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Better Know a Rental: Yurts

YurtsOcean Mesa at El Capitan Canyon in Santa Barbara, California is widely known as one of the finest glamping locations on the West Coast with more than 100 finely furnished park model cabins. But the resort is also finding success with its newest type of rental accommodation: Yurts.

Yurts are modern versions of the types of the ancient shelters that were used by Central Asian nomads. They are circular structures with domed roofs and usually have a lattice wood frame and canvass or other material that’s stretched tightly around them. They also have an opening in the domelike ceiling to let the light in - some also have traditional windows as well as bathrooms and even kitchens.

El Capitan Canyon has six fully furnished yurts, each of which can sleep four people. They complement the resort’s 109 park model cabins and 26 furnished safari tents. “Yurts appeal to our campers who like to be in a tent. But yurts feel more solid than a tent,” said Terri Bowman, managing partner of El Capitan Canyon. “You’re not as insulated from nature as you are when you stay in a cabin. But you can still lock the door.”

Growing numbers of campgrounds across the country are adding yurts, according to Alair Bair, president of Cottage, Ore.-based Pacific Yurts, the world’s largest yurt manufacturer. Campgrounds are also increasingly equipping their yurts with kitchenettes and bathrooms and other interior amenities.

See a listing of all campgrounds that offer yurts as an accommodation option.