Taking the whole fam camping is always fun, but sometimes roughing it with little ones can be more of an ordeal than an enjoyable experience. If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional tent camping, scroll down for 13 Washington campgrounds and a San Juan Island resort that offer yurts—a great family alternative to the traditional tent.
photo: Shawn via Flickr
Here’s What We Think Is Super Cool About Yurt Camping:
1. You don’t have to set up a tent. Need we say more?
2. Most yurts come with furniture – bunk beds with mattresses and sometimes a small couch and/or a small table. You bring your own bedding and other camping accessories.
3. Yurts often have a door that locks, which is great for stashing your goods while you’re out exploring. And, your food tucked away from curious wildlife.
4. If a summer rain shower hits unexpectedly overnight, you won’t wake up to a soggy tent…and a soggy family.
5. Depending on the yurt location you choose, some are hooked up to electricity. Every parent realizes the value in this – even the hardcore camping parents!
Cape Disappointment State Park
Distance from Seattle: Cape Disappointment is at the furthest southwest point of the state of Washington, over three hours from Seattle.
Features: The 14 yurts at Cape Disappointment will not be a disappointment – they are some of the nicest in the state. Each is just a short walk to the beach and includes bunk beds that sleep three, a full-size futon, small end table and even a lamp and heater! Outside you will find a picnic table, fire pit with grate and a deck that is ADA accessible. A RV pad with utility hook up is located nearby and available for an additional fee.
Cost: $59-$69 per night, depending on the time of year, plus a $6.50 to $8.50 non-refundable reservation fee.
Reservations: parks.state.wa.us/425/Cape-Disappointment-State-Park or 888-226-7688
Coulee Playland Resort
Distance from Seattle: Nearly four hours from Seattle in north central Washington.
Features: Head east of the mountains, near the Grand Coulee Dam, to stay in these cool, equipped yurts. Each one includes a microwave, refrigerator, private BBQ area, tables chairs, and a walk around spacious deck. Not so shabby for “camping!” Each yurt sleeps up to five people and includes a futon sofa and futon bunk bed.
Cost: $65-$99 per night, depending on the time of year. Fee based on five people; extra persons are $6 each.
photo: Doe Bay Resort & Retreat
Doe Bay Resort & Retreat
Distance from Seattle: Over three hours from Seattle, including a ferry ride from Anacortes.
Features: Looking for a new way to discover Orcas Island? Book a yurt at Doe Bay Resort and Retreat. Yurts are available year-round, although some only include Queen beds and bedding from May through October. If you’re looking for a yurt with a few comforts from home, book an “On Grid” yurt. These come with electricity, a minimal heat source and year-round Queen bed and bedding. “Off Grid” yurts come with Queen bed/bedding from May 1-Oct 31.
Cost: $56-$153 per night for double occupancy; $20 for each additional person over age 13. Doe Bay is a two-night minimum resort with a three or four night minimum for holiday weekends.
Reservations: doebay.com/accommodations/yurts_and_domes or 360-376-2291
Grayland Beach State Park
Distance from Seattle: On the Washington Coast, just past Aberdeen, about 2.75 hours from Seattle.
Features: Grayland Beach State Park is in a fantastic location, right on the ocean for lots of beachcombing fun. The yurts all include bunk beds that sleep three, plus a queen-sized futon, electricity, heat, an interior light and small end table and can accommodate up to five people. Outside you will find a picnic table, fire grill, electric outlet and a deck; bathrooms and showers are nearby. Pets are allowed in yurts 25, 28, 79 and 87 with a $15 (plus tax) pet fee per night. An adjacent RV pad with 30-amp electrical service/water may be rented at the park for an additional fee upon check in.
Cost: $59-$89 per night, depending on the time of year, plus a $6.50 to $8.50 non-refundable reservation fee. Reservations may be made nine months in advance of your arrival date.
Reservations: parks.state.wa.us/426/Grayland-Beach-State-Park or 888-226-7688
photo: mborg via Flickr
Kanaskat-Palmer State Park
Distance from Seattle: Only about an hour southeast of Seattle, just past Maple Valley.
Features: Being located so close to the city, Kanaskat-Palmer is a popular yurt camping destination for Seattle families–spend less time on travel and more time on having fun! Yurts include bunk beds that sleep three, a queen-sized futon, overhead light and small end table. You supply your own linens and blankets. Outside you will find a picnic table, fire grill, utility hookup, and a deck that is ADA accessible. Bathrooms and showers are nearby. Pets are allowed in yurt 16 with a $15 (plus tax) pet fee per night. Don’t forget fishing poles for the river!
