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Forget sleeping on the ground and digging holes to you-know-what. Glamping—camping’s high-class cousin—has taken off across the West, with canvas tents, Airstream trailers, treehouses, and other abodes connecting you to nature while still providing ample luxury. Here, the best places to give glamorous camping a try in Colorado and beyond.
Distance From Denver: 338 miles
I’ve never been to Burning Man. But lying on CampV’s floating dock in my swimsuit while EDM blared through speakers onshore and people danced barefoot, I got a sense of what the annual Nevada festival might be like. The similarity in vibe wasn’t all that surprising: Natalie Binder, one of the founders of CampV, a two-year-old outdoor retreat in Naturita, says she was inspired to build community and energize people in this rural part of Colorado through art.
Our accommodation for the weekend certainly was creative: a futuristic-looking Jupe (basically a rectangular, elevated tent) made of Baltic birch and wrapped in canvas. It sat among five other Jupes, 12 cabins, four luxury tents, three Airstreams, and RV and tent sites on land that once composed a company town, where 1940s-era cabins housed engineers who worked at a nearby uranium mill. The property also has a stand-alone bathhouse with two separate restrooms; a large field with a fire pit; a 2.5-mile, on-property mountain biking and hiking loop; and—in true Burning Man fashion—nearly a dozen art installations.
Locals have learned to book stays here to coincide with CampV’s events, such as regular live music or the music-and-art Planet V Fest held over Memorial Day weekend. However, my husband and I were there seeking something else: relaxation and spotty Wi-Fi.
We were (hallelujah!) mostly able to disconnect and were pleased to find that while the Jupes were more rustic than many glampsites we’ve experienced, there was a queen-size bed, solar lighting and charging outlets, clean drinking water in a jug, and a private deck. The composting toilets were an easy walk away, and the shower was perfectly serviceable. The setting felt rugged enough that we left our food in a cooler in our car so as not to entice wildlife, but rugged is relative: There were lattes, breakfast burritos, and booze for sale at the CampV bar, and one morning, we ordered breakfast in bed.
There was plenty to do on-site besides eat, too. We walked 10 minutes up the gravel driveway from our Jupe for yoga and a sound bath in one of the historical, still-standing water tanks from mill times. Then we wandered into the “Prairie Wind Chapel,” an artwork composed of three organs set up in a churchlike tent that originally was built for 2015’s Burning Man festival.
As the sun dropped, we strolled back up the hill to watch the stars turn on one by one, then dozens at a time, from a blanketed pillow bed laid out for us in the same open-air water tank. Viewed through the circular top, the array of celestial bodies felt like a private show, one we likely wouldn’t get at the real Burning Man. —Daliah Singer
If You Go
Season: Mid-May through October
Cost: Jupes start at $165 per night
Getting There: From Denver, take U.S. 6 west to I-70 west. Drive 235 miles to exit 37 toward Grand Junction. Turn left onto CO 141; after five miles, take another left onto U.S. 50 east, then turn right onto CO 141 south. CampV sits about 90 miles down the highway. The trip takes about 5.5 hours.
Pro Tip: Treat yourself to the Stargazing & Snuggles package ($75). In addition to providing the blankets and pillows, the staff will outfit your water tank with locally made hot cider (ask for some whiskey to top it off), warm chocolate chip cookies, and a star-finder chart.
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A former 1950s drive-in turned glampground that still shows outdoor movies and allows dogs? Count us in. This San Luis Valley site reopened last summer, and its events—like live performances, art installations, and the aforementioned flicks—add a touch of culture to one’s yurt or converted Steelmaster shed stay.
Families will love this expansive Granby resort for its pool, hot tubs, pickleball and basketball courts, mini bowling alley, and on-site restaurants. They’ll also dig the fact that the Airstreams, tiny homes, and Conestoga wagons are situated away from any RV generators.
Chic tiny homes and Airstreams line the banks of the Colorado River at this new glampsite in Grand Junction. Mingle with fellow adventurers at the Hub, a central gathering space with comfy couches, laundry facilities, showers, and plenty of games. Dog owners can liberate Fido at the off-leash dog park.
Distance From Denver: 706 miles
Accommodation: Nordic-style tipi
Until I had kids, my sleeping-under-the-stars MO was relatively Spartan. Hike straight uphill for 15 miles, choke down something resembling dinner, and fall into an exhausted slumber on a too-short sleeping pad—sans pillow. Leaving all the stuff behind was, I thought, the whole point of being outside.
