When you stay in a domed tent-cabin hybrid known as a yurt, you'll be surrounded by the sounds of nature, but you won't need to worry about bundling up. Oregon was the first state to add these canvas and wood-frame variations of Mongolian shelters to state park campgrounds. Of the more than 20 state campgrounds with yurts, all offer hot showers and restrooms and all on the 365-mile Oregon coast book year-round. Each 16-foot-diameter yurt includes a bunk bed and futon, heater, lockable door, lighting, electricity, windows, skylight, wooden floor and -- outside -- a campfire ring.
Central and Northeastern Oregon
On the pine-forested banks of the Deschutes River in Central Oregon's high desert, about 15 minutes from Bend, Tumalo State Park’s campground offers seven yurts -- two pet-friendly and one accessible. In summer, play on the whitewater river; in winter drive up Mount Bachelor for skiing and other snow play; and enjoy the stars year-round. In northeastern Oregon, Wallowa Lake State Park features 5-mile-long Wallowa Lake and views of Oregon’s “Swiss Alps,” the Wallowa Mountains. In summer, paddle or water-ski. Ride the tramway to Mount Howard’s 8,150-foot summit. Drive the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway and marvel at North America’s deepest gorge. The year-round campground offers two yurts, both accessible.
Northwestern and Southwestern
Champoeg State Heritage Area rests on the banks of the peaceful Willamette River, about 30 minutes from Portland. Explore pioneer museums, or hop on a bike at the park’s entrance to the 132-mile Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway. The year-round campground offers six yurts, including pet-friendly and accessible units. In southwestern Oregon, Valley of the Rogue State Park with its expansive lawns and numerous trees sprawls along three miles of the Wild & Scenic Rogue River. Take a day trip to the Oregon Caves, to Crater Lake National Park, or to Grants Pass for jet boat rides and an impressive wildlife sanctuary. The year-round campground rents six yurts, two of which are pet-friendly.
At Harris Beach State Park, explore tide pools in sandy coves or wiggle into a wetsuit and bodyboard. Glorious sunsets and waves splash Bird Island. About 30 miles north at Gold Beach, ride horses on the sand or take a jet boat ride into the Rogue River Canyon. Six yurts include one pet-friendly and one accessible. Umpqua Lighthouse State Park’s small campground sits between peaceful Lake Marie and Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area where dunes reach over 500 feet tall. The six deluxe yurts have bathrooms with showers, kitchens and covered porches. One is pet-friendly and one is accessible. Two standard yurts are also available for renting. Other state parks offering yurts on the southern coast are Bullards Beach State Park, Sunset Bay and William M. Tugman State Park.
Two miles of sand dunes separate Jessie M. Honeyman State Park from the Pacific. Swim or boat in one of its two lakes. Drive three miles north to Florence to take the stairs into the public viewing rooms of the natural Sea Lion Caves. The year-round campground offers 10 yurts, including pet-friendly and accessible units. Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park sits across the highway from the ocean and has two yurts. Elk and a creek wander through the campground, and a trail leads to a sandy beach where you can find agates. Beachside State Recreation Site, South Beach State Park and Beverly Beach State Park also offer yurts at their year-round campgrounds on the central coast.
Devil’s Lake State Recreation Area is in the city and less than 10 minutes from two of the West’s best kite-flying beaches, Lincoln City Beach and Rockaway Beach. The 10 year-round yurts include accessible and pet-friendly units. Cape Lookout State Park on Three Capes Scenic Route sits on a sand spit between the Pacific and Netarts Bay. Trails lead through old-growth forest, and beachcombers sometimes find glass floats. Hang gliders and paragliders soar above. The year-round campground offer 13 yurts, one pet-friendly and nine with ramps. Two more state park’s with yurts are on the northern coast: Nehalem Bay State Park and at the mouth of the Columbia River, Fort Stevens State Park.