Yurting in North Dakota

Unique winter camping option awaits in state parks

A full moon rises over the snow-covered (most winters) countryside, reflecting off the snow and through the trees long devoid of leaves. The countryside is bathed in a surreal black and white landscape and frozen ice chunks crack in the distance as they work their way down the Missouri River. It's an awe-inspiring scene, and when the cold gets too much, you can retire to the comforts of a yurt for an evening of hot drinks and fun with friends or family. Yurts fall somewhere between a tent and cabin and they have transformed winter camping in the state. The yurts in North Dakota's state parks are luxurious with a rustic backwoods charm. They have heat and electricity, meaning there’s no need to stoke the fire after returning from a chilly hike.

In North Dakota, three state parks feature yurts as part of their lodging packages: Cross Ranch State Park near Washburn, Lake Metigoshe State Park near Bottineau and Fort Ransom State Park near Fort Ransom.

The heated and sturdy framed circular structures are a step up from roughing it but not to the level of glamping, even though the newest yurts at Fort Ransom take the experience to a new level. The new yurts at Fort Ransom have two bedrooms, lofts and full bathroom - a luxury not seen in a lot of places. Cross Ranch State Park has three yurts and Lake Metigoshe has another. All three parks have excellent year-round recreational opportunities.