I sought an updated perspective at Bodhi Farms, a working organic farm with nine glamping tents in the rural outskirts of Bozeman: Perhaps, I thought, actual beds would have a role to play in successful family camping. So, on a warm day in September, our foursome hauled one of the farm’s stroller wagons—heaped with storybooks and puzzles—to our creekside Nordic-style tipi. Inspired by the ones the Sami people of Scandinavia once slept in while herding reindeer, it was reminiscent of a traditional Native American shelter but with two extended foyers at each door. We unzipped the flap to reveal a king-size bed plus a kid cot, leather butterfly chairs, festive lightbulbs dangling from the crossbars, and a supremely photogenic coffee bar (no other food allowed, per grizzly country protocol).
“Camp” having been set up for me, I found myself with an unusual perk: downtime. I set off for a stroll around the 35-acre property. I came across the “meditation island,” a grassy park set aside for quiet reflection, and tiptoed past a lone woman doing sun salutations in the open-sided yoga shala tipi. Just beyond her sat the spa tipi. I immediately regretted not pre-booking a massage.
My mourning didn’t last too long, as our dinner reservation at the on-site Field Kitchen loomed. We followed a path from our tent past the swimming pond and the pigpen and henhouse (which supply eggs and meat to the restaurant). A host welcomed us to a shaded picnic table, where I was soon sipping rosé and digging into a smoked trout salad. The kids were thrilled with huckleberry lemonades and cheesy bread with a side of carrots that were grown a few feet away.
After a slice of honey cake for dessert and hot showers in the communal bathhouse tipi, we flipped on our space heater and tucked in the kids. While we weren’t literally sleeping under the stars, we’d still had the chance to get dirty, eat outside, and read bedtime stories by the light of the setting sun. The whole experience was undoubtedly more relaxing than typical family camping trips. And the pillows weren’t half-bad, either. —Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan
If You Go
Season: May through mid-October
Cost: $225 to $525 per night (two-night minimum in summer)
Getting There: Bodhi Farms is a 10.5- to 11-hour drive from Denver. (Perk: You can cruise through Yellowstone National Park on the way.) United and Southwest airlines fly nonstop to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport; rent a car for the 30-minute drive or call an Uber or Lyft.
Pro Tip: Book add-on experiences such as massages ($140 to $200), community sauna day sessions ($40), drop-in yoga classes ($20), or fly-fishing lessons ($60) a few weeks before your visit to guarantee a spot.
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Cool: the canvas glamping tents, complete with screened porches and gratis cruiser bikes, set up along Rock Creek in Philipsburg. Cooler: the cozy, covered Conestoga wagons, with king-size beds that give upscale Little House on the Prairie vibes.
Gather ’round the nightly group campfire (free s’mores and cocktails included), then settle into your well-appointed tipi at this new resort five miles north of Yellowstone National Park.
Clear Sky Resorts—Grand Canyon
Distance From Denver: 707 miles
Accommodation: Geodesic dome
Not much compares to seeing billions of years of history and 4,000 feet of rock unfold before you from a vantage point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s an otherworldly change of scenery, even after hours spent driving by the striated red cliffs that populate the northern reaches of Arizona. Another twist in the landscape: Clear Sky Resorts’ 45 geodesic domes, which rest like a tiny Martian city in the high desert 25-ish minutes south of the national park.
The steel, canvas, and faux-leather domes all have kitschy themes—from secret agent to space galaxy—and sleep from two to seven people, making the venue a perfect family retreat. They’re also a bit more inviting than your average group-size tent, thanks to soaring ceilings, hardwood floors, bathrooms with rain showers, and panoramic windows ideal for nature viewing.
The 80-acre resort offers plenty to do outdoors while your camera charges after capturing those Grand Canyon views. There’s a disc golf course; an adult-ready playground with a massive bounce pillow, a volleyball court, and a giant tricycle track; and nightly events like live music, astronomy talks, and Native American flute-making. Nearby, the Lava River Cave offers a chance to scramble through a nearly mile-long, 700,000-year-old tunnel created by erupted molten rock.
When you get peckish, hit up the on-site food truck for American fusion food. Or drive 30 minutes into the town of Williams to pick up souvenirs and unwind at one of the diners scattered along this remaining stretch of Route 66, a more recent slice of history once considered the Main Street of America. —Daliah Singer
If You Go
Season: April 27 through November 11
Cost: $350 to $750 per night
Getting There: Clear Sky is an 11.5-hour drive from the Mile High City. Nonstop flights are available to Las Vegas and Phoenix, both of which are a three- to four-hour drive from the property.
Pro Tip: Book the two-person Stairway to the Stars sky dome to catch some sleep in a suspended bed directly under a skylight perfect for eyeballing the heavens.
