According to Kampground of America's 2016 North American Camper Report, 28.6 million households, or 28 percent of the U.S. population, camp at least once a year.
And for couples, families and adventurers looking for a taste of the great outdoors with a few modern comforts, the glamorous camping, or “glamping,” trend continues to increase throughout the U.S. and in Utah.
Glamping is combining luxury with camping so individuals and families can have the camping experience without sacrificing comfort. They can explore the great outdoors and come back to a shower and a soft bed.
“People really love being outside,” said Ruben Martinez, co-founder of glampinghub.com. “They really love experiencing Mother Nature, but as people start getting older, or they start having families they want a certain level of comfort. The idea is that you can still sit around a campfire and look up at the night stars, but then you don’t have to huddle in a small tent while it’s raining outside.”
Linda Clark, director of sales for glamping.com, said glamping accommodations offer benefits people won’t get from going to a hotel.
“Glamping is a very different experience than you would have at a hotel,” she said. “Glamping spots are very experiential, and you are going to have a very unique experience. So rather than staying in a hotel room for your vacation, perhaps you picked a glamping destination where you’re staying in a yurt or a teepee.”
Between teepees, treehouses, yurts and safari tents, glampers have a wide range of options for prices, accommodations and locations. A recent Town & Country article indicated that glamping is available even in New York City: The W New York hotel in Manhattan offers stays in yurts. Walls keep the sound out, and “decorative logs, hanging twinkling lights, and candles and lanterns set the mood” in the middle of the city for as much as $2,000-$3,000 a night.
One local option is Conestoga Ranch near Bear Lake in Garden City, Rich County, which offers canvas tents, covered wagons and a host of activities. For members of the Marsh family, who camp together often, the added comfort was welcome.
“We wanted to mix it up a little bit. It’s nice to have a soft bed every once in a while,” said Casey Marsh, who camped at the ranch with her family. “It’s certainly a nice addition to have showers. You felt like you could hang out, and there was just a lot more to do than with traditional camping.”
Tom Hendrick, one of the owners of Conestoga Ranch, said that in addition to providing comforts such as beds and showers, the design of Conestoga Ranch’s facilities has resulted in a “wow factor,” especially for kids. These include horse riding, ATV access, kayak and paddleboard rentals, live music, s’mores kits, cowboy storytelling and an on-site restaurant.
“You just have to bring some clothes and a toothbrush,” Hendrick said. “You don’t have to set up a tent in the wind and rain or deal with uneven ground. Here, everyone has a bed. You don’t have to lug your luggage, you don’t have to cook if you don’t want to; everything is there for you.”
Other glamping options available in Utah include Moab Under Canvas, Hauer Ranch and Capitol Reef Resort, as well as locations in Monticello, Orderville, Brian Head and more, according to glamping.com and glampinghub.com.
Email: [email protected]