February 09, 2017
Camping in a yurt is the best of both worlds - the beauty and peacefulness of time spent in the wilderness but with the added comfort a large permanent tent can offer. Winter camping in a yurt is especially fun - you'll be cozy and warm inside, but able to head into the great outdoors to enjoy pristine snowshoeing, skiing, and exploring. This is a unique Colorado experience with options that can work for anyone - from total luxury (catered meals & hand-delivered booze) to a taste of idyllic ranch life, to true back-country adventures where you'll need to melt snow for drinking water!
Here are 10 amazing Colorado winter yurt experiences that we're excited about!
This stunning yurt is located on 27 acres of private property, without another structure in sight. Enjoy the front porch view of the massive La Garita mountains and the 1,000 ft drop-off out the front door into beautiful East Willow Canyon, with its perennial waterfalls and cliffs. You will burn wood as your heat source and water is limited to melting snow in the winter (or what you bring with you). This is a true backcountry experience that you will never forget!
Location: Just north of Creede, Colorado in the San Juan Mountains of Central Colorado.
Check out the Tennessee Pass Yurts for a luxury yurt experience. They're off the grid, but offer solar lights, linens, kitchenettes, and are stocked with water. You can have your luggage delivered to your yurt, order catered meals, have beer and wine delivered, and conveniently rent outdoor equipment.
Location: 9 miles west of Leadville, accessible via 1 mile hike with about 300 ft of elevation gain.
(photo by Tim Gorley, source)
Winter stays in the yurts at the YMCA of the Rockies (Snow Mountain Ranch), near Winter Park, are a backcountry experience that's just a short walk from your car, and dogs are welcome here for a small fee. Bring your own blankets, sleeping bags, flashlights, etc, because the yurts are not heated and open flames are not permitted inside. The paths to the yurts are not shoveled during the winter, so you may need snowshoes to pass through the 100-200 ft long.
Location: near Winter Park, CO
Source Instagram via @YMCARockies
Are you looking for an adventure? This stunning yurt (actually part of a group of yurts run by the Southwest Nordic Center) requires a 4 mile ski or snowshoe trip to access. It's located at just over 10,000 ft in elevation and there's no running water or electricity. But you can get a woodfire roaring in the stove and melt snow to drink. Adventure!
Location: Southern Colorado, in the San Juan National Forest. Off 17, near Cumbres Pass.
And here's a video of a group of friends that spent a few days in the Trujillo Meadows Yurt. You can get a great feel for the place!
A collection of twelve yurts and one cabin make up this amazing destination. Each yurt requires a short hike to access (some as short as 1/3 mile), but the amount of pure privacy and natural beauty you'll get in return for your short hike in is hard to beat. Enjoy Colorado State Forest State Park's natural beauty, an abundant moose population, and great snowshoeing routes!
Location: 80 miles west of Fort Collins on Hwy 14, near Gould, CO.
This one is so unique, we just had to include it. This yurt is completely off the grid, and is located on a small camel dairy farm near the Great Sand Dunes National Park. During your stay in this rustic spot you'll have opportunity to meet the camels up close and personal and get a tour of the farm. Within close driving distance are two natural hot spring destinations.
Location: Moffat, CO. South of Salida, and near the Great Sand Dunes National Park.
This fully equipped yurt (think full private bathroom, shower, linens, and towels) offers sweeping views of the canyon, unparalleled star gazing, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Location: 40 miles south of Grand Junction on Hwy 141, in the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area
Here's a peaceful Youtube video of the Unaweep Canyon Yurt from sunrise to sunset, complete with birdsong and amazing views.
A cozy 700 sq ft yurt with a large wraparound redwood deck and abundant elk, deer, eagles, red tailed hawks, and blue herons. Enjoy exploring the western slope area and the frozen river, as well as the huge skylight, gas fireplace, and fully equipped kitchen inside.
Location: 3 miles west of Paonia near the North Fork of the Gunnison River
This one is not technically a yurt, although it does look just like a yurt! Located on 12 acres just outside of Monarch, near Salida, this round cabin offers two bedrooms and a loft that's perfect for games. There's a full kitchen, laundry, satellite TV, and more. Enjoy seclusion in a meadow, surrounded by the sounds of the South Arkansas River as well as sunsets over the Sawatch Range. The tongue and groove ceiling spirals twenty fieet high to a dome skylight, and is made from beetle kill pine.
Location: west of Salida, on Hwy 50, near Monarch
This luxurious yurt is located on an idyllic ranch filled with horses and heritage breeds of cows and pigs, near Aspen. The yurt backs up to BLM land that's filled with hiking and showshoeing trails galore, for abundant winter activities. You'll also have access to the barn, half of which has been converted to workspaces for artists and entrepreneurs. There's wifi, a shower, laundry, and long tables where you can sit and chat with others. Enjoy the cozy feeling of ranch life, but know that Carbondale is a short 10 minute drive away.
Location: 3 miles off Hwy 82, just north of Carbondale
If you enjoyed the post, check out some of our other Colorado adventure round-ups.
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January 27, 2021
December 04, 2020
The majesty of Colorado's Sawatch Range. Words & photography by Wilder Ruth.