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Baya and Paul Meehan built this off-grid bed-and-breakfast on Navajo Nation land that’s been stewarded by Baya’s family for more than 15 generations. You can stay on the property year-round in accommodations such as bell tents, sheepherder wagons, traditional hogan dwellings, or the Kyoob (a steel cube).
Under Canvas is the undisputed queen bee of glamping retreats. This location sees its safari-style tents (with king beds) set against a backdrop of Utah’s orange-, red-, and yellow-hued canyons and mesas.
Ojo Caliente, New Mexico
Distance From Denver: 325 miles
Accommodation: Vintage trailer
I’ve learned over years of travel to put very little faith in how a place markets itself. So, I gave little credence to Ojo Caliente’s self-promotion as a “legendary refuge.”
I need not have worried about being disenchanted. As soon as I pulled into the 155-year-old hot springs resort, the smell of piñon wood burning in the outdoor fire pits, the look of the adobe-style buildings, and the ubiquity of guests wearing fluffy robes and relaxed faces hinted that this New Mexican haven was as storied as advertised.
Located roughly 40 miles west of Taos, Ojo Caliente offers guests 10 lodging options, the hippest of which are five new Airstream-style campers parked just a short walk from the hot springs, gift shop, lobby, and on-site bar and restaurant, Artesian. My 160-square-foot trailer lived in that liminal space between a brick-and-mortar guest room and a nylon tent. It had a photo-worthy mid-mod vibe, plus a private covered patio with a hammock, but it was the brilliant use of space—a living room, kitchenette, bathroom with a spacious shower, and queen-size bed—that made me giddy I’d forgone one of the resort’s tent sites.
Nestled at the cliffy base of a scrub-brush-freckled mesa, the setting felt slightly untamed. I heard animal noises at night; I could see a zillion stars; and I thought twice before leaving my hiking boots on the patio, lest a tarantula decide to take up residence. But I was able to balance those camping-esque experiences with the indulgences of mussels for dinner, a glass of prosecco, and a flatscreen at the foot of my bed.
Of course, the Ancestral Puebloan people, who lived here starting around 1200, knew that a cozy place to sleep wasn’t the real reason to visit Ojo Caliente. For centuries, more than 100,000 gallons of sulfur-free geothermal water have flowed from a volcanic aquifer each day and created pools with high levels of iron, soda, arsenic, and lithia—minerals thought to heal the body and the mind. Today, the resort corrals these waters into 12 soakers, with temperatures that range from 80 to 105 degrees, and also offers a steam room, sauna, relaxation room, and spa for massage treatments.
Finding respite is unmistakably the theme of Ojo Caliente. While traditional camping can deliver that, too, I have to admit that my vintage trailer was custom-built to supply just the right ratio of roughing it to relaxing in it. A legendary refuge, indeed. —Lindsey B. King
If You Go
Cost: Vintage trailers start at $229 per night with a two-night minimum
Getting There: From Denver, take I-25 south to Walsenburg, where you’ll pick up U.S. 160 toward Alamosa. In Alamosa, take U.S. 285 south all the way to Ojo Caliente. The drive takes roughly five hours and 15 minutes.
Pro Tip: Trailheads lead directly from the resort property to a network of hiking trails that wind around the adjacent mesa. Most of the treks fall into the moderately difficult category, but signs are sparse and it’s easy to miss necessary turns. The Tewa, Rincon, and Joseph’s Mine trails are all winners for scenery, but the P’osi Trail offers a look at the Posi-Ouinge archeological site, a village once inhabited by the Tewa Indians, whose descendants now live in the Espanola area.
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This New Mexico travel company offers everything from walking tours to e-biking journeys, but it’s the company’s ultra-luxurious glamping adventures near Taos, Abiquiu, and Chaco Canyon that stand out. In 2023, book a Taos-based Perseid meteor shower trip (August 13 to 14) or an autumnal equinox vacation to Chaco Culture National Historical Park (September 22 to 23).
If you’re at all into Swiss Family Robinson, RidgeWalk Treehouse in Angel Fire is a must. The only-accessible-by-lots-of-stairs elevated cabin sleeps four, rests on a six-acre property at 9,200 feet that begs for exploration, and provides spectacular views of the surrounding Moreno Valley.
Located in Truth or Consequences, Glamp Camp provides a buffet of camping-adjacent options, including vintage RVs, a yurt, and a dome. The real perks of staying here, though, are the natural hot springs on-site. Plus, the property lies within walking distance of downtown’s restaurants, breweries, and museums.
