Crunchy outdoor traditionalists, with their 40-year-old external-frame steel backpacks and Precambrian packing lists (maybe they’ll bring some matches — maybe…) — might look down their leathery, unshaven noses at the new glamping trend. (That’s a portmanteau of glamour and camping, in case you’re so unfancy you’ve never even heard the word.) They may see gourmet grub and king beds in studio-apartment-sized canvas tents as a bastardization of one of the last bastions of Teddy Rooseveltish off-the-grid-ism. “Pah!” they may snort. “That’s not camping; it’s gentrified squatting!”
But for the rest of us, nature is nature and there’s no wrong way to see it. If you’re able to unhitch yourself from the self-flagellating dogma of outdoor asceticism, you may even realize camping can be a pleasurable experience in its own right rather than a character-building mission only enjoyable in hindsight.
Even the analog purists afford themselves a few fireside luxuries, right? Like uncle Ken, who backpacked a heavy rib eye into the Uintas? Or your hippie brother who insists on wearing deodorant canyoneering? So why not, at least occasionally, embrace the decadence? Utah’s mountains and canyons are beautiful, even if you’re not suffering. Glamping may even be the way you get your city slicker mother-in-law into the great outdoors. (She’ll be backpacking the Maze in no time!)
And so, for all your softies, here are our five fave glamping spots. Kick up your feet in the great outdoors.
Capitol Reef Resort
Something tells us the original tepees and Conestoga wagons didn’t have turn-down service and electrical outlets.
Stay any way you want — lodge, cabin, wagon, or tent — with access to a zip line, pools, mini golf, ATVs, horses. Oh, and it shares an invisible border with some national park.
Zion Ponderosa Ranch
Sure, your $1,500 Hilleberg tent is lightweight for backpacking, but can it fit a chest of drawers and a wood-burning stove? Lots of tent & tepee options for us comfy campers.
Under Canvas Moab
Stay in a well-watered and solar-powered tent on the property or ask them for a to-go glamping tent and a backcountry campsite recommendation. Look east to Zion & south to Arizona.
For a northern Utah take on glamping, (have someone else) pitch your tent on the shores of the Caribbean of the Rockies. Yoga, high-end cuisine & complimentary cruisers come standard.