Getting to the Garchen Buddhist Institute

The Garchen Buddhist Institute is temporarily closed.  

Driving to the Institute

Driving from Phoenix

If you are driving north up from Phoenix you will eventually take State Route 89 north into Chino Valley. The closest landmark to Perkinsville Road is the Safeway, Chino Valley location.

Perkinsville Road is the first major round-a-bout you will get to. Bear right at the round-a-bout and once you hit Perkinsville set your odometer to 9.5 miles.

Driving from Flagstaff

If you are driving from Flagstaff you will take I-40 west, then exit 146 for Ashfork/Prescott and State Route 89 south. You will stay on 89 south all the way to Chino Valley, where you will turn left onto Perkinsville Road, from a roundabout.

The closest landmark to Perkinsville Road is the Shell gas station and McDonalds, Chino Valley location. The round-a-bout is immediately after the Shell. Take the third exit off of the round-a-bout, Perkinsville Road. Set your odometer to 9.5 miles.

The 9.5 Mile Journey on Perkinsville Road – (by the way it’s beautiful)

The pavement will end and Perkinsville Rd. will become a dirt road.

At this point, please DO NOT use your GPS! It will absolutley, definitely, place you in an empty cow field immediately below the Institute and tell you that you have arrived, though the Institute is high up on the ridge above you. We have rescued many people from this cowfield! Please trust us, please turn off your GPS, and follow the simple driving instructions below!

You will stay on Perkinsville Road all the way to our entrance.

You will pass three landmarks before encountering the Garchen Buddhist Institute gate, all on the RIGHT SIDE of the road. They are:

  1. First, a Cemex cement factory
  2. Next, a sign that says Livestock Auctions
  3. Finally, you will see a Ranch with a red house, a windmill and a Large White sign with Red Lettering, which reads: “Danger: Cattle Crossing”.

If you have not passed all three of the landmarks, you have not made it yet!

We are about one minute past the Ranch, on the right-hand side of the road. You can’t miss us: A large Turquoise sign with red lettering; short stone pillars with vertical prayer flags.


On the paved portion of Perkinsville Road, at all hours of the day or night and any day of the week you may encounter a police car hiding in wait for speeders.If you are going over 5+ miles over the speed limit you may be stopped and cited. If you are going over 20 miles an hour over the speed limit you may be cited for criminal speeding and the fine is around $400 dollars. The speed limit on the first half of Perkinsville Road is 30mph.

Flying to the Institute

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Most of our guests fly into PHX, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Please note that from PHX, you will need to take Groome Shuttle to Prescott (book to the shuttle main office on Montezuma). You’ll then need to arrange for a taxi to the Institute. See below for all the information you need to do this. The entire trip from PHX to the Institute will take about 3 hours.

Prescott Regional Airport

30 minutes from the Garchen Institute, tiny Prescott Regional Airport now hosts United airlines flights. Depending on the flight, the cost to fly to Prescott is equivalent to the cost to fly into Phoenix, when you also factor in the cost of the shuttle and the taxi. We have also found that booking two one-way tickets to/from Prescott is significantly less expensive than booking one round trip ticket. Google Flights often has the best rates. Book mindfully – some flights to Prescott Regional Airport have long layovers and take 23 hours!


Taking the Shuttle to/from Phoenix Airport

Step 1–Groome Shuttle

Groome Transportation provides shuttles from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Prescott, the nearest city.  To reserve a seat on the shuttle, call 800-888-2749 or 928-350-8466 or make a reservation OnLine. When you book your shuttle, be certain to choose the Prescott Main Office on Montezuma.

If you take the shuttle from Phoenix to Prescott, you will still need to arrange for transportation from Prescott to Garchen Institute in Chino Valley.  Options are getting a ride with another retreatant, or taking a taxi.

Step 2–Taxi Service from Prescott to Garchen Institute

  • First Class Taxi – $75 flat rate to/from Groome Shuttle Main Office on Montezuma in Prescott or Groome Shuttle Kiosk in Prescott Valley. Please say ‘Garchen Institute Flat Rate’ upon reservation. ALSO…. New from First Class: You can call them for pick up from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport! 2 to 6 people = $200 flat rate. 1 person = $150 flat rate. You must call at least 2 days before arrival for this service. Call (928) 772-3000

Rideshare to the Institute

Those who wish to ride share and carpool are suggested to use the site: and set up a listing under “Garchen Institute” This is not managed by GBI but given as an option for those wishing to co-ordinate their own efforts.