Distance From Denver: 516 miles
Accommodation: Tiny home
Glamping has come to encompass any sort of lodging that falls in between a tent/camper/RV and a hotel. Yurt? Glamping. Treehouse? Glamping. Airstream trailer? Glamping. Fireside Resort, seven miles southwest of Jackson, straddles whatever fine line is left. A former KOA campground, the locale was converted into a modern campsite with 23 minuscule cabins and RV sites in 2011.
The striking tiny homes—designed for groups of four to six—trace the drive as you enter the property, which lies in the quiet woods beyond bustling downtown Jackson and the ski village. The glamour of these accommodations comes in the form of a kitchenette, a private deck with a gas grill for making your own campfire-adjacent food, a walk-in shower, electric floor heaters, a propane fireplace, and coffee from Snake River Roasting Co. Within walking distance of your front door, you’ll discover a 15-person hot tub and a small grocery that sells the basics, such as organic eggs, bacon, butter, and ice cream. The rustic—read: camping—part of your stay is a little more ambiguous. There are the obligatory private fire pits for s’mores-making and…that’s about it.
Well, that’s about it if you don’t include the surroundings, which, of course, you must. Jackson is one of the most popular gateways to Yellowstone National Park, and many guests overnight in the area during a road trip between the country’s first national park and the closer Grand Teton National Park. But you don’t have to leave the surrounding valley to go adventuring. The Snake River, which winds below the Teton Range, is a bucket-list stop for whitewater rafting and fly-fishing, while Slide Lake is a 50-minute drive from the property and provides access to stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, easy hiking, and trout fishing. (Flew to town? Fireside rents out Jeep Cherokees for around $200 per day.) Horseback riding, hot air balloon rides, wildlife safaris—it’s all within reach of the resort. And that’s the biggest thing we ask of a campsite, right? Proximity to the best Mother Nature has to offer. —Daliah Singer
If You Go
Season: Year-round, with the exception of short closures in November and April
Cost: From $500 per night
Getting There: Drive 8.5 hours to Fireside or fly nonstop to Jackson Hole via United Airlines; the property is about 15 miles from the airport.
Bring Your Furry Pal: Fireside is dog-friendly, with up to two hounds allowed in each cabin ($75 for one doggo, $125 for two).
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Live as the rangers do and spend the night 55 feet in the air in Medicine Bow National Forest. The historical tower is what we’d call glamping lite: It’s outfitted with two single beds, cookware, and a propane heater and cookstove. (Water and electricity are not part of the deal.)
Just 20 minutes outside the tony town of Jackson, in Bridger-Teton National Forest, you’ll find six safari-style tents decked out with memory foam beds and solar lighting. After a day of horseback riding or mountain biking, sit down to rustic Western food and views of the Snake River Range.
Island Park, Idaho
Distance From Denver: 621 miles
Accommodation: Luxury tent
The first thing you’ll notice is the welcome mat. Then, you’ll push the canvas flaps open and think you must be looking at one of those charmed tents from the Harry Potter universe. How else does one explain fitting a king-size bed (topped with a Utah-made-and-manufactured mattress), coffee table, nightstands, garment rack, patio chairs, cooler, and, in the family suite, bunk beds, all in a raised-platform tent? It’s not sorcery, however—it’s just the magic of Tammah Yellowstone, which opened in a pine-tree-lined meadow in southeastern Idaho in 2022. (In addition to 14 tents, there is one dome available to overnight in.)
The property itself has a resort-meets-summer-camp vibe, with a general store, lounges, communal fire pits, and, for better or worse, Wi-Fi hot spots. Flushing toilets and hot showers are available in shared facilities. Heat comes from propane-powered stoves, and there are battery-powered LED lamps in lieu of actual electricity. Close to their (temporary) homes, guests can fly-fish or raft along Henrys Fork of the Snake River, ride ATVs on hundreds of miles of off-road trails directly from Tammah, or play the on-site, three-hole disc golf course. An outdoor, shared kitchen makes for easy meal prep if you brought provisions, and restaurants in Island Park and West Yellowstone are also nearby. (Food is not allowed in the tents due to ursine neighbors.)
When you do manage to leave the property, you’ll want to pack up the car for a long day of exploring. The west side of Yellowstone National Park—and the closest entrance to some of its top stops, including Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Spring—is a quick 20-minute drive away. At the end of your adventures, you’ll be thankful to escape the crowds back at camp, where a warm bonfire awaits and hundreds of uninhabited acres set the scene for a different kind of bewitchment. —Daliah Singer
If You Go
Season: June to mid-September
Cost: From $189 per night
Getting There: It’s a 10-plus-hour drive to reach this southeastern corner of Idaho, but United Airlines flies to Idaho Falls Regional Airport, about 1.5 hours from the camp. (Jackson Hole Airport, which United also services, is 2.5 hours away.)
