During this “Covid world,” our travel options are limited and it seems as though people are camping more. If you are trying to “get away,” a crowded campground may not be the peace you are looking for.
Of course, maybe it’s been awhile since you camped, and investing in a tent and all the gear doesn’t appeal. But don’t despair! You have another choice – a yurt!
What’s a yurt? It’s like a permanent tent, but round with a conical roof.
Yurts can be rented all over the world. They are a great way to be outdoors, but offer a little more comfort than a tent. No sleeping on the floor, a little more space, more protection from weather and a little more comfort overall.
Like many of you, our grand summer plans (a road trip from New Mexico to California) were canceled. It wasn’t until late July that we finally ventured out to go camping near Taos, New Mexico. (We also decided we weren’t going to venture out of the state for now.)
After that one outing, we were itching to head out again, but decided to splurge a little. Hotels are also off the table for us by choice, so our splurge was staying in a yurt at Enchanted Forest near Red River, New Mexico – something we have talked about for years, but never got around to.
We are familiar with Enchanted Forest after having skied there for years. We also knew going in, it was going to be a hike to get to the yurt (almost 2 miles). So we packed our big packs, my daughter’s Elsa backpack, and our cooler and headed for the hills.
Before we left, we received a detailed email with all the items already included in the yurt, like a cooler, games, dish soap, dishes, silverware and most importantly lots of water.
Upon arrival there was a heavy duty wagon waiting for us to help carry any items to our yurt. This was nice to have, but really it just meant we carried more than we needed simply because my daughter (age 5) was excited to pull it. No need to check in with anyone as we had a code for the key box at the yurt and a map and details had been emailed to us.
Surprisingly, my tough little girl did not complain all the way up the hill – even at 8,671 ft elevation! She was super excited about staying in a yurt, but a little disappointed when we arrived because the yurt had only one room!
My husband and I were quite pleased. We had a fire pit, a lovely abode complete with beds, a good space for cooking (a three-burner camp stove) and lots of peace and quiet.
During the three days we were there, we saw very few people and most of them were on horseback for a trail ride. We felt like we had the place to ourselves even though one of the larger huts was also booked. (These yurts are spaced out enough to feel private.)
Our yurt had a real door, hardwood floors covered by a carpet, a circular skylight at top, beds, real windows, a folded table we could pull out to the deck or fit inside, and two lounge chairs to use outside. They did ask that if you were cooking meat, to cook it outside so the smell didn’t remain in the yurt and attract animals. Outside there was plenty of wood to make a fire. (And if it got cold at night, there was a wood burning stove inside the yurt!)
We really enjoyed our getaway. We had peace and quiet and were surrounded by beauty. My daughter enjoyed greeting the resident chipmunk each morning (whom she named “Nelly”) and the deer that roamed near our yurt (apparently also named “Nelly”). We were warned about bears, but no sightings.
We hiked, we played all the games in the yurt (Uno, Skipbo and more), we read books, we roasted marshmallows and we just enjoyed being together.
Our yurt was a few steps up from a tent, but it was rustic. We could hear a mouse at night scurrying around inside and had an outdoor port-a-potty. However, yurts run from rustic like ours to serious glamping, it just depends on where you are and what you are looking for. We could rent a larger one and invite friends to join us, but with Covid that’s not what we wanted this time. A small yurt was a great and affordable option for us.
If you need to get away and don’t want to leave your state, take a look and see what you might find. Cabins may also be an option.
The yurt we stayed in is part of Enchanted Forest Yurts (near Red River, New Mexico).
Yurt rental fees can be as low as $50/night and go up from there depending on how luxurious the yurt is and where it is. For other examples of yurt stays from Florida to Ohio and Utah to Oregon, Canada and Europe see below:
- Check out this yurt trip at Torreya State Park, Florida from Lauren of Outdoorsy Diva.
- Here are some in Ohio that look great.
- Cabins and Yurts in Oregon State Parks.
- Yurt rentals through Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
- This site takes a little digging, but offers links to yurt rentals across the US and Canada, plus other interesting accommodations (like staying in a train caboose!): Oddinns.com.
- Yurts can also be rented through Airbnb and VRBO. This article gives a roundup of the best of those yurts across the U.S.
- Planning a trip to explore Europe? There are yurts there too!
- There are lots of other fun options that are more like glamping, like these wilderness tents in Mt. Shasta, California.
The above is hardly a comprehensive list. If you don’t find what you are looking for above, search for “yurt” and where you want to go. I bet you’ll find some options you never knew existed!
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