Bailey lives in her 200 square foot/ 16’ Colorado Yurt in the woods of Minnesota. We posed a few questions to her about the yurt and lifestyle:
Why did you choose to live in a yurt?
I decided I wanted to live my life as simply as possible and constantly remind myself of the difference between a need and a want. Even living in the yurt, I still feel like I have more than any one person needs. I guess that is why I decided to look more into the tiny house movement. I wanted to have my own land as well. That is when a friend of mine told me about yurts and I did more research.
Tell us about you.
I am a social worker and love giving back to the community- especially youth. I am always challenging myself to see the world from a different perspective. I love to travel. After spending several months in Swaziland and a few other countries in Africa, I was encouraged to strive for simplicity and selflessness.
I live in my yurt in northern Minnesota with my pug, Mr.Finn. I love the woods of Northern MN. Nothing can beat a bonfire.
Why did you choose Colorado Yurt Company?
I did research about a few different companies but ultimately it came down to experiences with being prepared for the winter. Colorado Yurt Company staff and website provided the most information about making this work year round.
Colorado Yurt Company has been great to work with. I got through to someone on the phone with any questions. There were several frequently asked questions listed on the website with more details than I expected.
Tell us about the process.
Well the building process definitely took longer than I expected, but I think that is typical of all building projects. Luckily, I was living in a friend’s fish house until the yurt was completed. I bought land and started from scratch, new well, new road and constant research.
Building an outdoor shower house and not having indoor plumbing was a huge decision. I went a year without a shower, always traveling to friends home to clean up. That was definitely an adventure.
What do you like about living in a yurt full time?
Everything. I love the seclusion in the woods to unwind from all the stress of everyday life. I love how easy it is to heat with my pellet stove, and the low cost of being here. I like the chores that are unique to my yurt, for example carrying in water and having the reminder of those who walk miles a day for clean water. And I like the future possibilities. I don’t know what I want to do in the future yet, this could become a guest house, it could be moved to a different piece of land, or I could add another yurt to this one. I like going with the flow, and seeing what sustainable projects I can focus on next. I am thinking about a wood burning hot tub.
Acadia National Park, on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine, is one of our most spectacular National Parks. Visitors come to Acadia to hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads and enjoy the rugged coastal scenery. The park draws visitors from all over the world, who enjoy the beauty of the park as well as the charms of the town of Bar Harbor. Karen Roper and Aaron Sprague are world travelers who call the island their home.
After visiting a friend’s yurt, and spending time on a farm in Maui, they fell in love with yurts and nature-based hospitality. They both worked in the hospitality industry in and around Bar Harbor. They believed that the tourists who visit their home island would like to have a space closer to nature and more than 4 flat walls. (Their slogan is: “comfortably close to nature “). So was the beginning of Acadia Yurts.
Aaron and Karen purchased a beautiful tree-filled five acres on the “quiet” side of the island in 2014. Working through the harsh Maine winter, they put together the platforms for their first yurts. Four 24’ Colorado Yurts (two blue, two red) arrived on site at the end of January, and they pitched them while bundled up in heavy winter clothes.
After adding small kitchens, bathrooms and beautiful furnishings to each yurt, they were ready for reservations and guests on June 6, 2015. It was the start of the tourist season.
And, what a season it was. The yurts were filled with happy guests 90% of the time, and Karen and Aaron had to turn away reservations on weekends. One guest said: “Amazing, wonderful, magical place!!! The yurts are simple yet elegant, every accommodation is accounted for. Relaxing and peaceful: I can’t wait to spend time there again!”
The overwhelming success of their first season has put Acadia Yurts in expansion mode. They ordered two more rental yurts from Colorado Yurt Company (green this time) and a 30’ yurt for Karen and Aaron to live in. In 2016 they’ll offer massage and yoga (Karen is a massage therapist), and they’ll surely continue to expand their circle of admirers.
Karen says, “We are sooo grateful to the folks at Colorado Yurt Company for their assistance every step of the way. They were accessible by phone when we were planning as well as when the yurts were being pitched. They have also been supportive online via Facebook by sharing our promotions and posts. We have been so fortunate to work with Colorado Yurt Company and highly recommend them to anyone inquiring!”
Acadia Yurts is a fun customer for us to work with. We follow their social media and website to keep in touch. We appreciate their wonderful photographs- showing great examples of how to design the interior of a yurt for comfort and convenience. We look forward to watching the continued success of this creative couple and their growing business.