Coming Soon: A second Tammah location is slated to open in Jackson Hole this summer.
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Enjoy all the perks of staying at a family-owned ranch—horseback riding, gourmet meals, campfires—while basking in the solitude of an electrified tent at this property in southeastern Idaho’s Victor.
Just 25 minutes from Yellowstone sits a handful of tents on a working ranch. The rustic, off-the-grid accommodations are still outfitted with king- or twin-size beds, plus there’s an on-site food truck.
Distance From Denver: 627 miles
Accommodation: Luxury tent
“What part of camping does it include?” It was a fair question for my friend to text in response to the video I’d sent her of my “tent.” I opened the door to find two beds (one with a stargazing window), a dresser, a fireplace, a minifridge, and air conditioning and heat. The en suite bathroom was outfitted with a clawfoot copper soaking tub, heated floors, a toilet, and indoor and outdoor showers. Aside from the hiking boots I’d tossed on the (real wood) floor, this experience was a multiverse away from anyone’s vision of camping.
That’s what the team behind Open Sky Zion intended when it opened the glampsite in southwestern Utah in 2021. The property lies within Greater Zion, a 2,400-square-mile region that claims to house the largest collection of glamping resorts in the country. To set itself apart, Open Sky doubled down on luxury, including at its restaurant, Black Sage. During dinner on my first night, I warmed up with a roasted pumpkin bisque, topped with crispy sage and a sweet bourbon syrup, as well as a grass-fed steak, from nearby Mineral Springs Beef, served with local mushrooms. But I skipped dessert in exchange for a different kind of treat: a long soak in that heavenly copper tub.
The outdoorsy part of my trip began in the morning. Zion National Park is the second-most-visited national park in the country, but I avoided crowds by staying just outside its perimeter and finding excursions through the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office, an Open Sky partner. Red cliffs filled my car window as I drove to meet my guide from Utah Adventure Center for a trip along the via ferrata that traverses part of the Kolob Canyons on the park’s border ($130 to $390 per person). It was late in the season, so it was just him and me scaling the striated cliffs that compose the two-plus-mile route.
As a woman who has always been hesitant to camp alone, I found that Open Sky granted me the freedom of the outdoors alongside the security of a hotel. The following day, I worked my quads during a 5.7-mile out-and-back hike along the Eagle Crags Trail and a meandering walk through the abandoned ghost town of Grafton, then rinsed off in my outdoor shower as a gentle breeze blew through the canyon. At night, on the recommendation of the Open Sky team, I bundled up for a two-hour, astronomer-led sky tour courtesy of Stargazing Zion ($150 per person) before returning to my temporary home, curling up in my king-size bed, and gazing through a perfectly placed skylight as those very same stars lulled me to sleep. If that’s not a quintessential camping experience, I don’t know what is. —Daliah Singer
If You Go
Season: March 1 through November 30
Cost: From $599 per night
Getting There: Open Sky is a 10-hour drive from Denver. United Airlines flies nonstop from Denver International Airport to St. George Regional Airport; rental cars are available for the one-hour drive.
Dining Out: The towns of La Verkin, Virgin, and Springdale are close enough to cover all your meals, and grab-and-go breakfast at Open Sky is complimentary. We recommend caffeinating at FeelLove Coffee and eating fried chicken sandwiches at Camp Outpost (both in Springdale), enjoying pizza at River Rock Roasting Company (in La Verkin), and indulging in upscale Southwestern fare at Balcony One (in Virgin).
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Glamping leader Under Canvas, which has 12 properties across the country, took things up a notch with the March debut of Ulum. The safari-inspired, West Elm–furnished tents overlook Canyonlands National Park, and the property’s 200 acres encompass dipping pools, full-service dining, and plenty of wellness programming, including free yoga.
With its collection of Airstreams, high-end tents, and cabins, this month-old glampsite has something to keep every camper happy. The fully outfitted trailers are the most coveted accommodations, though, with queen-size beds, walk-in rain showers, heat and air conditioning, and kitchenettes.
The family-owned retreat, located about 40 minutes south of Moab, ups the glamping ante with sleek designs, including a family-friendly option that sleeps four. We’re also suckers for the on-site sauna, French press coffee delivered each morning, and the owners’ environmental efforts (including running the entire place on solar power).