5 Unusual Outdoor Lodging Picks

Written by

Ever wanted to stay the night in a yurt, overlooking the ocean? How about a rustic cabin in the mountains, a tree house in the woods, or even a fire lookout with sweeping views? All of the above are easily accessible to all travelers – no wilderness experience necessary! Extend the camping season with these year-round lodging experiences, and learn where and when to book them.

More: 12 Unique Cabin Retreats

Yurts: Comfortable Camping Without the RV

Yurts are not just in rural Mongolia anymore! These canvas-sided circular shelters have been popular additions to many state parks across the U.S. and Canada, offering four-season lodging for those without an RV or camper. Perfect for families with young children, yurts come in rustic or deluxe models, all with electricity, beds (bring your own bedding), and heat. Arriving late to the campground? No need to hassle with tent setup! Want to experience the outdoors without sleeping on the ground? Yurts are the perfect solution.

How to book: Search for yurt lodging by state park on ReserveAmerica.com.

Top yurt: Harriman State Park, an Idaho nature reserve outside Yellowstone National Park, offers a select few deluxe yurts, complete with wood-burning stoves inside. Families can bask in solitude, just miles from Yellowstone crowds.

More: What Is Yurt Camping?

Cabins and Huts: Cozy Wilderness Lodging

Channel your inner Little House on the Prairie when sleeping in cabins in private campgrounds like KOA Kampgrounds or state parks and reserves. Like yurts, cabins range from simple shelters to "glamping-style" cottages with one to three rooms. Some, such as select KOA cabins, offer full bathrooms and kitchens in their deluxe models. State park cabins typically offer a room, beds, and a porch or balcony, plus a fire pit and picnic table for cooking and dining. Campers wanting to get further afield can opt for a hut-to-hut hiking experience. Run by private companies on both coasts, hut-to-hut operations allow backpackers to hike anywhere between three and ten miles to various backcountry huts. Depending on the operation, huts can include hot meals, full bedding, or simple shelter.

How to book: Reserve KOA Kampground cabins via their official website or by phone, and reserve state park cabins on ReserveAmerica.com. For hut-to-hut lodging, reserve directly through each private operation, such as Outdoors.org or Cascadehuts.com.

Top cabin: For an upscale cabin experience in a resort setting, stay in a KOA deluxe cabin in Jackson Hole/Snake River, Wyoming.

Top hut-to-hut: Appalachian Mountain Club's network of AMC lodges and huts offers pristine hiking without the heavy packs in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

More from Fix.com: Leaving No Trace During Family Outdoor Adventures