Everything You Need to Know About Yurts in Colorado & Wyoming

Think your days of rustic outdoor lodging are gone with the season? Consider adding a yurt stay to your deck of outdoor adventure cards. While plenty of people tent camp in the winter, yurts add an element of cozy comfort without losing complete sense of the term, “roughing it.”

What is a Yurt?

A yurt is a circular tent traditionally made by wrapping felt or animal skins around a latticework wood or bamboo frame. These collapsible and transportable shelters were originally used by Mongolian herders and other tribes in Central Asia. More recently permanent yurts made from modern materials, such as canvas and radiant insulation (think walls lined with thick space blankets), have been popping up around the United States.

Yurts are popular year-round, but since their original purpose was to act as well-heated tents, why not test their warming capabilities in the coldest of months? The modernized versions of these shelters are often equipped with beds, a table and other modern conveniences. If you’re into showers and indoor toilets, you might want to consider a cabin instead.

Fun Facts to Tell Your Friends: We get the term yurt by combining the Turkish word “jurt” and the Russian word “yurta,” both of which mean dwelling. If we were using the Mongolian term for home, these shelter would be called “gers.”

Colorado State Park Yurts

While you can find a number Colorado yurts through Airbnb and other lodging companies, I’m only going to focus on the yurts available in state parks. These yurts are usually more affordable and less luxurious than others you can find online.

Please note that Colorado State Park yurts are often part of the park’s campgrounds. Water is not available within yurts during the winter months but is often available nearby. Yurts owned by Colorado State Parks do not feature stoves and do not allow cooking inside of yurts except for during times of inclement weather.

If you’re looking for a simple, warm place to sleep after a day of snowshoeing or skiing in the mountains, try a yurt in one of these Colorado State Parks.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park Yurts

Colorado Yurt
Courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife

The proximity to Denver Makes Golden Gate Canyon State Park a popular spot for a quick weekend trip. This park features a number of snowshoe trails in the winter, or you could spend the weekend rock climbing if the weather is mild.

Location: 30 miles northwest of Denver

Hike to Yurt in Winter: Walking distance from parking is minimum.

Number of Yurts: 2

Max Occupancy: 6

Amenities: 2 sets of  bunk beds (one twin & one double), gas heating, electric lights, table, chairs, counter-top, closet rack, 2 electrical outlets, outdoor fire ring, outdoor grill. Flush toilets and running water available at nearby Reverend’s Ridge campground.

Pets: Allowed in yurt #1 for an additional $10/night

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Cost: $10 registration fee + $7 park entrance fee/vehicle + $80/night

Make Reservations: http://ow.ly/tvmE30fPzvI

Mancos State Park Yurts

Colorado Yurt
Courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Tucked in Colorado’s southwest corner, you might consider spending a long weekend in this park to make it worth your while. Mancos State Park is located near Mersa Verde National Park and the Four Corners (for those of you who dream of hopping between Colorado, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico).

Location: 370 miles southwest of Denver, in San Juan National Forest

Hike to Yurt in Winter: Walking distance from parking is minimum.

Number of Yurts: 2

Max Occupancy: 6

Amenities: 1 set of twin-sized bunk beds, 1 double-sized futon, 1 queen-sized futon, propane fireplace, microwave, mini-fridge, electric lights, table, chairs, electrical outlets, outdoor fire ring, outdoor grill. Drinking water and pit toilets available at nearby campground.

Pets: Allowed for an additional $10/night

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Cost: $10 registration fee + $7 park entrance fee/vehicle + $80/night

Make Reservations: http://ow.ly/V58330fPD8R

Pearl Lake State Park Yurts

Colorado Yurts
Courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife

This state park is 26 miles straight north of Steamboat Springs, which could make it the perfect getaway if you want to enjoy a secluded stay after a day of downhill skiing and hot spring soaking.

Location: 200 miles northwest of Denver, in Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest

Hike to Yurt in Winter: 0.5 mile snowshoe/cross-country ski (late October – late May)

Number of Yurts: 2

Max Occupancy: 6

Amenities: 2 sets of bunk beds (top twin-sized, bottom double-sized futons), electric heat, electric lights, table, chairs, outdoor fire ring, outdoor picnic table, outdoor cooking platform. No running water available during winter months.

