Several times a year, I answer the question, What is a yurt? when I tell people that we are going or have been yurting over the summer. We have been staying in yurts every summer now for several years in Oregon State Parks. We love to camp but when we are doing a "mixed" holiday of hotel-ing and camping, staying in a yurt saves us from having to pack, unpack, etc the tent , tarps and mattresses and other necessary tenting paraphenilia. Although the boys and I miss the freshness and magic of tent camping, we still get to sleep outdoors in the forest and have a campfire and our own private little site.
A yurt is a wood-framed, canvas covered domed structure with a wood floor, based on the traditional Mongolian yurt dwelling.
There is electricity inside (which we have found is great for charging all the technology that now accompanies us everywhere including camera battery chargers, phones, etc). And there is a little heater which is great to turn on a bit for chilly Oregon coast evenings.
The yurt sleeps five (a double futon and a double/single bunkbed) and there is plenty of room to sit around a table together to play games, read etc. We bring our sleeping bags and pillows and this year we also brought blankets and sheets to cover the mattresses. That's really just for me though because I am such a light sleeper. The scritch-scratch of the sleeping bags moving against the vinyl covered mattresses drives me crazy all night!
This year's rates were $39 a night, check in at 4, check out by 1.
Yurts book up fast and if you want a specific park, you have to book early. They start taking reservations 9 months in advance of your date. We have stayed at Honeyman, Beverly Beach, South Beach, Silver Falls (cabin) and Fort Stevens. We love Honeyman, and stay there every year, because we can walk to the sand dunes, it is a short drive (less than 5 min) into Florence, and it has a little lake to swim in with boat rentals and a lodge (washrooms, snacks and smores supplies). We usually stay at one other state park each trip as well. Next year, we're thinking we might try Umpqua.
We love yurting and highly recommend staying in yurts to others.
Next time someone asks me, What is a yurt?, I'll be able to send a link to this post!