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Glamping. The newest trend in outdoor fun, "glamping," or glamorous camping, can satisfy your craving for the outdoors and your penchant for a good meal and a nice glass of wine [at exactly the same time]. Check out these luxury camping accommodations scattered throughout the country and plan yourself a nice little vacation from ramen noodles and stinky sleeping bags.
Steal or Splurge?
Fourpeaks, Adirondacks, New York Fourpeals lies on a 700-acre lot and is home to seven different "camps," each reminiscent of a nineteenth-century farmhouse. There is no electricity of running water; propane powers these homesteads, and bathing is done with a portable shower. Twenty miles of hiking trails grace the property, as well as endless wildflower viewing and, in the fall, apple picking. Kitchens come stocked with biscuit-making ingredients, and there's a general store on site [sic]. Camps start at $375 for three nights, each one sleeping 2-8 people. www.4peaks.com
Source: Women's Adventure Magazine, Nov-Dec'08
CLICK HERE for complete 2-page article (PDF File).
Snowy HavensDuring the winter, it’s easy to start thinking like something that hibernates. The reasons not to venture outside pile up like the crusty, gray snow at the end of the driveway. But the rewards for overcoming the stay-at-home mentality far outweigh any night on the couch. Just think: with a little planning, you could find yourself skinning through a pristine forest blanketed in snow to a remote mountain cabin, where your top priorities involve eating spicy chili and unwinding in a wood-fired sauna. Check out our picks for some of the country’s best, most remote, snow-swept cabins, huts, and yurts. These charming structures don’t come with heated driveways, TiVo, or even electricity and running water, but you won’t feel like you’re missing a thing, guaranteed. Since when did a nor’easter or a few ice storms stop the fearless New Englander from heading outside? In this part of the country, not much keeps the locals indoors, especially when rolling mountains, quiet aspen groves, and dramatic panoramas await the weekend warrior.
"Sure these retreats are remote, but getting there is half the fun." By Lucy Burningham
Brownfield, Maine Frost Mountain Yurts
Located just south of Fryeburg, a small town perched on the border between Maine and New Hampshire, two yurts sit nestled among trees on quiet, private property. Although you don’t have to trek too far to reach the sites (just a quarter-mile from where you park the car), Frost Mountain Yurts will give you a pack sled to help transport supplies (hello, extra pillow). The yurts sleep six people on bunk beds or eight when the futons unfold. A full kitchen, games, and a woodstove make returning from a day of Nordic skiing—complete with memorable views of Mount Washington—a welcome treat. And the out-the-door trailhead isn’t so bad either. Dogs welcome. $85 per night for one or two people, $15 per night for each additional person. www.frostmountainyurts.com; 207 935 3243
Jay, New York Fourpeaks
On 700 acres in the Adirondacks, host Martin Schwalbaum has built seven cabins over the years and rents them out to adventurous visitors year-round. While all cabins offer their own charms, not to mention access to beautiful wilderness, only two require visitors to hike or ski in during the winter months: Wolf’s Nest, a charming one-room cabin with a double bed, a fireplace, and a deck with sprawling views; and Ridge Camp, which includes three buildings that complete a unique getaway trifecta. Great for groups, visitors to Ridge Camp can split their time between the main building with loft bedroom, the guest shed, and the sauna. Wolf’s Nest: $525 for three days, $1,050 per week, with a maximum of two people. Ridge Camp: $650 for three days, $1,300 per week, with a maximum of eight. www.4peaks.com; 518 524 6726 Clean air, small populations, and thousands of icy lakes mean plenty of wide-open spaces for winter play. Here the coldest months of the year draw all types of hardy folk outdoors for dog sledding, ice fishing, and Nordic skiing.
