Steven Harper leads wilderness hiking workshops & retreats at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California; Tassajara Zen Center in the Santa Lucia Mountains of California, and Tribal Ground Circle near Aptos, California. These programs explore the inner and outer reaches of wilderness through ecopsychology, contemporary awareness practices, and wisdom traditions that encourage aliveness.


Now is the time to deepen our connection, understanding, and relationship with the natural world. I invite you to join me on a journey and let yourself be touched by the healing beauty of wild nature. This site shows a schedule of the public workshops I lead, descriptions about these courses, as well as a workshop journal and photos from previous workshops.

2018 Workshops & Retreats

2018 will mark 40 years of offering workshops at Esalen Institute. In 2018 I will be offering a variety of workshops and hiking adventures through Esalen, Tassajara, and Tribal Ground Circle that take advantage of the seasons, nature’s awe inspiring beauty, and a diverse range of co-leaders. Programs range from new workshops to old favorites—check them out: 2018 Schedule.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Esalen is OPEN. Highway 1 is open from the north. Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge opened October 13, 2107. Direct access from the south is blocked at Mud Slide and will be until late summer of 2018. There are still many options to get to Esalen if you are coming from the south. For more information about how to get to Esalen: Esalen Directions

While many of the programs I offer are through Esalen on the Big Sur coast, I also offer workshops at Tassajara Zen Center. Tassajara is deep in the Santa Lucia Mountains just east of Big Sur and is the oldest Zen Buddhist monastery outside of Asia. Tassajara is a unique extraordinary environment that I highly recommend — The Nature of Zen

All of last year's workshops booked full early with waitlists. I encourage you to book soon if you are interested in attending a workshop. If you are not able to make a program this year please let a friend know who might be interested. Word of mouth is how most people hear about my workshops. I appreciate all who have sent friends and family to my programs as well as those of you that keep showing up again and again.

Answers to most questions about the workshops can be found by reading the description and looking at the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. Please feel free to contact me should you find yourself with specific questions about any of the programs.

If you would like to learn more about the natural history of Big Sur and the central coast of California or the field of ecopsychology take a look at my published writings. Please take a moment to bookmark this site so you can return to see the latest updates.

Other News

My other work life is currently in non-wilderness environments teaching, facilitating, and designing collaborative change processes for corporate, non-profit, and public organizations. You can find more information about this part of my work at: Steven Harper Associates. This site is currently being rebuilt to add content and tweak the design.

My art work can be found at: Bear Creek Studios, Big Sur.

The rest of my time is actively engaged between family, writing, work on my land, and the stuff of living.


I am extremely grateful to all of you who have taken workshops and gone on hikes these last years. The time I have spent with you in wilderness has been profoundly rich and meaningful. I hope to see you again.

Warmest regards and may you have a happy and peaceful year.

Steven (Steve) Harper