How Monkey Valley got its name

Welcome to Monkey Valley, British ColumbiaWhere are the monkeys?

Monkey Valley is a place where you can reconnect with nature, both outer and inner. For many years I operated a retreat centre here, offering programs to support this process of reconnection, such as vision fast retreats and medicine wheel teachings.

Monkey Valley is located in the wilderness of beautiful British Columbia. The property encompasses 160 acres of wild forested land, with a varied terrain of hills and meadows, and a silvery creek meandering through the valley. In the summertime you can hike or reflect quietly amid the abundance of birds, wild flowers, and woodland creatures. In winter the land is snow-clad, providing beautiful, pristine cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Creek in green afternoon at Monkey Valley Retreat CentreHidden in the northern foothills of the Cascade mountain range, between Merritt and Princeton, close to Missezula Lake and the Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park, the elevation at Monkey Valley is about 3,300 feet (1,100 metres). Aspen, lodgepole pine, fir, and ponderosa pine grace the hillsides.

There are no monkeys at Monkey Valley, but guests have glimpsed moose, deer, beaver, coyotes, foxes, yellow-bellied marmots, grouse, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, and many other birds and small woodland creatures.

Karen, your host, amidst the rocks at Monkey ValleyI’m Karen, steward of the land and director of the retreat centre. I fell in love with this land before I even saw it, when a realtor showed me pictures and described the wildness of it. When I first saw it I knew I wanted to create a retreat centre here, so that others could come enjoy the amazing untamed beauty of this place.

My partner at the time, Hugh, helped me install solar power and hot water. It took us two years to do this, and during this time we travelled back and forth from Vancouver with my cat, Monkey.

One evening Monkey went missing. We had to get back to the city the next day, and couldn’t find Monkey anywhere. Sadly, we left without him. To our great surprise, when we returned two weeks later, Monkey emerged from under the porch, looking sleek and well-fed.

Monkey is dubious about this home-made mousetrapThis might seem like no big deal, but for the first seven years of his life Monkey was strictly an indoor cat. To survive by catching his own food for two weeks (and to avoid being killed by coyotes or great horned owls) was an amazing feat for a city-slicker cat. This was a remarkable demonstration of how we are hard-coded to be part of the natural world, even though we may grow up in cities and know little of nature’s ways. We named Monkey Valley in his honour.

Whether or not the new owners of Monkey Valley operate a retreat centre, or even keep the name, I know you will enjoy many adventures on this beautiful land.

This entry was first published July 20, 2008. I’ve made a few edits and moved it to the first page to help potential buyers know a bit of the history of the place.

Monkey Valley is a self-sufficient, off-grid home and 160 acres. It is probably the most unique solar-powered home for sale in BC right now. It is a very private property located in the wilderness near Aspen Grove, BC, between Merritt and Princeton. The closest lakes are Kentucky Lake, Alleyne Lake, Loon Lake, and Missezula Lake. In fact, if you follow Shrimpton Creek south from the property line, Missezula Lake is less than a mile away. This very private property offers a sustainable, green home and acreage that you can live in year-round, or use as a vacation or recreational property. It is also an ideal investment property, as the land only increases in value and it is extremely rare to find such a private, pristine property so close to Vancouver and Kelowna. Rural land for sale is common enough, but to find a quarter section of fully fenced ranch land with no neighbouring properties is very unusual. The fencing, 5,000-square-foot barn, year-round creek, and grassland make it an ideal horse property. This remote acreage also has timber that can be logged, and it is surrounded by crown timber land. The 3-bedroom house is one-of-a-kind, blending an old-fashioned log cabin with a modern addition that offers all the comforts of solar power, cell phone service, and internet. The home, barn, and outbuildings are clad in country-style board-and-batten of Princeton fir. If you’re looking for creek-front real estate, you’ll love this home that’s more peaceful than most waterfront properties. Sound carries over water, so if you share a lake with neighbours, it’s never fully peaceful and quiet. This ecoproperty is the only land for sale near the Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park, and it is fully accessible for RVs. This could be a holiday property for a group of families who enjoy RVing in the wilderness. This unique character property is located at the north end of the Cascades foothills, in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.

6 thoughts on “How Monkey Valley got its name”

  1. Hi Karen – I had to leave the STC meeting before we could finish talking about your Monkey Valley Retreat Centre so I decided to learn more by visiting the website. It looks fabulous – I now understand why you seemed passionate about it. And I loved the story of Monkey’s survival. He’s a slender version of my own domestic black and white short-hair, Smeagol. Good for you for having the courage to pursue your dreams. ~ Dee

  2. Hi Dee,

    Thanks for visiting the virtual Monkey Valley. I love your cat’s name–Smeagol. That was the gollum’s name, wasn’t it? I’m guessing he’s a big fellow! The blog posting Adventures of the Donald talks a bit about my current cat. Good luck with the Print Futures program, and pursuing your own dreams!


  3. I get the idea around the connection to nature and the instincts that are always within our capacity- with few exceptions, and your “Monkey” was not an exception.

    The land is paradise and as I overheard some one or read somewhere “the only thing that can be removed from the eco system that will not cause harm is a human” (unknown), therefore we need to work with in the system and not try to have it work for us, but we must work with it.

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