Horses, cattle, sheep, working dogs, cowboy hats, spectacular sunsets, wind across the prairie… and a yurt.
Kevin Hall and Mindy Bower are living their dream on a working ranch on the high plains of eastern Colorado. They raise cattle, sheep and working dogs… and they live in a yurt. In 2007, when they bought their 27’ yurt from Colorado Yurt Company, they thought it was going to be a temporary living space (until they built a more-traditional home).
Here is their story:
We bought the yurt in 2007, after we had sold our place with a 5 bedroom house. We bought another piece of land but it had no place to live. So we lived in a camper for a month until we decided to buy a yurt.
We had a little herd and so a yurt seemed an appropriate dwelling. We joked about getting a yak so we could live off of yak milk and lamb!
It took us a while to get the yurt deck finished and the floor in, then we had a few friends over and put up the yurt in a couple of days. We put in the wood stove and the waterline, and little by little it started to be a home. We had been without running water in the camper, so it was a glorious day when we got the sink and the shower!
This will be our ninth winter in the yurt, and we can’t imagine living in a traditional house. We love that we can hear things going on outside… birds singing, sheep baaing, horses galloping, cows mooing and of course the 15 dogs! The first big prairie thunderstorm with hail was a bit unnerving, but we realized the yurt could endure. The hail wrecked the vehicles and the metal roofs on the barns but didn’t do anything to the yurt. It just bounced off. It is a real treat when snow slides off the roof- like being inside an avalanche but safe. The wind just seems to sweep around it, and it never feels vulnerable.
The cool thing was to find a company right in Colorado that manufactured yurts, with a great website full of cool photos and easy information to place an order. It was delivered and the directions were easy to follow. We loved working with Colorado Yurt Company.
We never got a yak but we have many more sheep, and we happily reside in the yurt.
Visit Kevin and Mindy’s website: www.uhohranch.com to see more photos of their animals and land.
The movie and best-selling book, “Wild”, detailed one woman’s journey along the Pacific Coast Trail. The PCT goes from Mexico to Canada, crossing the array of scenic and wild places in California, Oregon and Washington. On the south end of the trail, there is a great spot to stop, unwind, rest and heal. Mountain Valley Retreat has three Earthworks Tipis, and a Colorado Yurt for meditation, yoga, music and events.
Chery Owens and George Scheuer created a peaceful and spiritual retreat near Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. They offer yoga classes, music jams and workshops throughout the year and a mentoring program for long term stays. MVR has yoga and meditation retreats, CranialSacral Therapy, body work, music jams, drumming circles, fine art and healing art workshops and offer personal retreats from the stress of city life.
Workshops and gatherings are held in a 30’ Colorado Yurt. We’ve always known that yoga in a yurt is a special experience. “Everyone who steps into our yurt comments about the ‘feel of the field.’ The round shape and domed ceiling create a feeling of spaciousness and the acoustics are excellent for music. It truly is a magical place,” Says Chery.
Their guests say such things as:
Thank you for nourishing me while on my path. Your warm hearts, meaningful conversations, and hospitality made this endeavor even more insightful. The tipi is awesome. Yoga in the Yurt was relaxing.
Lovely place to reconnect, get grounded, and have plain-good-fun! Everything you need within reach, the ground is sacred, the water is pristine, a slice of Heaven on Earth. Stay in the Tipis! Nap in the Hammocks! Emerge totally refreshed!
A stay in one of the three Earthworks tipis is an experience guests relish. They are beautifully painted by Chery. She designed them to honor her personal heritage, Earth Spirits, Indigenous Healers and the Native American Medicine Wheel. She says, “The tipis are spacious and homey with rugs and furniture to give guests a feeling of coziness. Painting the tipis was a six month process and I loved every minute of it. I dreamed the designs and then brought them to life. “
Chery says, “I am a musician, artist, therapist and yoga instructor who loves living close to nature. After living here for three years I had a vision of our retreat. I realized I could create a special place where people would come to practice yoga and meditation, receive healing touch and have unique experiences with artistic expression. Guests can cycle or hike in the desert, valley or mountains…and we LOVE creating “Trail Magic” for the PCT thru-hikers.”
“The choice to purchase from Colorado Yurt was made in part because of the friendly, personal service I received when I was doing my research. Delivery was smooth and installation went great- thanks to the way in which the products were packaged and the instructions we received.”
We love hearing about places like Mountain Valley Retreat. Chery and George are using our structures to full advantage of the history, spirit and singularity of the designs.
