The High Desert Center


    • Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
    • Destinations: Mexico, United States, Guatemala
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Credit Awarded: None
    • Program Length: Academic Year
    • Start Month: September
    • Category: Outdoor Adventure
    • Selective: No
    • Gender: Coed
    • Ages: 17, 18, 19+, 19
    • Housing: Cabins, Homestay, Tents
    • Application Fee: $50
    • Financial Aid: Not Available, Work Study
    • Minimum Cost: $5,000 - $9,999
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    This nine months of action-packed learning is designed for adverture-seeking folks between the agesof 17 and 23. The The High Desert Center Gap Year is an affordable program for young adults who are looking for adventure, practical experience, community and a sense of purpose.

    The High Desert Center is homespun and informal.  We inspire rather than coerce.   We dumpster dive and challenge you to be real.  We get dirty. We think big.  We teach the skills that change your life, like how to make everyday life an adventure, how to take care of yourself, how to make a difference, how to connect.  

    Our participants don’t want to sign up for a program; they want to create the program.  They don’t want rules; they want choices and opportunities.

    How do you want to lead your life?  

    The High Desert Center specializes in helping you figure that out and begin doing it.  


    Cost and Session Information

    The High Desert Center currently offers year Gap year programs that run from September through May.  Cost $8250.



    Reviews (4)

    • Consider this program if you're looking for a big change!
      stars stars stars stars stars
      Reviewed on 22/10/2017 by vonmilla

      Living among a group of people for a year is an experience unmatched, and taught me so much about myself and my interactions with others. The staff encouraged me to leave my comfort zone behind and strive to find the parts of life that truly inspired me. I left with the skills and experiences necessary to be a happy and confident member of the world and for that I will always be grateful. I got really inspired about partner dance, made a lot of connections, and these days I'm getting job offers to teach my passion.

    • Transformative Year
      stars stars stars stars stars
      Reviewed on 30/10/2017 by Hero KB
    • stars stars stars stars stars
      Reviewed on 21/10/2017 by Cori
    • HDC 2014-15 Southwestern Gap Year
      stars stars stars stars stars
      Reviewed on 21/10/2017 by Rae

      I was tired of going to college - being surrounded by students who didn't want to be there, professors who didn't want to either, and I decided to be done with it. Soon after that I found out about the HDC gap year, and after reading everything I could on the website, I got so excited about going. It seemed to provide the community and meaning that I felt I was missing in my life. And it turned out to be true. My group had it's challenges, but we became a second family because of it. It became difficult to make decisions when everyone wanted something different, but after a lot of trial and error we started to get the hang of consensus. Even when things were hard, I always felt like I had support and love from everyone. I realized while I was there that I always want to live in a large group. While on the program I got the support to go out and try new things, from traveling on my own with little budget and the faintest outline of a plan, to backpacking the canyons of the southwest. I love this place and these people so much and I just keep coming back. I'm forever grateful for the friends I've made here, and the experiences I've had. I think it's even safe to say the High Desert Center has made a bigger impact on my life, than anything else I've ever been a part of.

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