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U.S. Forest Service Offers Winter Yurt, Cabin Adventures

The tranquility of winter camping is ideal at the Grizzly Ridge yurt on the Ashley National Forest in Utah. Numerous hiking, biking and off-road trails crisscross the area. (U.S. Forest Service)

The tranquility of winter camping is ideal at the Grizzly Ridge yurt on the Ashley National Forest in Utah. Numerous hiking, biking and off-road trails crisscross the area. (U.S. Forest Service)

While some may close up tents and winterize recreational vehicles this time of year, there are others who look forward to a winter filled with adventures on forests and grasslands. The draw is yurts and historic cabins available to rent that offer a bit of solitude for camping, a dose of adventure on skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles, and a lifetime of memories.

A yurt is a circular tent with canvas walls. There are many different styles and sizes of yurts, but generally each yurt is different in what it offers. Typically, you can expect to provide your own bedding, food, and cooking supplies. Some include beds, tables and chairs. Others have camp stoves and wood burning stoves. Check information on Recreation.gov before making your reservation and committing to a stay.

Last year, Johanne Tuttle and her friends chose the Grizzly Ridge yurt on the Ashley National Forest in Utah. After skiing three miles to reach the yurt, they found it had a wood-burning stove to keep warm when they finished cross-country skiing or sledding down a small hill. Inside, they could relax, play cards and cook their meals.

“We were actually really surprised to get up here and see how spacious the yurt is. It’s really spacious, big huge bunk beds, double sized, so you can easily fit two people on one bed,” Tuttle said. “It’s bigger than any yurt I’ve ever been in and plenty of room to move around and stretch out.”

Tuttle’s group stayed for several days, packing in everything they needed and adhering to outdoor ethics and packing out their trash and leaving the yurt ready for the next campers.

Jamie Tyson, Johanne Tuttle, Charity Parks and Chris Berry dine on a meal they cooked in the Grizzly Ridge yurt on the Ashley National Forest in Utah. The yurt comes with bare-bones cooking utensils. (U.S. Forest Service)

Jamie Tyson, Johanne Tuttle, Charity Parks and Chris Berry dine on a meal they cooked in the Grizzly Ridge yurt on the Ashley National Forest in Utah. The yurt comes with bare-bones cooking utensils. (U.S. Forest Service)

Staying in a yurt or cabin is easy to do depending on the location of the cabin and whether use is seasonal or year-round. All reservations are made through Recreation.gov. However, most facilities are locked and can be accessed only after contacting the forest or grassland office.

And as with any outdoor recreation adventure, preparation is key no matter which season you choose. Be sure you have the appropriate clothing, supplies and a local area map before you head out. The Forest Service offers paper maps for sale and digital maps for iOS and Android smart devices.

Still not sure you want to stay in a yurt? To learn more about unique camping experiences on the Ashley National Forest, watch videos on the Grizzly Ridge yurt; Trout Creek Guard Station; and the Carter Military Yurt.

Johanne Tuttle, Jamie Tyson, Charity Parks and Chris Berry head out for cross-country skiing after checking into the Grizzly Ridge Yurt on the Ashley National Forest in Utah. The primitive camping site is open year-round but many people are drawn to it for its feeling of isolation and for the cross-country and snowshoeing trails. (U.S. Forest Service)

Johanne Tuttle, Jamie Tyson, Charity Parks and Chris Berry head out for cross-country skiing after checking into the Grizzly Ridge Yurt on the Ashley National Forest in Utah. The primitive camping site is open year-round but many people are drawn to it for its feeling of isolation and for the cross-country and snowshoeing trails. (U.S. Forest Service)

4 Responses to “U.S. Forest Service Offers Winter Yurt, Cabin Adventures”

  1. Chris Daley says:

    Any trip to Utah is a good bet.

  2. Carol Robinson says:

    I am looking for a yurt close to Portland Oregon ….the closer the better.

  3. Ben [USDA Moderator] says:

    Thank you for your interest in our yurts on national forests in Oregon. Lost Creek Campground on the Mt. Hood National Forest is likely the closest one to Portland. That yurt is seasonal, which means it opens roughly in May and closes in the late fall. There are other rental yurts on other forests in Oregon. For example, the Deschutes National Forest has yurts at the Line Creek and the Crescent Lake campgrounds. If you are still want a yurt even closer to Portland, try the Oregon State Parks to find out their inventory of yurts. For national forest or grassland reservations, be sure to use Recreation.gov, your one-stop reservation system for all federal public lands. If you have more questions, contact the forest or grassland where you plan to spend time in the outdoors. And Tweet your camping photos to @ForestService. We would love to see them.

    -Kathryn Sosbe, Office of Communication, Forest Service

  4. Willow says:

    My husband and I are interested in building our own yurt and setting it up on local NPS, USFS, or BLM land away from developed areas like campgrounds. Our goal is to live better, with less, on less money, and our hope is to stay long term in a non-permenant canvas yurt (think extended “glamping”). Our dilemma is that my husband recent heard that yurts (I’m assuming that means personal, not USFS owned) will no longer be allowed on USFS lands. We’ve both searched online for information regarding this, but have come up empty. Is this correct? Are their any laws, guidelines, rules, regulations or ordinances that will prevent us from this goal? Please point us in the right direction.

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