Hardwood floors, luxurious linens on a comfortable bed, a covered porch overlooking hardwood forests, gourmet food and fine spirits… sounds like a high end hotel or resort, right?
At Firelight Camps you get the luxury of a resort, with the added benefit of hearing morning birds chirping, feeling breezes through the branches and smelling a campfire.
Robert and Emma Frisch opened Firelight Camps glamping resort in Ithaca, NY in 2014. Emma might be familiar to you if you’re a fan of Food Network Star season 10, where she was a finalist. Emma and Robert have years of hospitality experience and thrive on making guests comfortable. They built Firelight Camps with a philosophy of preservation of the natural environment, immersion in natural beauty, connection with nature and each other and stewardship of the earth.
When they planned their resort, they chose structures to reflect their philosophy. They came to us at Colorado Yurt Company for our custom Cimarron Tents. Our tents are handmade in Colorado, using the finest materials. We craft each tent to the customers’ specifications, offering upgrades such as screen on all four sides and large windows. Our extended vinyl fly creates a covered porch area in front of the tent where Firelight guests can enjoy a cup of coffee or cocktail while watching the sun rise or set.
The camp has a spa bathhouse and a lounge tent. A fresh continental breakfast is included with tent stays, and a campfire is a gathering place every evening.
“Colorado Yurt has been great to work with; they are quick, professional and friendly, and the quality of their tents is exceptional.” says Robert “Our guests have absolutely loved the tents. There is something so romantic and immersive about sleeping under canvas in the woods!”
It’s a great way to experience one of our high quality tents, while being pampered by some of the best in the hospitality industry. The camp opens for the season in mid-May. Firelight Camps is expanding and growing, adding another nine Cimarron Tents this year. Visit their website for more information.
If you’ve ever worked in a large corporation or call center, you know how hard it is to find a bit of respite in the land of cubicles. The desks, phones and partial walls are certainly a good solution for large organizations to get the work done, but they don’t lend themselves to reflection and creativity.
When backcountry.com customer service center found a need for a meeting space, their creative minds came up with the idea to use a yurt. They decided upon a 706 square feet, 30 foot diameter Colorado Yurt to be placed inside the building among the cubes.
Backcountry.com is probably familiar to most of our customers. Our businesses appeal to the same people: lovers of adventure and the outdoors. Backcountry is one of the premier sources for outdoor equipment and clothing. They’re based in Park City, UT, where they have their corporate offices and the customer service center with the yurt.
We got the call last fall, and we talked them through what options they’d need on an indoor yurt. Obviously, they didn’t need the upgraded snow and wind packages, and insulation wasn’t necessary either. Theirs was one of the most “basic” yurts we’ve built lately.
After the yurt arrived in Utah, they pitched it in the corner of the department- then gave Lexi Dowdall the enviable task of decorating it. Lexi is a marketing writer for backcountry, and she must have a reputation for good taste as well. She was told to “Keep it whimsical. Keep it grungy”. It took three weeks of intense preparation and one week of installation. She chose earthy colors and textures, with a leather sofa, dark wood tables and a leather shag rug. Details include handmade burlap prayer flags, thrift store frames and accents and a crafty version of the backcountry goat logo made of string art on barn wood.
See her photo album of the yurt project here (click through all the pages):
“Besides a notorious hub for naps, it serves us wonderfully as a conference room, classroom and fun meeting space,” says Lexi. “We LOVE our yurt”
The success of this project make us think… there are likely many other businesses that could appreciate a yurt in their midst. Whether a school, corporation, small business or a non-profit- using a yurt as a classroom, exercise space, meeting room or offices- we’ll be happy be the yurt company to choose. We’ll talk you through your options and build the very best yurt to meet your needs.
At The Colorado Yurt Company we build our reputation on quality, customer satisfaction and service. We are proud of each handcrafted yurt, tipi and tent, whether it’s pitched in our backyard or across the globe.
A commitment to quality means we are committed to constant improvement and innovation. Over the years, we’ve listened to our customers, added new designs and improved details to make our products the best you can buy.
We’re excited to announce some innovative changes to all of our structures.
We’re proud to launch our Colorado Tall Boy Yurt, with taller walls. The increased height creates soaring interior spaces . These tall walls allow for more creativity with interior design, because there’s more room for furniture and shelves around the perimeter of the yurt and room for a loft in most yurts.
