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Our Story


Shadowcliff is a not-for-profit organization. Our mission is, “An eco-friendly mountain sanctuary where together we are creating a climate for a restorative world.” As a sanctuary, we provide a safe place for personal and community retreat and renewal. At Shadowcliff, we educate and encourage others to reconnect with the natural world and ask questions about choices that we make during our lives. We provide this educational message to all of our guests, especially through our groups and educational workshops, many of which are conducted by Shadowcliff faculty.

It is also important to our mission that we provide an affordable and meaningful experience to all of our guests. And, while we educate, we also learn much from our guests and from the natural world around us.

A Dream, A Vision, A Prayer

The Shadowcliff story begins with a tent and a campsite on the banks of the North Inlet stream. In 1956, Patt and Warren Rempel dreamed of building a simple, rustic lodge and purchased two lots on the North Inlet stream in order to fulfill this dream. Inspirational morning meditations on a promontory, which overlooked Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Lake, served as the source of the dream which became Shadowcliff. After a year or two of tent camping by the stream the Rempels purchased the remainder of the land and began the first building project in 1959. By 1981, construction of the main buildings was completed through the efforts of approximately 650 volunteers from 42 countries.

This volunteer tradition continues as more than 100 volunteers participate each year in a variety of ways including work projects throughout the month of May (pre-season opening) and throughout the regular season. The Rempel family and volunteers from all over the world created Shadowcliff as a mountain sanctuary. During the last decade the mountain sanctuary has also become a source of education, strategic planning and inspiration teaching nature’s sustainability principles to individuals, businesses and governments.

In the years that followed, two lodges, three cabins and our classroom (the Chapel) were built. More than 650 volunteers from 42 different countries combined their talents and labors to build Shadowcliff—a place to reconnect with the natural world. Over the years, Shadowcliff has also become a source of education, strategic planning and inspiration, teaching nature’s sustainability principles to individuals, businesses and governments.

Shadowcliff is a magical place, a spiritual place, and a place full of energy and life—from the North Inlet Stream, to the wind, the powerful sun, and mighty summer storms to the trees, wildflowers, and abundant wildlife that surround us and frequent our grounds to our guests who come from all over the world to live, learn, reflect, share, gain understanding, reconnect and have fun. We look forward to your visit.

See photos of the people and place that make up Shadowcliff on our Flickr page or follow us on Facebook.