Pets: Allowed in yurt #16 for an additional $10/night

Minimum Stay: 1 night, 2 nights May 1 – November 30

Cost: $10 registration fee + $7 park entrance fee/vehicle + $80/night

Make Reservations: http://ow.ly/V58330fPD8R

Ridgway State Park Yurts

Colorado Yurts
Courtesy Colorado Yurt Company

Ridgway State Park is surrounded by the gorgeous Sneffels Range, ensuring that your yurt will be tucked into a towering mountainside. The park is located near Ridgway and Ouray, Colorado, both of which have a number of snowshoe trails to choose from. Bonus points for Ouray if you’ve ever considered ice climbing; this mountain town features a seasonal ice park that boasts over 200 routes.

Location: 314 miles southwest of Denver

Hike to Yurt in Winter: Walking distance from parking is minimum.

Number of Yurts: 3

Max Occupancy: 6

Amenities: 1 set of twin-sized bunk beds, 2 queen-sized futons, propane fireplace, microwave, mini-fridge, electric lights, table, chairs, outdoor fire ring, outdoor grill. Drinking water and dumpsters available nearby. Pit toilets available for all to use next to yurt #10.

Pets: Allowed in yurt #14 for an additional $10/night

Minimum Stay: 2 nights

Cost: $10 registration fee + $7 park entrance fee/vehicle + $80/night

Make Reservations: http://ow.ly/TQDc30fPL2z

Sylvan Lake State Park Yurts

Colorado Yurts
Courtesy Colorado Parks & Wildlife

Sylvan Lake State Park yurts are only available mid-May through mid-November. Located about an hour southwest of Vail, this park is surrounded by beautiful mountains and a number of hiking trails. A fall or summer yurt stay in this park would make for a memorable experience.

Location: 140 miles west of Denver

Hike to Yurt in Winter: Yurts unavailable in winter months

Number of Yurts: 3

Max Occupancy: 6

Amenities: 1 set of twin-sized bunk beds, 2 futons, propane fireplace, solar lighting, storage cupboard, table, chairs, outdoor fire ring, picnic table, grill, pit toilets and bear-proof food locker.

Pets: Allowed in yurt #3 for an additional $10/night

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Cost: $10 registration fee + $7 park entrance fee/vehicle + $80/night

Make Reservations: http://ow.ly/8IVe30fPMT9

Never Summer Nordic Yurts

Stars Colorado Yurt

Never Summer Nordic yurts are located in State Forest State Park, just west of Rocky Mountain National Park near Cameron Pass, but they are run through a family-owned business instead of through the state.

Never Summer Nordic features seven yurts that differ in price, occupancy and amenities. They are more secluded and a little more difficult to reach than other state park yurts, but the effort is well worth it. Avid snowshoers, backcountry skiers and Nordic skiers need to give one of these yurts a try.

Location: 135 miles northwest of Denver

Hike to Yurt in Winter: Ranges from 0.25 to 2.8 miles, with elevation gains ranging from 0 to 670 feet.

Number of Yurts: 7

Max Occupancy: Ranges from 6-12

Amenities: All yurts have the following: beds, a wood-burning stove for heat, a propane stove for cooking, propane light, pots, pans, dishes, silverware, coffee pot (percolator) pit toilet access, firewood, outdoor food storage, snow shovel

Pets: Not allowed

Minimum Stay: 2 nights if first night is on a Saturday

Cost: Rates vary depending on the season, day of week, holidays and yurt. Winter prices (December-April) range from $90 to $120, while summer prices (May-November) range from $85 to $115.

Make Reservations: Visit http://neversummernordic.com/ for more information.

Wyoming State Park Yurts

Currently three Wyoming State Parks offer yurt stays as part of their campground facilities. Similar to Colorado State Park yurts, Wyoming State Park yurts don’t include restrooms or cooking spaces within the yurt. All cooking must be done outside, and restrooms can be found within the campgrounds. All park yurts in Wyoming have at least one ADA handicapped accessible yurt available.