This improvement also makes the entry a full residential sized door to meet building codes. And the addition of an aluminum threshold on every door makes every yurt ADA compliant.
Our Colorado Tall Boy Yurts are still backed by the best engineering in the industry, enabling our yurts to meet building codes and to stand up in heavy snows and winds in all climates.
Basic windows: We are now offering a 52” x 34” window designed to go over a counter in addition to our 48” x 48” windows. We’ve always included three windows in every yurt. Now you can mix and match, upgrade to add extras and pick where the windows will be in the yurt.
Operable glass windows: We now offer a curved wood frame operable sliding double pane window. It’s a good looking glass window, and is more affordable than our highest-quality wood casement windows. Glass windows can be opened from inside the yurt, have a more “home-like” feel and insulate better than our basic fabric windows. These new windows are a great way to add a glass window or two, even when you’re on a budget.
We’re thrilled to offer our beautiful handmade tipis in our new 15 ounce (per square yard) Sunforger marine army duck—with or without a flame resistant treatment—in addition to our 13 ounce Sunforger. Both the 13 and 15 ounce materials are 100% cotton canvas with a mineral dye treatment for water and mildew repellence. The 15 oz. Sunforger with the flame resistant treatment is ours exclusively. This fabric is strong, beautiful and breathable. It creates a tipi that pitches beautifully, has a great natural cotton color and texture and will last many years. We’re confident that this is the very best tipi canvas available. Our Tipi Liners and Ozans are now available in 10 ounce Sunforger for greater pitching ease.
We’re pleased to offer the same cotton fabrics for our tents. Plus we now have a choice of fly material;you can choose standard 13 ounce vinyl or the 19 ounce ProStructure vinyl fly. ProStructure is the most rugged and durable fly available. It’s the best choice if you have high winds, super-intense sun or other extreme weather conditions. It’s also a good choice for camps and campgrounds.
Color! For a unique tent, you can now choose color for the walls. We offer desert tan or forest green in our 15oz flame retardant Tuff-Star fabric. Pick all four walls in either color or mix and match in any combination. All colorful tents have our 100% cotton, 15oz Sunforger FR fabric on the roof for strength and translucency.
All of these product improvements are available now and are explained on our website. Give us a call if you have questions or just want to know more. We have even more product innovation coming soon. We’re always on the lookout for ideas that will make our structures even better, whether the ideas come from our management team, our skilled crew or our customers.
There are lots of reasons to consider living in a yurt.
The most common motivation is to live a simpler life, perhaps debt-free and definitely closer to nature. A yurt home is often a fraction of the cost of a traditional home, appealing to people who are just starting out or downsizing for retirement. Many people use a yurt as their residence while building a house, then use the yurt as a guest house or studio later. A yurt as a summer home is idyllic, with the breezes and sunshine close to you. While the warmth and durability of a yurt in winter makes it a cozy retreat.
Like any building project and life change, yurt living takes a bit of planning.
First, you probably need to get the a-okay from your city, county and maybe your homeowners association to occupy a yurt full time. There is a wide range of rules and regulations within our own state, and we have seen that the codes are subject to local interpretation. Our staff is ready to help you through the permitting process, should you need our expertise. We can help by providing engineering calculations for the yurt, certifying the snow and wind load. Our yurts can meet the international building code for structural loads. Our Winter Stout Alpine Yurt is engineered for extremely high, unbalanced snow loads.
If you are living in your yurt, you might want plumbing and electricity. We encourage you to work with local contractors, and consider putting utilities in your deck or platform plans. We can advise you on your deck or platform type, whether a wooden deck or concrete slab or SIPS. We have suggested deck plans on our website to download. If you need an engineered deck, these plans are a great starting place- and a qualified architect or engineer can modify them for your site.
Room partitions in yurts are better as free-standing or partial walls. That way, you don’t compromise the tall, spacious feel of the yurt. We have some ideas for dividing your space on our pinterest page, and we have a few simple floor plans we can share.
You can put a kitchen and a bathroom in a yurt, as well as a loft (in larger yurts). The yurt interior is your creative palette. You can make it as polished or as rustic as your lifestyle dictates. We’ve seen yurts that are interior design masterpieces and yurts that are simple, rustic spaces for family relaxation on a remote property.
When you chose yurt living, you will find that the simplicity, the round shape and the glorious sky view through the dome all contribute to a unique way of life that you didn’t imagine before. We are here to help you with the planning of your dream, and we will look forward to many photos of your new home.
