By Paula Colman \ February 21 2023
A yurt is not the sound you make after a carb-filled meal. It is not the latest hashtag promoted by Millenials. It is not just a hideaway for extreme sports fanatics.
A yurt is a man-made dwelling with ancient roots, and you should find one on your next visit to Utah. Constructed and inhabited by nomads over two thousand years ago in today’s Central Asia, yurts are traditionally circular structures supported by a wooden lattice frame with gently sloping roofs and ventilation at the top. This design provided protection against the strong winds and extreme temperatures found in the remote steppes of the region.
And they’re ideally suited to Utah’s cultures and climes, as well.
Yurts are found throughout the state — in the mountains, resorts and even some backyards. Where people elsewhere construct cabins, camps or huts, Utahns build yurts. Complete with wood or gas stoves and blankets or furs for warmth and ambiance, yurts today are imbued with comfort and conviviality or what the Danish call ‘hygge,’ a perfect refuge for a meal or overnight stay.
So, you shouldn’t be surprised that Utah parks and resorts have a wide range of yurts — from barebones to haut luxe — for you to explore and enjoy. Below are just a few.
Snowshoeing to The Yurt at Solitude Mountain Resort is a unique and highly sought-after mountain experience when visiting Utah. The snowshoeing is short and simple and prepares you for the multi-course gourmet meal to follow. Seating is communal, allowing you to share the excellent foods, wines (bring your own and make it a good one) and the stories of others you’ll soon call friends. Reservations are a must. However, The Yurt is also open for lunch for those looking for a quiet respite from a morning on the slopes.
Park City Mountain, a 23-minute sleigh ride whisks guests up the slopes to 8,700’ to the Viking Yurt. This secluded haunt is perched under towering trees and endless stars. Inside, for the next four hours, 34 guests (reservations are highly recommended) will be treated to an exceptional European-inspired feast.
For the best — and only — ski-in/ski-out experience at Beaver Mountain, its extremely popular Mountain Yurt is available for families and groups to enjoy rustic overnight stays. Although there are no beds or bunks (most guests bring sleeping bags, air mattresses or cots), this large yurt measuring 30’ in diameter is heated, well-lit and definitely cozy. It has a separate kitchen building with a microwave, refrigerator, oven, propane grill, double sink and two restrooms.
Guests and groups looking for a way to celebrate or experience mountain living can reserve The Yurt at The Lodge at Blue Sky, an Auberge. Available for private lunches and dinners, whiskey tastings, yoga and guided meditation, the Yurt is a unique venue at one of Utah’s premier resorts.
Wilderness Access Outfitter (known as WAO) offers a bit more to its yurt dining experience. Diners arrive at dusk and are guided by snowshoe to the Yurt located at Soldier Hollow. After enjoying an exceptional four-course meal, guests can remain inside relaxing with friends and family or head outdoors to make s’mores by the fire, sit back and watch the stars.
It shouldn’t be surprising that in a land of outdoor adventure, Utah’s yurts are popular pit stops for intrepid travelers. Located throughout the state, yurts are available for nightly rental by public and private entities and contain a range of amenities.
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