The ins and outs of glamping in Yellowstone and Yosemite

The ins and outs of glamping in Yellowstone and Yosemite

The duo of Yellowstone and Yosemite are wilderness that have long inspired explorers like the great John Muir, and even helped to drive the establishment of the national park movement itself. These days, more than four million people a year are drawn to the stunning silhouette of the Half Dome and the grizzly-stalked woods of the Sierra Nevada that the latter encompasses. Meanwhile, glamping in Yellowstone is a ticket to prismatic mineral pools, black bears, and the spurting Old Faithful geyser. There are awesome adventures awaiting in both.

Amazing styles of glamping in Yellowstone and Yosemite

A shot of a covered wagon with white canvas

When it comes to choosing your glamping in Yellowstone and over the Rockies in Yosemite, there’s a whole range of different sorts of intriguing stays to pick from. Read on for just a taster of the lean-to cabins and lofted tree houses that await…

A treehouse in Yosemite’s woods

From Mariposa to Midpines, the western end of Yosemite National Park is dashed through by swathes of high ponderosa pines, white firs, oaks, and aromatic cedars. That creates the perfect terrain for a treehouse stay, which you’ll need to look for lofted off the forest floor with wooden walls and timber-built decks.

Canvas camping near Yellowstone’s boundaries

Because of it’s low-impact nature, canvas camping tends to take center stage over in the foothills of Montana and Wyoming. Just steps from the main gates leading up to Yellowstone’s geothermal pools and roaring waterfalls, these pitches aren’t your usual tent and poles, however. Sprawling safari-style tents give enough room for four-poster beds and plush seats, fitted kitchens and even ensuites.

Historical stays in glamping wagons

The covered wagons of the pioneers who crossed the Oregon Trail through the wildernesses of Yosemite in the 1800s are back, only this time in the form of a heritage-rich glamping getaway that’s sure to pique the interest of history buffs. You’ll be bedding down under the arched white canvas of a classic wheeled carriage, which could sleep up to six people in their mix of bunks and doubles.

Glamping pods and cabins

The glamping pod is probably the closest you can come to the historic cabins of the old trappers who once called the Yosemite Valley their home, or the wooded hills of eastern Idaho their stomping ground. Constructed from natural materials like pine planks and hardwood, they certainly look the part. And they tend to have a small environmental footprint, so you can rest assured your jaunt to the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada will be an ethical one.

Yurt glamping is an option

Yurts are one of the most sought-after sorts of glamping in the area of Yosemite National Park. Spacious and unusual, they are built like the circular ger tents of Mongolian nomads. Inside, they can be downright palatial, with four-poster beds and winged armchairs. Outside, they open onto fire pits and patios.

Deluxe features of glamping escapes in these parks

Inside a luxury yurt tent near Yosemite, with a double bed and furnishings

There are loads of things that give glamping its reputation for high-class living in the outdoors. If you’re eager to see what’s on the menu in the retreats of Yosemite and Yellowstone, the pointers below can help…

Sumptuous interiors

The glamour part of glamping in Yosemite and Yellowstone is easy to see when you delve inside these vacation rentals. Roomy and light, they are spaces that defy the camping definition. Some are steeped in natural materials that give them an earthy edge, others are adorned with plush beds and sofas. It’s often almost like dropping a swish hotel suite into the middle of the rugged peaks.

Alluring exteriors

Being outside is half the joy of a glamping vacation. To help you make the most of the breathtaking views of the Half Dome and El Capitan or the starry night skies of Wyoming, there are options here that have big decks and patios, comfy picnic tables and flowering gardens to roam. And then there are the hard-to-resist digs with their own outdoor hot tub – a fine addition for post-hike relaxation sessions, don’t you think?

Where to look for glamping in Yellowstone

The snow-draped Rockies rise in the distance as a hot tub overlooks the fir forests around Big Sky, Montana

Just a mention of the name Yellowstone is usually enough to conjure images of long-lost valleys and craggy Rocky Mountain peaks. Steaming hot springs, deep canyons, elk and bison, and oodles of surrounding ski fields – the medley of awesome spots is enough to make it a veritable glamping mecca…

Glamping on the edge of Montana

One of the most popular entrances to the Yellowstone National Park is on its northern fringes, where the reserve spills just over the state line into Montana. There, you can seek out sumptuous tentalows with double-flap doors and cozy double beds inside. Go a little further and you can even add the ski pistes of Big Sky into the mix, with fire-warmed cabins between the fir forests and babbling highland rivers.

Surrounded by nature in West Yellowstone

The town of West Yellowstone has the Yellowstone Airport and sits by the main entrance and roadway heading to Old Faithful and the great canyon valley of the park. That makes it a fine jump-off point for adventurers, and a top spot for glamping. Options include downsized Swiss chalets and mossy cabins, where you’re as likely to spy out bison herds as fellow travelers when you glance out the window.

Where to look for glamping in Yosemite

The classic shot of the Yosemite Valley, with its granite peaks and fir forests

Because Yosemite National Park is a protected reserve, it can be tricky to find any sort of accommodation actually inside its boundaries. That’s why most of the enticing glamping stays dot its perimeter, offering a base that’s just down the road from the carved Tenaya Canyon and the depths of the Yosemite Valley itself.

Feel at one with nature in Oakhurst

The low-rise ridges of the Sierra Nevada begin to crumple the land in earnest in Oakhurst, a town that clings to the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park. Yurts and glamping pods here are at once remote and accessible, with good links to the main valley of the protected area that’s around an hour by car to the north. They are also nestled in woodlands and by creeks, where racoons and deer are regular visitors.

Get some local history in Mariposa

It’s possible to find glamping in Yosemite that places you in the old mining camp of Mariposa. It’s a sleepy settlement with a whitewashed courthouse and mountain taverns, all bolstered by fascinating gem and ore collections in the local museum. From here, it’s a drive east via Briceburg on the dramatic El Portal Road to the heart of the reserve.

The eastern side of Yosemite

It’s also possible to hop over to the Nevada side of the park to find glamping in Yosemite. Drier and more untrodden, the landscapes turn to great flats of scrub-dotted desert. It’s an interesting alternative to the pine woods and alpine feel of the Californian regions, that’s for sure.