Pilgrimage to Pando

PILGRIMAGE TO PANDO took place early September, 2018 and was a contemplative journey to the home of the largest living organism on Earth. It followed in the footsteps of the 2017 ROADTRIP TO PANDO, taking place in remote Fish Lake, UT in the south-central part of the state.

Pando Pilgrims are seekers of wisdom from across the greatest diversity. Lovers of nature. Enjoyers of great food. Nurturers in the company of others. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and atheists. Paiute, hunters, and ranchers. Scientists, ecologists, artists, writers, designers, and intellectuals.

Together, they undertook a journey of reflection and (re)imagination. To a site where everything you can see is part of the same rootball.

To learn more, check out the presentation deck.

Cabin at Fish Lake.


September 6-9, 2018

We spent three nights in cabins adjacent to the Pando grove — only this time, we secured them all, including the lodge (built of heavy timber in 1930).

Event guides were the Rev. Ed Bacon, Episcopal priest and author; the Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Buddhist priest and founder of the Center for Transformative Change, and Jihad Turk, imam and founder of the Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate School.

During the days, Ed, angel, and Jihad led us into a variety of contemplative and ritual experiences, in collaboration with leaders from other diverse traditions.

We spent time with the Pando grove and learned about its ways from chief scientist Paul Rogers and others focused on the ecology of the area. Legendary social impact designer John Bielenberg facilitated workshops focused on saving the Pando grove and extending the message of interconnectedness that it symbolizes.  John B. Cobb, Jr., pioneer at the intersection of philosophy, religion, and the environment, helped us keep the whole in philosophical perspective.


We conveniently leave from and return to Las Vegas, NV. On the way, we drive through the extraordinary Zion National Park, take short hikes in the area, and eat lunch at the Park lodge.

Day 1, Thursday , Sept 6

  • Travel by bus: Las Vegas, NV to Fish Lake, UT
  • View: Great western American landscape, via Zion National Park
  • Talks: Orientation and big-picture framing.

Day 2-3, Friday and Saturday, Sept 7 and 8

Combine exploration of the Pando grove on foot with contemplative and ritual experiences, talks, and workshops. Local food fest.

Day 4, Sunday , Sept 9

  • Early morning closing event.
  • Travel by bus: Fish Lake, UT to Las Vegas, NV.
  • Return to airport late afternoon for early evening departures.
Fireplace inside Fish Lake lodge.


How do I find out more about the Pando grove?

You can start by watching this short video. And check out the information about Pando on our webpage. Order the report from last year’s ROADTRIP TO PANDO here.

What’s the price?

$1,500, all-inclusive. Scholarship and sponsorship opportunities available.

What’s included in the cost of the ticket?

Once you get on the bus, it’s all-in: travel, food, accommodations, expert talks and facilitation. We pick you up in Las Vegas and take you back in time to catch a flight home.

Do I get myself to Vegas and cover my own costs in town?

Yes. You’re expected to cover your own costs of travel to and from Las Vegas, as well as your own room and board while you’re in Vegas. Note that we are recommending a Vegas hotel, which will be the single point of departure on Thursday morning, but an overnight stay is not mandatory. It will, however, ensure a convenient and on-time departure the next morning.

Where do we stay while visiting Pando?

You’ll be in cabin accommodations overlooking Fish Lake. Cabins are within easy walking distance, one to the other and to the main lodge. They are in beautiful settings and have their own fireplaces.

Accommodations are nice but not luxurious — it’s a pilgrimage, after all, to remote Utah. Cabins vary greatly in size and style and are shared. We encourage pilgrims to be open to sharing those bedrooms as well that have multiple beds, on an as needed basis and unless pilgrims specify otherwise. Bathrooms are not en suite.

What about food? Should we expect to bring our own?

You don’t need to bring a thing. We have a private chef on the team, and assistants. Because there are no restaurants in the area, and only one small general store, we’re planning to be self-sufficient. But with amazing meals.

All cabins have kitchens, however, which will be lightly stocked with snacks.

During the trip, everyone will be asked to help out with meal prep at one time or another — but it’s guaranteed to be a fun, interactive experience.

This sounds great, but what happens after the pilgrimage is over?

We see PILGRIMAGE TO PANDO as the launch into a Pando sense of belonging — a beginning, rather than culmination of anything. Lots of ideas will be generated on the trip, with which we’ll aim to follow up after our return.

Last year’s ROADTRIP TO PANDO resulted in any number of ideas which have since been launched — including a major new initiative. We expect PILGRIMAGE to be the same in this way.

Who is behind the pilgrimage?

We are! Pando Populus, and we’re doing it for our namesake. We’re working in collaboration with the Western Aspen Alliance. We expect other collaborating institutions soon to join.

More questions?

Email PILGRIMAGE Producer Amy Goldberg: ajgoldberg@verizon.net

Related Resources

Zen on the Trail explores the broad question of how to be outside in a meditative way.

Related Programs

Expedition: Pando


Outdoor adventure and hands-on preservation at the site of our namesake.

Roadtrip to Pando


Citizen-scientist adventure to save the largest living organism on Earth.