Self-Directed Residencies

Self Directed Residencies are for adults seeking time and space to immerse in their creative or scientific work in an inspiring landscape and campus. Self-Directed Residencies are fee-based. They have the form of a residency without the formal application process and are more flexible and open for individual needs.

Self Directed Residencies arrivals are always on a Thursday with flexible departures. They start at a minimum of 2 nights and, during certain times, can last up to 10 nights. Along with time to focus on creative and/or scientific work, Self Directed Residencies also give participants the opportunity to connect with the other creative and scientifically minded people on campus and experience aspects of the Summer Lake Valley through Friday evening gatherings and Saturday presentations, field trips and/or hikes.

PLAYA sits at the foot of Winter Ridge at the edge of a 10 mile wide, 20 mile long intermittent desert lake. The subtle hills, striking rock formations and captivating light nourish and stimulate new ideas and fresh thinking. Cabins are free of internet and with uninterrupted views allow for deep focus on projects. Along with cabins, studio rentals are also available.

Click HERE to view cabin and studio offerings and rates.

To begin your reservation, please click HERE.

Map of PLAYA campus



A Self Directed Residency is the right fit for you if:

  • You crave time to focus on your photography, writing, research, painting
  • You are looking for time and space in a supportive environment free of distraction from daily life in order to tackle a creative or scientific project.
  • You believe your work could be inspired in a wide open desert landscape.
  • You are in need of a change of new scenery to enliven your work.
  • You are independent and will thrive in an isolated environment.

A Self Directed Residency is NOT the right fit for you if:

  • You need services such as a nearby grocery store, restaurants or coffee shops (all cabins have kitchens or kitchenettes).
  • You are looking for a vacation with family and friends.
  • You need to bring your pet.
  • You expect guest services such as a concierge or front desk clerk on-call 24/7.
  • You rely on high speed internet.

* Cancellation policy: Six or less days before arrival NO refund; seven-14 days before arrival 50% refund; 15-28 days before 75% refund.

* We will honor all cancellation requests  at any time due to covid or wildfires and/or smoke. 





Available 2021 Self-Directed Residency Arrival Dates:

    • Dec. 2 – cabins #4, 5, 6 (4 night max) 
    • Dec. 9 ( 4 night max) Cabins #9, 10, Diablo and Wildcat available

2022 Self-Directed Residency Dates will be announced early 2022.