Think of yurts like camping lite: Similar to a true, backcountry experience, but with bunk beds, shelter and a wood stove to smooth out some of the more intimidating aspects of tent camping.
What to Expect
Modeled after the traditional yurts used by nomads in Central Asia, modern yurts are wood lattice-framed structures with heavy-duty reinforced fabric sides and insulated liners.
Minnesota State Parks operates seven yurts for overnight lodging. These yurts have windows, a domed roof and wood floors. Interior furnishings include bunk beds, a table and chairs or stools, and a wood-burning stove. Outside, visitors will find a picnic table, fire ring and nearby drinking water and vault toilets. And, for winter visitors, logs to feed the wood stove are complimentary all season long. How's that for Minnesota Nice!
Where to Find Minnesota's Yurts
Minnesota state parks and recreation areas have seven yurts available to visitors, spread across three sites:
Two in the southeast corner of Afton State Park, near the camper cabins and group camping site.
Six of the yurts are 20 feet in diameter and sleep up to seven people; one at Glendalough State Park is 16 feet in diameter and can accommodate a maximum of three people. Overnight visitors will need to bring their own bedding or sleeping bags. They should also bring a lantern, headlamp or flashlight, because electricity is not available.
Although parking is nearby, it is not possible to drive all the way to the yurts. Getting to them is intended to be part of the adventure and requires walking, wheeling or paddling a short distance to simulate a nomadic experience. The yurts at Glendalough State Park, for example, can be reached from the park's bike path. Three of the yurts—one at each park—are fully accessible, in accordance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
Reserve Your Yurt
The yurts rent for $50 to $70 a night. Reservations can be made year-round, up to 120 days in advance, either online or by calling 1-866-857-2757.
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