Sunday, August 14, 2011

What the Heck's a Yurt?

So here I am, back in civilization after 3 days off the grid. My little family of 5, plus 1 grandmother and 1 grandfather, returned yesterday afternoon from our stay in the yurts in Colorado backcountry. What's a yurt?... you might ask...In case my last blog entry didn't compel you to immediately google that fun little word (say it out loud--it's rather catchy) let me tell you a bit about yurts.

 One of the two yurts at our little compound

Yurts are round structures made of canvas stretched over a wooden frame. Under the fabric shell that you see in the picture above are walls made of a heavy-duty wood lattice and wooden trusses that support the roof. Their shape and unique design makes them strong & aerodynamic (no, they can't fly, but they are great for windy spots because the wind flows right around them). That's the Cliff Notes version of Yurts 101. If you're interested in learning more, you can visit Pacific Yurts website.

If you're fortunate enough to have a mother who hikes all over and finds cool places like this to stay, you too might be able to visit a yurt. They have more amenities than you find on your average back country camping trip. For instance, there are bathroom facilities...
OK, so it's an outhouse. But I can tell you 
that the setting more than made up for the smell.

And you get to sleep in real beds...

They were pretty comfy, but my 11 year old son can tell you 
that it hurts when you fall out of the top bunk in the middle of the night. :(

And you can cook inside...
Our handy propane cook stove. 
I used it to make "yurtcakes" (you know them as pancakes) our last morning there.

And they even have a heat source (it did get down into the 30s at night, but we just snuggled in under the covers and left the woodstove unlit).

I'm sure this comes in handy for those adventurous souls who stay here in the winter.

But by far, my favorite part of the yurt was the view...

It was a great experience and I have lots more to share, but it's rapidly approaching midnight here in the Rockies (I've been here long enough to stop thinking about what time it is at home) and I need to go have a visit with the sandman.
I'd love to get some comments from others who've had unique or challenging vacation experiences!
Don't be a stranger!


  1. Wow, that's amazing. I've seen and heard of those before but never knew anyone who actually stayed in one. And 7 of you fit in there? Guess it makes you realize what's essential, huh?

    My sister and I decided to camp in VA beach once for a cheap vacation. Bad idea. No AC in my car, I think we were dehydrated by time we got there, it poured down rain that night and our tent had no rain cover so everything got drenched. We slept in the car and headed out in search of a cheap motel in the am! Ended up being our best vacation ever, not to mention the funny memories!

    Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  2. We had two yurts, Dianne. The five of us stayed in one and the grandparents in the other (aka, the snoring yurt:).

    It's an affordable, infinitely more comfy than a tent, way to go!

  3. This is the first I'm hearing of this. It would be fun for a short time but I'm the one calling the power company the minute we lose power in a storm. But I think I could do it for a few days because it would be so worth waking up to that view! My camera (with lots of back up batteries) and I would have lots of fun!!!

  4. Oh! that view is something to die for! amazing!