The facilities consist of a lodge, a cabin, a large camp for up to 16 people and a number of smaller camps, all of which are equipped with a tent, table, chairs, bed, kitchen facilities, cooking ware and solar shower. I stayed in Hawk’s Nest, which is one of these tent camps; it’s notched into the ridge top, hidden in trees, and faces rolling valleys with a panoramic view of Mount Shasta and the Trinity-Alps stretching across the horizon.
Campsites are also available for guests bringing their own tent and camping equipment. All the facilities are secluded from each other and visiting among them is by invitation only, so I was never disturbed.
Individual guests do their own cooking but meals can be prepared for groups. Some retreatants choose to observe silence during their stay, and grocery shopping can be provided for a nominal fee.
The accommodations are rustic. Lighting is by rechargeable battery-powered lanterns, and solar-powered electricity is available in limited supply. Privies, dirt roads and outdoor showers contribute to a simplicity of living that I found a welcome contrast to my usual life.
The most striking quality of the retreat center is the silence. The place is so peaceful! Except for an occasional airliner passing at high altitude, there are no sights or sounds of man to disturb the natural scene. During my stay, all I heard was birds and the wind in the trees.
Silver Springs Mountain Retreat is used primarily by mediators, and followers of all spiritual traditions are welcome. The center hosts groups retreats, workshops on healing and the arts, and accommodates artists and writers practicing their craft.