Vision Quest- Texas

Vision Quest: Terlingua, Texas. March 2018.



"The vision quest for me was an amazing adventure.  It truly helped to shift my path in the direction I hoped for without the fear of “what if”!   I loved how it quieted my mind on the mountain and amazingly that chatter has not returned.  Clearness truly comes from my heart not my head, I love that!  Thank you again for making this all possible!!!"  -Mary Lou, Arizona


Registration is now closed for these dates! 

Our next Vision Quest program is Sept. 8-15, 2018 on Manitou Island, MI.  Click Here for info.

Join fellow seekers March 3-10, 2018 for this powerful week of soul-visioning and self-discovery in the gorgeous Chihuahuan desert of southwest Texas. Led by Jeff Nixa and assisted by Jessica Merwin, the vision quest is a rare opportunity to experience one of the classic spiritual practices of our ancestors in a safe and heart-opening wilderness setting far from the noise and stress of city life, phones and TV.  The program will be held on a private, 150-acre desert mountain ranch near Big Bend National Park, Terlingua ghost town, and the beautiful Rio Grande River border regions.  Watch this short video to see an overview of our Vision Quest programs.

A “vision quest” is an ancient spiritual practice to clarify one's purpose and direction in life, a classic rite of passage common to many indigenous societies worldwide.  (See vision quest page for more.) This week-long program includes group preparation and support for two days and nights of solo fasting and prayer in the desert, to connect deeply with nature, receive healing, and get clarity on some question, struggle, or situation in one's life.  This program is ideal for persons navigating a big decision, a school, work or life transition, a relationship change or loss, spiritual questioning, or just feeling stuck, stagnant or uncertain in life.  Teachings and preparation are rooted in the time-tested spiritual wisdom of indigenous cultures in North America, Mexico, Ecuador and Peru.

The Vision Quest Weekx

The vision quest week is based out of a simple retreat house in the rugged Christmas Mountains area of southwest Texas, situated on the side of a beautiful mountain overlooking hundreds of acres of private land.  We spend several days together exploring the land and getting familiar with the wildlife, weather and ecosystem.  Group sessions around the campfire, rooted in the ancient curanderismo traditions of the Americas, teach participants about the vision quest tradition, the preparation and process necessary for a powerful and safe solo-quest experience during the middle portion of the week.  Upon return from the solo quest (up to 48 hours) we gather to rest and share a meal, process individual experiences, clarify the visions gained and the new directions forward for each person.  A powerful closing ceremony integrates the entire week's experience around a fire under the stars.  Our final day together is a fun recovery time, enjoying local touring options from a day trip into the historic Mexican border village of Boquillas, to hiking in Big Bend National Park, or just relaxing in the historic Terlingua Ghost Town.

Participants share the base-camp housing, meals, cleanup/chores, and ceremony together. Average health and mobility are necessary for this program, but wilderness camping experience is not required. A detailed gear and clothing packing list is provided in advance with information about food, meals, water, toilets, climate, weather, and more.  Experienced guidance is provided during the week on basic outdoor skills, safety measures, and peaceful relations with the desert wildlife.  (Note: March is an ideal month for outdoor desert activities in this region: average daytime temps in the 80's F., and their 'dry' season)

Group Leader

Jeff Nixa brings a lifetime of outdoor experience and 30+ years’ professional work in health care, spiritual care and counseling to this program.  (See About Jeff page.)  His shamanic teachers have included Sandra Ingerman, Mikkal Smith, Harner Foundation faculty, teachers in the Amazon jungle and Andes mountains, Lakota spiritual elders from the Great Plains, and Cree elders in Canada. 

Jeff's outdoor/wilderness program leadership includes:

  • Leader, Terlingua TX Vision Quest (Feb. 2017)Jeff cooking in BWCA
  • Leader, Manitou Island MI Vision Quest, Crow's Nest USA (2015)
  • Advanced Wilderness First Aid Certif., National Outdoor Leadership School
  • Assistant Guide, Renewal in the Wilderness Tours (2010-12)
  • Vision Quests (3)- Manitou Island, MI (2009-15)
  • Sea kayaking/coursework on Lake Huron, Michigan and Superior
  • Wilderness canoe camping, BWCA in Minnesota/Canada
  • Wilderness backpacking, Isle Royale and Yellowstone National Parks
  • Wilderness cross-country ski camping, Minnesota and Wisconsin


"Your energy and wisdom have guided us all through an extraordinary process of self-discovery that we will never forget, and will nourish our souls for the rest of our lives. From my work in the corporate world I know how hard it is to pull these sorts of events off, yet you have made it look effortless…the extent of your preparation, your knowledge and experience… and your complete belief in the power of the work you do."  -Giles Newman, British Columbia


Registration and Fees:
  • Early bird discount is $945. if received by Nov. 30, 2017.
  • Regular registration fee is $995. after Nov. 30th.
  • 50% of the full program fee (nonrefundable) due upon acceptance to hold your spot.  Balance due by Feb. 1, 2018.
  • Registration fee includes full tuition for the program, ranch lodging, and evening group dinners.  Does not include travel to/from our program site (see below for travel info). 
  • Deadline for inquiries and applications is January 30th, 2018.



Participants arrange their own transportation to and from our group meetup point in Alpine, TX (nearest town to our desert site).  The nearest major airport is Midland/Odessa airport (MAF) for those who choose to fly.  Rental cars, bus are available from the airport to Alpine, and a private shuttle/carpooling support will be available to pick up or guide people from Alpine to our desert site.  Full transportation information and shuttle details provided in the program materials upon acceptance, with additional support from Jeff and Jessica.  Contact Jeff for additional information.


Additional Info and Applications:

Contact Jeff now with questions or to request an application form! 


"Jeff’s teachings, guidance and preparation for the vision quest were invaluable.  The amount of stillness during the quest is simply profound.  There were times I struggled with my mind, boredom, hunger, and other times I felt immense peace and love towards myself and all beings. I sat with the elements for two days and two nights, and during that time they seeped into my bones and soul, and will always be a part of me. As I ended my journey I couldn’t help but feel a wise old sage had awakened in me, and I feel more connected to all things, people and places. I am forever grateful and forever changed.  Thank you."  -Jessica Merwin, Michigan.