High in the California desert, southeast of the Sierra Nevadas and north of Death Valley, the remote, all-male liberal arts school known as Deep Springs College is tucked away between two mountain ranges.
The 100-year-old institution, founded by mining and electricity tycoon Lucien Lucius Nunn in 1917, has achieved near-mythic status. In the rugged, open landscape of the Deep Springs Valley, with the closest gas station or motel an hour away, its tiny all-male student body is schooled in more than just academics. Here, they’re also learning to be ranch hands, alfalfa farmers, and high-minded gentlemen.
The school is something of an intentional refuge from the wider world: It operates on a cashless basis, and there is no television, no alcohol or drugs, no cell phone reception, and only limited internet access.