Young Adults Wilderness Rites of Passage – Dates TBD


Jun 1st, 2022 - Jun 1st, 2022 | Inyo Mountains - Big Pine, California | Siri Gunnarson

Dates and other logistics for this program are to be determined.
For all inquiries and interest:
Please contact Siri Gunnarson at [email protected]

Every summer the School of Lost Borders offers a wilderness rite of passage for young people ready to confirm their entry into adulthood. Nearly every culture on the planet shows evidence of a ceremonial marking of the passage from youth to adulthood, undertaken consciously and witnessed by the community. Without such acknowledgement how do young people know they have in fact crossed over into a new life-stage?

To recognize and mark the moment when one turns toward adulthood takes great courage. With the intention of finding and facing your deepest truths, your strengths and weaknesses, you turn toward the critical questions: “Who am I to be in the world?” and “What are my gifts?” The wilderness rite of passage is an opportunity to bring your whole being into contact with the natural world, including your concerns, your challenges, and the dreams only you can dream. 

The solo fast requires a willingness to live alone in the high desert of the Inyo Mountains for three days and nights without food and shelter. It is a valid confirmation of maturity, a seminal experience, in which profound bonds with inner and outer nature, self and community may be discovered. Each will come to and return from the solo time with a unique story to share and have witnessed in a story council. 

Program Overview: This eleven-day program is divided into three sections; severance, solo time, and incorporation. The first days are a time of separation from your daily life, physical preparation, and becoming clear on your intention for going out alone into the natural world. The threshold time is your solo time of three days and nights on the land. Finally, the days spent after the solo are the first days of your year-long incorporation experience, where you will learn to work with the gifts you bring to the new phase of life you are entering.

Program Questions Contact: Siri Gunnarson at [email protected]


TUITION: $800 - $1400

We have a sliding scale for our programs in an effort to make them accessible. Please pay what you are able and know that your generosity supports the affordability of all our programs. If you need financial support or a payment plan check out our scholarship fund.

Pay program deposit

This deposit signifies your commitment to the program and is deducted from the tuition balance. This is a non-refundable, non-transferable deposit that is required for enrollment.

Submit enrollment form

Once you have paid the program deposit, please fill out and submit the enrollment form below. After your enrollment form is complete, please submit all health and liability forms.

Submit Waitlist form

This program is full; however, you may add your name to the Waitlist by clicking the Waitlist button below.

Additional course details & Materials


The logistics of this program as still being determined.

For questions about this program, please contact [email protected]

You will be responsible for bringing your own food and equipment, though we can provide some gear if needed. We ask everyone to come prepared to live self-sufficiently. You will need to bring shelter and clothing suitable for a full range of inclement weather. 

To address safety concerns during the pandemic, please contact us regarding our current Coronavirus protocols as well as any current travel restrictions. These protocols may affect how you are able to travel to the program.

All participants must submit the required health and liability forms.

Following enrollment, please submit the Letter of Intent. We ask that you write a letter of intent at least a month before the program, stating your reasons for enrolling and what is calling you to attend.

If you have questions about the enrollment process contact us at [email protected] or call 760-938-3333.

Coming of Age in the Wilderness, A Handbook for Youth by Steven Foster & Meredith Little (included in tuition).

Although not required, the video Lost Borders: Coming of Age in the Wilderness by Kim Shelton, skillfully portrays the powerful dimensions of this experience.

All publications are available through Lost Borders Press.

We will gather in the eastern mountains of Payahuunadü (also known as the Inyo Mountains outside of Big Pine, California). These are the ancestral and contemporary lands of the Nüümü and Newe people.

To learn more about our commitment to regenerative relationships please visit Cultural Relations.

program guides