Yurts, slugs, and life in a temperate rainforest

By on May 1st

We've talked about Sacred Groves before — it's Ariel's mama's land in Western Washington that used to be an intentional community. But it's worth revisiting, since I just got back from the Offbeat Retreat with fresh photos and new stories. Sit back and dream your way through this quickie home tour.


The road leading to Sacred Groves is very blink-and-you-miss it. It's tucked behind a row of country mail boxes — AFTER you take the ferry to Bainbridge Island, and drive through a bit of town.

But when you find it, you know it.

There's a clearing in roadside trees and space to park a couple of cars in front of a handbuilt fence twirled with ribbons, baubles, and flowers.

Beyond the gate is the main round house.

To the left, you can see the MOON YURT! It's the baby round house where Caroline and I bunked. Go team Moon Yurt!

If you follow the path beyond the gate and behind the houses, you'll reach the inner courtyard of the main Sacred Groves complex — equipped with garden plots, another yurt (Sun Yurt!), a cozy cabin, and several utility sheds.

But let's step inside the house for a bit! The outside environment at Sacred Groves is AMAZING — but it's huge and hard to represent on the Internet. The round house is just as magical — and way easier to photograph.

So, I'm a full round-house convert! The bulk of the household exists in the center of structure, in communal space, and there are a few more-private spaces surrounding the main room.

The communal space is so very re-configurable. For us it was a dining room, office, conference room, dance hall, lounge…

There were only a few pieces of furniture we didn't move in that room during our stay — and it was so impressive because the space didn't feel like it was in flux. The communal space of a round house is a transformer.

And oh, these windows. One big view of a very green forest.

Bonus bathroom photo!

Of course we traipsed through the woods, too. Sacred Groves would be an offbeat home even if it WASN'T an intentional community full of people exploring self-improvement and compassion — even if it wasn't a series of highly unusual living structures — simply because of the temperate rainforest where it's situated.

Ariel gives great tours, did you know that? Here, we learn all about Sacred Groves' composting system, in between visiting other homes within the 10 acre community (like the log cabin and other structures.)

Anyone else have a labyrinth in their backyard?

OR A SLUG??

Sacred Groves

The verdict on Sacred Groves: 100% awesome. Completely offbeat, tuned to its inhabitants' needs, and wholly welcoming.

Sacred Groves has transitioned from an intentional community to a full time B&B/retreat space. You can book a night in Moon Yurt through AirBNB yourself!



About Cat Rocketship

I was the Managing Editor of Offbeat Home for a year and a half. I have a rich Internet life and also a pretty good real life. Hobbies include D&D, Twitter, and working on making our household more self-reliant. I also draw things.