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.
Hidden 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.
I’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.
This 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.