territory of Xawiƚƚ kwñchawaay (Cocopah) and Ɂívil̃uwenetem Meytémak (Cahuilla) First Nations according to To respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking

Hosted by Tamsin W.

Joined in December 2016
Response rate: 40%Response time: Within 15 hours
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