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5 Campgrounds That Make It Easy

Camp in comfort at these surprisingly affordable glamping spots

Suite at Under Canvas - Glacier National Park

Tiffany Rose

A tepee at the Under Canvas glampground near Glacier National Park.

If you like camping but hate pitching a tent, you’ll love glamour camping, better known as glamping. Think of it as Pottery Barn meets Field & Stream: It mixes outdoor serenity with indoor comforts, from soft beds to plush chairs, whether in a cabin, tent or yurt. It’s a wilderness win-win — though it can be pricey (and, alas, there will still be bugs). Some glamping sites resemble luxury condos, with costs ranging from hundreds of dollars to more than $1,000 a night. (A three-bedroom "tent" at The Resort at Paws Up in Montana can cost $1,670 per person, per night — though it does include a butler and chef.) To find more reasonably priced options, try sites such as HipcampGlamping Hub and Glamping.com. You can even find yurts and tents through home-rental sites like Airbnb and VRBO.

Some glamping options around the country where you can spend less than $199 a night:

1. Glacier National Park, Mont.

The Bozeman-based company Under Canvas offers comfort-camping options near Mount Rushmore as well as the Grand Canyon, the Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Arches and Zion national parks. The company runs a 20-acre campsite seven miles from Glacier National Park, with two-person tepees range from $79 to $119 a night, depending on when you book. Each includes two twin beds, a lantern, safari chairs and views of the Rocky Mountains. Roomier tents can be found for about $209 a night. If you feel like splurging, for $299 a night the Deluxe features a private bathroom with a shower.

2. Kennebunkport, Maine

Located within walking distance of Goose Rocks Beach, the Sandy Pines Campground offers 430-square-foot tents at $179 a night. The sleek tents feature wood floors, stylish furniture, a king-sized bed, and even an indoor mini-fridge. A less-expensive option is the Hideaway Huts ($79 a night). The tents are narrow — just big enough to hold a double bed — but they have electric lighting and an outdoor fire pit. Campground amenities include a heated saltwater pool; bike, kayak and paddleboard rentals; and the campsite’s Grand Lodge, which offers music, lobster bakes and ice cream socials.

3. Cañon City, Colo.

Royal Gorge Cabins campsite offers 14-by-16-foot tents, each with double French doors, a private porch, a swamp cooler (a kind of air-conditioner) for warm days, and a fire ready to light in the fire pit. Prices start at $179 per night. (You can also spring for an in-tent massage from a licensed massage therapist.) The campsite is 4.8 miles from Royal Gorge park; activities in the 1,200-foot-deep canyon range from fly fishing to whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River. 

4. Paola, Kan.

The 14-acre Hoot Owl Gardens features fruit trees, vineyards, berry patches and vegetable gardens, which is good news for your taste buds: The $99-per-person tents include breakfast, with dishes such as fresh blueberry pancakes and scrambled eggs from the farm’s 34 free-range chickens. The property overlooks the Marais de Cygne river valley, roughly 50 miles from Kansas City, Mo., and includes a wildflower meadow and butterfly gardens.  

5. Big Bend National Park, Texas

The tepees at Basecamp Terlingua, about 15 miles from Big Bend, are 26 feet high and loaded with homey comforts, including a king-size bed, fold-out couch, rugs, a microwave, an outdoor fire pit and — the ultimate in civilization — a Keurig coffee machine. Rates start at $129 a night, and each spacious tepee can accommodate six people. Head outside and you’ll enjoy views of the Chisos Mountains. And at night, the glow of the lit tepee looks almost as lovely as the starry sky.  

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