The valley is a source of peace, beauty, perspective, and inspiration. Students often go out into the desert by themselves or with friends and faculty. It's always good to go horseback riding, and some would say even better to get out on a motorcycle or on a mountain bike. Many students go on solo overnight trips, which tend to be the most formative and intense ventures into the desert. Emergency equipment and outdoor training is available each year for students interesting in increasing their wilderness skills. Staff sometimes lead backpacking trips into the high California Sierras during fall break.
Students like to wander, but oftentimes they hike with destination in mind. If you were interested in a short hike, you'd probably make your way to the druid, a rock formation which lies at the crest that separates Deep Springs Valley from Eureka Valley. Michael Thom's cabin is also a nice place to go to get away for a little bit. It was built a few years back by Michael Thoms, DS98, and his classmates. It lies just behind the dairy, though it's high enough, and sunk just behind a ridge so as to be completely invisible from the college.
Deep Springers have compiled a directory of neat things to check out in the desert. The Horse Book is a collection of maps and hiking tips and trips that the adventurers of the past recommend for the adventurers at Deep Springs today.
More substantial hikes take students to Cow Camp or Robert's Ranch, both of which are about two days hiking from Deep Springs. It takes about two days to get up into the mines and the Lake Mountains as well.
In some years, students revive the traditional "Death March," an effort to hike around the entire rim of Deep Springs Valley in one week. A lot of planning goes into a hike that's this intense. Water has to be stowed in advance, and everyone on the trip has to train, but the perspective on the landscape of the place that one gains from such a trip is well worth the extra effort.