In 2020, PLAYA is offering an Online Master Class Series inspired by the high desert and one on-site opportunity about the natural history of the Great Basin. 

The PLAYA experience is deeply rooted in connecting to the land and desert environment. Please join us in living as lightly as we can here. We are sharing recommendations that we ask you to review and be prepared to follow. And, of course, nothing is a substitute for your own common sense. We offer support as you use your own problem-solving as much as possible–it’s part of the experience. Excellent preparation in all ways makes for a smooth Oregon Outback experience, where supplies and services are limited.

Sustainability, or living lightly, is fundamental to the longevity of PLAYA and for the care of the earth. We minimize waste and impact as much as possible, and ask our guests to do the same. Please bring your own personal care products, join us in composting food waste, remember to be energy wise and water conscious. PLAYA is a transformative place, and it’s our privilege to take care of it while we are here.

PLAYA Provides

    • Comfortable furnishings
    • Drinkable Water
    • Linens, blankets, towels, washcloths, pillows, and a warm duvet
    • Kitchen equipment: sink, microwaves, full sized refrigerators, stove, pots, pans, dishes, silverware, glasses, knives
    • A drip-style coffee pot and paper filters
    • Washing machine and dryer
    • Domestic supplies: dish soap, hand soap, and toilet paper
    • All natural, biodegradable laundry detergent
    • Regular mail delivery and pick up (UPS & FedEx)
    • Phone for local and long distance calls within the US
    • Clean Cabins
    • A shared iMac desktop computer for email and limited Internet access
    • A safe, peaceful, quiet working and living environment
    • A beautiful landscape and immediate access to nature

Please Bring

    • Specialized professional equipment
    • Computer, printer, and paper
    • Writing materials and office supplies
    • Stationery and postage stamps
    • Art materials and supplies, tools, special paper, and inks
    • Art supply catalogs
    • Food and specialty kitchen supplies including spices, oils, and condiments
    • All required personal toiletries including body soap, shampoo, and conditioner
    • Good hand and body lotion as well as lip balm for our dry climate
    • Insect repellant
    • Sun screen and lotion
    • Good walking shoes or boots
    • Muck-proof shoes for venturing onto the playa
    • Good studio shoes or slippers for wooden floors
    • Comfortable, casual clothing that can be layered
    • Warm jacket, sweaters, long pants, warm hat, scarf, and gloves
    • Swimsuit, for use at the Summer Lake Hot Springs or Ana Reservoir
    • If you bring your bicycle, also bring extra tubes and repair tools
    • Flashlight/headlamp for night walks (and extra batteries)
    • Camera
    • Binoculars
    • Music and means to play it (limited CD players available)
    • Movies on DVDs (projector and screen in the Commons)
    • Credit/debit card
    • Alcoholic beverages, if desired

Please Do Not Bring

    • Pets 
    • Incense, candles, matches
    • Firearms
    • Incendiary devices including Cigarettes, pipes, 
    • Overnight guests are not allowed. All guests must be registered.

Check In: 4 pm  – Your cabin will be ready for occupancy at 4 pm. If you arrive early, you may wait in the Commons or explore the grounds.

Check Out: 10 am – Please prepare to vacate cabins by 10 am so staff can begin cleaning cabins

Arrival: When you arrive, park on or near the concrete pad outside of the Commons, the biggest and most central building on the property. Step inside the office to begin your orientation. Please do not drive to the doors of your cabins, on the grass, of off the car- sized gravel paths. 

If you arrive when the main gate is closed, please drive south to the next driveway east of the highway. If you see milepost 82 as you’re heading south, you’ve gone too far. Turn left into the driveway, see the sign for PLAYA straight ahead. You will see a white house on your right, .at the south end of the property. Turn north, away from the white house, continue past the shop, and drive to the front yard at the Commons building. 

When you arrive, a PLAYA staff member will help you check into your living quarters and give you a brief orientation to the Commons building, including the kitchen, library, and meeting rooms.

Departure: Please clear out of your cabin by 10 am. You’ll receive a checklist to help guide you through self check out.


If you are driving, use our directions (below). Please DO NOT use Google Maps, Mapquest, or GPS devices to locate PLAYA; they are often inaccurate or unreliable in this setting. PLAYA is on Highway 31 between mile markers 81 and 82, about 10 miles south of the Summer Lake Post Office.

Summer Lake Hot Springs, 11 miles south of PLAYA on Highway 31, has a website (www.summerlakehotsprings.com) that includes good driving directions from Bend, Eugene, Salem, Portland, Medford, and Reno as well as helpful driving tips.

If you are flying, the nearest airport is Bend/Redmond (RDM), 2.5 hours from PLAYA by car. You will find rental car agencies at the airport. In addition, there are two shuttle services that will transport guests to PLAYA from the airport one for around $175 (one way): Enviro Shuttle (541-598-5384, www.enviroshuttle.net). The other (more affordable option) charges $200 to fill 5 seats (one-way); VIP Taxi (541-233-8447, viptaxico.com). A bus service from Portland to Bend (cobreeze.com) is another travel option.

Respect and Quiet

Visits to the studios or living quarters of others are by invitation only. Guests may use the whiteboard in the Commons to extend hospitality; please don’t knock at another cabin unless you’re expected. Music must be played at a considerate level. Quiet hours are observed from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. or at the request of other guests.

In an emergency, call 911.

Zero Tolerance

To ensure that everyone can enjoy a peaceful and productive residency, Playa has a zero-tolerance policy on activity that violates general standards of decorum and decency. The use of illegal drugs or the abuse of alcohol is prohibited. Firearms, fireworks, or any other explosive materials are not permitted on PLAYA property. Unwanted sexual overtures or disruptive or entitled behavior may lead to the immediate termination of your stay.


Guests are not permitted to bring pets to PLAYA.

Smoking, Candles, Incense

PLAYA is a non-smoking facility. PLAYA’s buildings are also smoke and scent free. Burning candles, incense, or other materials in cabins or around the grounds is strictly prohibited.


Wildfire danger is very real at PLAYA. You will be told about the safe use of the fire pit outside the Commons and the outdoor BBQ grill. Please don’t leave either unattended. Campfires are not permitted anywhere on the property.


PLAYA amenities and facilities are intended for guests accepted through the registration process and are not to be extended to family members, friends, or other guests without prior permission from PLAYA’s Residency Manager or Executive Director. Visitor requests should be kept to a minimum and must be made at least 24 hours in advance. No overnight guests—no exceptions. 

The Summer Lake basin, in which PLAYA is located, is subject to storms and high winds. In the summer months, the temperature ranges from close to 90 during the day to 50 at night. In winter, the average highs are in the low 40s to mid-30s, and the lows may dip well below freezing. All seasons can vary in temperature and amount of precipitation. Don’t let the name fool you, winter comes to Summer Lake with gusto, and the wind can be strong in any season.  If your stay is during the cold months (November through March), be sure your vehicle is equipped with snow tires and carry chains.