Cost: $40-$69 per night, depending on the time of year, plus a $6.50 to $8.50 non-refundable reservation fee. Reservations may be made nine months in advance of your arrival date.
Reservations: parks.state.wa.us/427/Kanaskat-Palmer-State-Park or 888-226-7688
Kayak Point County Park
Distance from Seattle: About an hour north of Seattle, just of I-5 at Smokey Point.
Features: This spectacular saltwater beach park is located along the beautiful shores of Port Susan. With its 3,300 foot shoreline and lush evergreen forests, Kayak Point Park offers a rich setting for pier fishing, windsurfing, picnicking, hiking, camping and boat launching. Don’t forget to pack your crab pots and fishing poles! Each of the 10 yurts sleep five people and include electricity, hardwood floors, screened windows, locking door, lights and wall heater to keep you cozy warm and dry; two yurts (2 & 4) are ADA accessible and yurt 7 has a wrap-around deck. Outside each yurt has its own picnic table and fire pit. A village picnic shelter for yurt guests is exclusively yours for outdoor cooking, dining, and gatherings. Yurt Villages include lighted walkways, and nearby heated restroom with showers.
Good to Know: The yurts are located in “Yurt Village,” so expect to get to know your neighbors. Yurt 10 is located just outside the village in a hook-up campsite which can accommodate three additional visitors in up to two tents or one RV.
Cost: $50-$75 per night, depending on the time of year.
Reservations: snohomishcountywa.gov/1193/Yurt-Camping or call 425-388-6600.
photo: Valentina Powers via Flickr
Pacific Beach State Park
Distance from Seattle: Located on the Washington Coast of the Pacific Ocean, about 2.75 hours from Seattle.
Features: The yurts at Pacific Beach are all within walking distance of the beach and the park’s sandy beach and breezy climate make it the perfect spot for families who like kite flying, sand castle building, beach exploring and bird watching. Each yurt sleeps five and is furnished with bunk beds that sleep three, a full-size futon, small end table, overhead light, electrical outlet and heater. Outside you will find a picnic table and a covered entry way that is ADA accessible; bathrooms are accessible to those with disabilities and token operated showers are nearby. An adjacent RV pad with 30-amp electrical service/water may be rented at the park for an additional fee upon check in.
Cost: $49-$74 per night, depending on the time of year, plus a $6.50 to $8.50 non-refundable reservation fee. Reservations may be made nine months in advance of your arrival date.
Reservations: parks.state.wa.us/428/Pacific-Beach-State-Park or 888-226-7688
Paradise Point State Park
Distance from Seattle: About 2.5 hours south of Seattle, just off I-5 between Kelso and Vancouver in Southwest Washington.
Features: Located on a river, Paradise Point has easy access to the freeway and clean yurts and facilities. Each yurt sleeps five and includes bunk beds that sleep three, a queen-sized futon for two, electricity and heat, plus an overhead light, one outlet and small deck. Be sure to ask for a yurt that is as far away from the freeway as possible to avoid the hum of the nearby traffic. Outside you will find a picnic table, fire grill and a small deck that is ADA accessible. A RV pad nearby is available for an additional fee.
Cost: $45-$59 per night, depending on the time of year, plus a $6.50 to $8.50 non-refundable reservation fee. Reservations may be made nine months in advance of your arrival date.
Reservations: parks.state.wa.us/429/Paradise-Point-State-Park or 888-226-7688
River Meadows Park
Distance from Seattle: Just over an hour north of Seattle, near Arlington.
Features: River Meadow Park is easy to get to from Seattle, so you can spend less time in the car and more time exploring this cool park and the riverbank. The six yurts are located in a fruit orchard and are some of the largest in the state at 20-feet in diameter. Yurts sleep 5-8 people and one is ADA accessible. Outside you will find a picnic table and fire pit.
Cost: $54-$72 per night, depending on the time of year. Weekends require a Friday and Saturday night stay.
Reservations: snohomishcountywa.gov/1193/Yurt-Camping or 425-388-6600. Advanced reservations are required for yurts. Walk-in/drop-in yurt camping cannot be accepted. Reservations can be made nine months in advance of check-in.
photo: Phil Whitehouse via Flickr
Seaquest State Park
Distance from Seattle: Just over two hours south of Seattle via I-5.
Features: Squeeze in a little history on this yurt camping trip – the yurts at Seaquest are within walking distance of the Mount St. Helens Visitor Centers. Each yurt sleeps five and is located in a wooded area. The yurts include a queen-size futon, a bunk bed that sleeps three, small end table and heater. Outside you will find a picnic table and fire pit with grate. Pets are allowed in yurt 2 with a $15 (plus tax) pet fee per night.