Sleeping in a tent in the woods… you have a rock wedged under your left shoulder, cold rain drips on your face and you silently curse the person who had this crazy idea…
That’s how some people experience tent camping.
A better way is at Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast in Clark Fork, Idaho. At Huckleberry, guests sleep in our Cimarron Platform tents furnished with luxurious beds and hand-quilted bedding, a kitchen area and even bikes to borrow. Each tent has a sitting area out front to enjoy the views and listen to the sounds of nature. The hosts prepare a fresh breakfast, and share their quaint, family farm with guests. They have gardens, goats, chickens and pets- as well as the local wildlife and scenery.
A tripadvisor review of Huckleberry sums it up:
My husband and I just spent a night at Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast, and it was a pure delight! Christine and Tim and their entire, lovely family made us feel very welcome. After expressing interest in their homestead, they even took the time to show us around and talk about how they live off-grid. The tent site was superb. It was quiet and private, and the kitchen was stocked with everything from s’mores ingredients to bug spray. The bed in the tent was comfortable, and by shutting the tent flaps we were easily able to stay warm all night. Breakfast the next morning (breakfast burritos) was delicious. Stay here if you want an unforgettably unique B&B experience.
Christine says, “We love Colorado Yurt’s Canvas Wall Tents. They have held up wonderfully for 9 YEARS!! of being in business. High quality and strongly recommended “
Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast was a leader in the glamping movement, (opening before glamping was even a word). For those who don’t know, glamping is defined in the urban dictionary as: Shorthand for glamorous camping; luxury camping.
Our tent orders have grown with the popularity of this concept. Cimarron Tents are perfect for retreats, resorts, bed and breakfasts and camps looking to provide glamping accommodations. It’s a trend that appeals to a family wanting to experience the outdoors without “roughing it” too much. Couples go glamping to get away from the everyday stresses and reconnect.
A Cimarron Tent, a warm quilt, the sounds of nature on the other side of your wall… what are you waiting for? Go Glamping!
In 2002, Nanci Beyerl was experiencing grief, loss and trauma after a divorce. She was fragile, frightened and needed healing. Panic attacks and hopelessness plagued her. As she struggled to move forward, she relocated herself and her 4 horses to a dilapidated old farm near Pattersonville, NY. She intended to heal her soul and perhaps help others. She didn’t plan to rescue horses.
Over time, however, her farm and her mission grew. She took in horses from abusive homes. She rescued horses from kill pens, and adopted off track thoroughbreds. She made room for donkeys and ponies, and even brought home a few goats. As the herd grew, she saw how the animals could help to heal people. An abused child connected to an abused horse, and the presence of a horse’s velvet muzzle and soulful eyes calmed a cancer patient. She went back to school and got her master’s degree in social work to further her ability to help others. She was joined by volunteers who shared her vision for horses and healing.
Today, Peaceful Acres hosts workshops and retreats for foster children, veterans, couples in crisis, cancer survivors and others who need the healing power of community and connection. The farm is now 154 acres and home to 65 rescued horses, ponies and donkeys. It costs over $4000 to feed and care for each horse. Fundraising and sponsorships have become as big a part of Nanci’s job as counseling and healing.
As the farm grew, they needed innovative and affordable space for workshops. In 2010, Nanci and a friend stopped by Colorado Yurt Company in Montrose, CO after vacationing in nearby Ridgway and seeing the yurts at Orvis Hot Springs. They toured our facility and fell in love with the space inside a yurt. With the help of a grant from the Charles Wood Foundation, Peaceful Acres added their first yurt in 2011. Last year, they added a second.
The yurts are used for workshops, retreats, dinners and spaces for reflection and meditation. Peaceful Acres rents the yurts to groups and individuals, raising needed funds to feed horses and promote their work. Nanci says, “Offering the amazing space of a 30 foot yurt from The Colorado Yurt company has given Peaceful Acres Horses an opportunity to invite guests and donors to the rescue sanctuary to enjoy events, lunches and meetings in a very unique setting. Most people who live in The Capital Region of NY State have never been in a yurt. Because of our yurts, they now can get a true feel for the space and all it has to offer. We hope to add 4-6 more on the property for accommodations and wellness retreat programs. “
Looking forward, Nanci sees yurts, tipis and tents used for sleeping spaces for the farm. Also, she would like to add a smaller yurt for yoga, and a coffee house yurt. Her fundraising continues, as the vision and need for Peaceful Acres work with horses and people grows.