Glendo State Park Yurts

Wyoming Yurts
Courtesy Wyoming State Parks

With the 12,000 acre Glendo Reservoir taking up more than half of the park’s total space, Glendo State Park is ideal for water sport enthusiasts. Yurts are available year-round, but if you’re looking for a snowy oasis this might not be the park for you. Unless you’re looking to do some ice fishing, most snow sports are hindered by this area’s mild winters. Yurts are available at the park’s popular Two Moon campground.

Location: 206 miles north of Denver, 107 miles north of Cheyenne

Hike to Yurt in Winter: Walking distance from parking is minimum.

Number of Yurts: 3

Max Occupancy: 6

Amenities: 1 set of full-sized bunk beds, 1 twin-sized futon, 1 pull-out, electricity, electric outlet, USB outlet, outdoor fire ring, outdoor picnic table. Campground restrooms available.

Pets: Not allowed

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Cost: $8 online booking fee ($10 by phone) + $4 day use fee + $11 camping fee ($6 for Wyoming residents) + 40/night + $50 refundable security deposit

Make Reservations: http://ow.ly/NAXT30fPTqU

Sinks Canyon State Park Yurts

Wyoming Yurts
Courtesy Wyoming State Parks

This canyon is named for a unique geologic formation called “The Sinks,” which is a point where the river disappears underground near the mouth of the canyon. Sinks Canyon State Park is located in a beautiful part of Wyoming and offers stunning winter views. Yurts are available at the Popo Agie campground.

Location: 360 miles northwest of Denver, 280 miles northwest of Cheyenne

Hike to Yurt in Winter: Walking distance from parking is minimum.

Number of Yurts: 4

Max Occupancy: 6-8

Amenities: 1 set of bunk beds (twin-sized on top, full-sized on bottom) 1 set of bunk beds (twin-size on top, full-sized futon on bottom), table, chairs, electric lighting, electric heat, outdoor grill, picnic table. Campground restrooms available.

Pets: Not allowed

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Cost: $8 online booking fee ($10 by phone) + $4 day use fee + $11 camping fee ($6 for Wyoming residents) + 40/night + $50 refundable security deposit

Make Reservations: http://ow.ly/ygNH30fQ5OB

Guernsey State Park Yurts

Wyoming Yurts
Courtesy Wyoming State Parks

Guernsey State Park yurts are available May 1 through September 30, but you can call 307-836-2334 regarding off-season rentals. The water-sport nature of this reservoir-focused park makes it best suited for the summer months. Guernsey State Park also offers fun site seeing for history buffs, as it features a number of buildings from the depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps. Yurts are located on Skyline Road.

Location: 200 miles north of Denver, 100 miles north of Cheyenne

Hike to Yurt in Winter: Yurts unavailable in winter months, except by special reservation

Number of Yurts: 4

Max Occupancy: 6-8

Amenities: 1 set of bunk beds (twin-sized top, full-sized bottom) 1 set of bunk beds (twin-sized top, full-sized futon bottom), table, chairs, solar-powered lighting, outdoor grill, picnic table. Campground restrooms available.

Pets: Not allowed

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Cost: $8 online booking fee ($10 by phone) + $4 day use fee + $11 camping fee ($6 for Wyoming residents) + 40/night + $50 refundable security deposit

Make Reservations: http://ow.ly/nWOO30fPWRU

Yurt Trip Packing List

As with any lodging stay, it’s important to check what items your specific unit provides before packing. For the most part packing for a yurt trip is similar to packing for a camping trip. Here is a basic list of items you should pack for a stay at a yurt:

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Pillow
  • Food
  • Jetboil or propane camp stove (if don’t want to use grill)
  • Eating utensils (plates, sporks, thermal mug, etc.)
  • Charcoal (if grilling)
  • Matches/lighter
  • Water (plan enough for drinking & cleaning if no water is available)
  • Cooler
  • Hard containers for food storage
  • Flashlight/headlamp/lantern
  • Toiletries
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Paper towel
  • Camp towel/dish towel
  • Garbage bags
  • Games – deck of cards, Bananagrams, etc.
  • Books
  • Music
  • Flask beverage of choice
  • Thermos beverage of choice

Safe travels and happy yurting!

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