Yurt Camping

Things to Do — By njensen on January 30, 2012 at 12:01 am

Idahoans are just as active in the outdoors during winter as we are the other seasons of the year. One of my favorite outdoor winter time activities is staying in a yurt. (They’re great in the summer, too, but in winter it offers the camping experience in a nice, warm yurt.) These are basically canvas-walled structures that come equipped with bunk beds, cooking supplies, a wood stove, and a few other basics. They do not have indoor plumbing, electricity, or heat.

Most yurts are accessible only by skiing or snowshoeing in from the park ‘n’ ski area. Meaning you have to carry all your supplies with you by sled or backpack. Some allow dogs, while others don’t.

Supplies you will need to bring include warm clothes in layers, warm boots, sleeping bag/pillow, food, propane if you want to cook on the gas stove, whatever other amenities you are willing to haul.

Fortunately in the winter, you don’t have to haul in your water. Instead, you gather snow and melt it on the wood stove for drinking and cooking water. Yeah, sometimes you drink a few pine needles in your tea, but it’s all good.

The toilets are outhouses.  I stayed in a yurt whose outhouse did not have a door, and you could look at a perfect, full moon (no pun intended) in the sky while you did your business. Part of the adventure, right?

Winter camping in a yurt is a great way to escape crowds, be warm and toasty, and still have plenty of time to get in all the snowshoeing/skiing you want.

Some yurts are government owned, and are usually cheaper, such at the Idaho City Yurts. The state also runs a few yurts located in state parks, and although these will not be remote, they might just be the thing for first-timers. Galena Lodge has three yurts you can access by skis or snowshoes in winter, hiking in summer. For a fully guided yurt trip, consider Sun Valley Trekking.





Tags: adventure, camping, skiing, snowshoeing, winter, yurts