Utah Glamping Guide – 9 Camping Destinations with a Touch of Luxury
Sleeping under the stars—on a pillow-top king-size bed. Taking a break from technology—but not from flush toilets. For a summertime getaway that combines outdoor adventure and delightful (if not decadent) accommodations, “glamping” offers the best of both worlds.
Treat yourself (or a group of friends) to a glamping trip at these scenic Utah locations. Located in spectacular natural surroundings, often just steps from world-class biking, hiking, and rafting opportunities, they provide the chance to go hard all day, then relax and rejuvenate at night…without the stuffiness of a traditional hotel.
If You Go
Most glamping sites offer the all-inclusive convenience of a traditional hotel: linens, firewood, and refrigerators or coolers are typically part of the package. Additionally, most have a BYO policy on adult beverages, so you can enjoy a cold beer or a glass of wine as you relax by the campfire (perhaps paired with a resort-provided s’more). Pack a pair of earplugs to shut out traffic noise, as many sites are located along or near busy roads. And don’t forget insect repellent and high-proof sunscreen: canvas walls don’t offer the same protection from mosquitoes and UV rays.
Capitol Reef Resort (Torrey): Warmly lit canvas teepees welcome visitors to this cozy campground. Open June through September, each is outfitted in a traditional Western style— with the additions of a pillow-top king bed and flat-screen TV. Llama lovers, take note: You can book a day hike in the company of several of the critters (they’ll even carry your lunch).
Conestoga Ranch (Garden City): In Northern Utah, Bear Lake (Called “the Caribbean of the Rockies” for its turquoise waters) invites watersports, fishing, and relaxing on its white sand beaches. Glamping options at nearby Conestoga Ranch are open seasonally May–September and range from the honeymoon-worthy Royal Tent Suite to rustic, but cozy, covered wagons. The open-air Campfire Grill offers gourmet cuisine and adult beverages with views of Bear Lake. On-site amenities like free cruiser bikes and a game room keep the whole family entertained. Day-trip to nearby Minnetonka Cave or Paris Ice Cave to explore stalactites, stalagmites, and year-round ice… a welcome escape from scorching summer temperatures.
Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort (Mt. Carmel): Located just east of Zion National Park, this 4000-acre ranch boasts a network of trails from its days as a frontier logging camp that are perfect for exploring on horseback. Not the equestrian type? Explore with a wagon tour instead, possibly capped with an authentic Dutch oven dinner. Snug, comfy canvas tents form a circle of six: a great size for small-group camping.
BaseCamp 37° (Kanab): Each of four cabin tents has its own take on the Grand Staircase-Escalante landscape, offering a balance of privacy and proximity to the shared amenities. Pack your cooler for the nightly BYO-Bar, where guests enjoy their potent potables around a campfire or over a bocce game. Solar arrays provide each tent with enough juice to power lamps and phone chargers.
Under Canvas (Moab and Virgin): Minutes away from Arches and Zion National Parks, these rustic (and technology-free) tents are the perfect basecamp for exploring nearby trails. Moab Expedition packages include lodging, meals, and adventures from whitewater rafting to an aerial tour; Zion Expedition itineraries include canyoneering and a helicopter tour. While yoga classes are ubiquitous at glamping grounds, the four-day Yogascapes Retreat (September 13-16, Zion Under Canvas) includes restorative sessions, hikes for every fitness level, and plenty of time for relaxation and reflection.
Broken Spur Inn (Torrey): This must be the place! For a pioneer-style getaway (though in much more comfort than our forebears enjoyed), book one of Broken Spur’s five Conestoga wagons. Each prairie schooner sleeps up to five guests with a king-size bed, pair of bunk beds, and futon couch. Stash snacks in the tiny kitchenette; for heartier chow, visit the on-site Broken Spur Steakhouse. Southern Utah’s spectacular canyon landscapes, including Capitol Reef National Park and Boulder Mountain, are just a short drive away.
Escalante Yurts (Escalante): Tucked into a rugged canyon landscape, these (vegan, cruelty-free) yurts provide a comfy stay convenient to both popular spots like Devil’s Garden and less-traveled sites like Willis Creek Slot Canyon (six miles down a dirt road; 4WD is recommended). Your stay includes in-yurt breakfast service, fire pits for evening s’mores, and (in the larger yurts) a full kitchen.
Glamping on the Go:
Canyon Recreation and Wandervans
Prefer a nomadic lifestyle? Interested in the comfort, not so much in the campground? Canyon Recreation outfits Jeeps with nylon roof tents, cushy foam mattresses, and everything you need to cap a day of guided exploration.
Wandervans, for the DIY set, offer fully-equipped campers with kitchenettes, queen beds, and space to stash bikes and boards. Rent one in Salt Lake City and bring along your dog—for an extra fee. Add on a Porta Potty and shower tent for ultimate comfort and convenience.