Cost: $45-$69 per night, depending on the time of year, plus a $6.50 to $8.50 non-refundable reservation fee. Reservations may be made nine months in advance of your arrival date.
Reservations: parks.state.wa.us/430/Seaquest-State-Park or 888-226-7688
Thousand Trails of Mt. Vernon RV Campground
Distance from Seattle: About an hour north of Seattle, just off I-5.
Features: This large, private campground has a two yurts available that sleep five. Don’t miss all of the family-friendly activities here including a great outdoor pool (and little wading pool for young kids), a miniature golf course and tons of organized family activities during the summer. The 20′ diameter yurt includes a double bed with bunk overhead and a futon that converts to a double bed. The 20′ diameter yurt also comes with a bathroom with a shower, kitchen with range, sink and refrigerator, plus a microwave, gas BBQ grill and a color TV/VCR with satellite dish receiver. The 16′ diameter yurt is Fido-friendly and comes with a double bed with twin bunk on top, one futon double bed and a picnic table, grass pad and fire pit. Restrooms and showers are located nearby.
Cost: From $72-$114 per day; rates vary based on date and yurt size.
Reservations: thousandtrails.com/washington/mount-vernon-rv-campground/rentals or 877-570-2267
Tolt MacDonald Park & Campground
Distance from Seattle: About 40 minutes east of Seattle in Carnation.
Features: Tolt MacDonald Park and Campground offers a little something for everyone—from RV and tent camping, to yurt and camping container camping. The 574-acre park sits at the point where the Snoqualmie and Tolt Rivers meet and features stunning views of the river and Cascade Foothills. Tolt has six yurts which sleep up to six people. Each yurt comes furnished with two double/single bunk beds, night stand, heat, electricity, deck, picnic table and fire ring. All yurts are located on the west side of the park across the Snoqualmie River and two of the yurts have wheelchair accessibility.
Good to Know: These yurt sites are walk-in only and require crossing the park’s 500-foot suspension bridge (wagons may be available for use from campground host).
Cost: $55-$65 per day or $390 per week during peak season. There is a two-night minimum stay and three-night minimum on holidays year-round.
Reservations: kingcounty.perfectmind.com/22386/Clients/BookMe4FacilityMap/Map or call 206-477-6149 and leave a voicemail. Camping season opens March 1 and is available only by reservation, at least 10 days in advance. All sites can be reserved up to one year in advance by calling the Camping Line at 206-477-6149. There is a two night minimum required stay and a maximum stay of seven days.
Twin Harbors Beach State Park
Distance from Seattle: On the Washington Coast, about 2.5 hours from Seattle.
Features: Westport is a haven for surfers in Washington and you’ll be just a quick drive away (less than five minutes) at Twin Harbors Beach. The yurts sleep five and include a bunk bed that sleeps three, a queen-size futon and a small end table, plus heating and electricity. A nearby concrete RV pad with utility hookup may be rented for an additional fee. Twin Harbors’ yurts are close together, so be prepared to make friends with your yurt neighbors!
Cost: $45-$69 per night, depending on the time of year, plus a $6.50 to $8.50 non-refundable reservation fee. Reservations may be made nine months in advance of your arrival date. Utility hookup available.
Reservations: parks.state.wa.us/431/Twin-Harbors-State-Park or 888-226-7688
photo: Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes
Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes
Distance from Seattle: On San Juan Island, about 3 hours from Seattle including a ferry ride from Anacortes.
Features: The serene 82-acre property on San Juan Island boasts seven 24 foot-diameter yurts in Yurt Village, tucked into a private forest surrounded by Fish Hook Lake. Glampers will enjoy 450 square feet of modern, light-filled luxury, including a pillow-top king bed with flannel duvet cover, en suite bathroom with shower, wet bar and refrigerator, plus electricity, a large flat-panel TV and a queen-size sleeper sofa. The yurts can sleep up to four guests and each comes with a spacious 180-square-foot private deck complete with hot tub, dining table and chairs, a BBQ and Adirondack chairs. Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes provides an abundance of outdoor activities as well, including fishing, biking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, hiking and boating to keep the active of yurt campers happy and entertained.
Reservations: lakedale.com or call 800-617-2267. The Yurt Village at Lakedale is a seasonal accommodation currently open for booking mid-June through October 1, 2019.
Heading to Oregon? Check out yurts and campgrounds near Portland. Want to give cabin camping a try? Check out our roundup of the best Washington state parks with cabins or consider a custom-built canvas cabin at Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island.
—Kristina Moy & Katie Kavulla