Ely, Minnesota BWCA Getaway Cabins
The official Boundary Waters Canoe Area, a protected wilderness that spans the northern border of Minnesota, comprises more than a million acres and 10,000 lakes. Nine miles outside of Ely, BWCA Getaway Cabins manages two remote cabins year-round. Both are located in a roadless area, close to the pristine White Iron Lake. The Wolf Point Cabin is surrounded by marshland that’s covered in ice during the winter (yes, you’ll have to cross it to get there). The Big Pine Cabin has a similar setup, sleeping two people in the main cabin and two in the bunkhouse. Guided dogsledding trips or snowshoeing and ski rentals can be arranged as can free help transporting gear and food. Both cabins accommodate a maximum of four people and require a three-night minimum stay. Wolf Point Cabin: $150 per night. Big Pine Cabin: $140 per night. www.bwca-getaway-cabins.com; 218 365 6385
Ely, Minnesota Log Cabin Hideaways
In the same area, just miles from the border of the Boundary Waters, Steve Lampman and Liz Schendel have been operating Log Cabin Hideaways for nearly 20 years. The family understands the beauty of remoteness and manages eight cabins, six of which are open in the winter. All are lakeside structures that lack neighbors and road access. Although in the summer visitors arrive by canoe, in the winter you’ll need skis, snowshoes, or the use of the couple’s snowmobile. (They’ll help transport supplies to and from the cabins on request.) The area offers plenty of wildlife— a moose sighting isn’t out of the question—that can be seen during a day of Nordic skiing or dogsledding. Only one cabin has indoor plumbing and electricity, but all have a propane- fueled kitchen and a wood-fired Finnish sauna. For the required three-night minimum stay, prices range from $90 to $250 per night, and many cabins can be rented at a discounted rate for an entire week. www.logcabinhideaways.com; 218 365 6045
In the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, otherwise known as the “Porkies,” forests of virgin hardwood rim Lake Superior’s shoreline on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Lake- effect snow piles up during the winter, even in the densest forests, which attracts many Nordic and alpine skiers to the region. (The park includes a small ski resort.) Within the park three basic cabins are available for winter rental for two to eight people. There are also three yurts, each of which can sleep four people, that come equipped with a basic kitchen and a deep stack of wood during the winter. Prices start at $60 per night plus an $8 reservation fee. www.michigan.gov/dnr; 906 885 5275 Cutting a huge swath through the western states, the Rocky Mountains rise in dramatic peaks and settle into peaceful valleys. It’s no surprise that such varied terrain holds the highest concentration of remote huts anywhere in the country, and that many of those getaways offer steep and deep skiing right out the front door.
Aspen, Colorado 10th Mountain Division Huts
The most famous of all hut systems in the United States, the 10th Mountain Division Huts, named for a division of the U.S. Army based in Colorado, offer endless opportunities—think group ski weekends with friends or quiet, extended hut-to-hut backcountry adventuring. The 29 huts, connected by 350 miles of suggested routes in a wide area of the Colorado Rockies surrounding Aspen, Vail, and Gunnison, range from the Boreas Pass Section House, built in 1882 at 11,481 feet for railroad workers, to Janet’s Cabin, built in 1990, which houses 20 people at a time and has a sauna. Spend some time perusing the organization’s website, which offers photos of the cabins, route descriptions, avalanche warnings (some huts are more prone than others), GPS coordinates, and instructions for reserving a cabin. Several guide services offer trips, and visitors are encouraged to arrive at the huts under their own power (leave the snowmobile at home). Most huts house 16 people at a time, and reservations can be made on a per-person basis for $28 per night. The smallest hut accommodates three and costs $69 per night. www.huts.org; 970 925 5775
Driggs, Idaho Rendezvous Backcountry Tours
On the western slope of the Tetons, three “mountain” yurts and one “family” yurt (a larger structure that sits much closer to a plowed road) provide easy access to the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area and Grand Teton National Park. That means a crack-of-dawn shot at some of the best backcountry skiing in the lower 48. Rendezvous Backcountry Tours offers guided trips and private hut rentals. But because of steep terrain and deep powder, the company asks that groups who opt for the self- guided experience have a few members with route-finding, avalanche awareness, first-aid, bivouac, and evacuation skills. Expect three to five hours of moderate skiing to reach the mountain yurts. More serious skiers will quickly realize that getting to the huts is just the beginning. Rendezvous can customize trips with a combination of guide and porter services, which can range from hut-to-hut tours to high Teton traverses that start at $125 per person per day for a larger group. Yurts are $275 per night on weekends and holidays for up to eight people and $250 on weekdays. Add $20 per night for each additional person up to 10 people. www.skithetetons.com; 877 754 4887
Moab, Utah Tag-A-Long Expeditions
To the east of Moab, best known for its red rock and mountain-biking and climbing ops, the La Sal Mountains rise 12,000 dramatic feet into peaks that are covered with snow nearly year-round. Untouched, especially during the winter months, the dusted range gives Nordic skiers plenty of opportunities to break trail or use existing, well-marked ones. Tag-A-Long Expeditions operates two furnished cabins on one of those Nordic ski trail systems. Each building is propane-powered and includes sleeping pads and a fully equipped kitchen. The company can help you customize any kind of trip. Feeling like saving your energy? Hire the snowcat to haul your gear. Want to use every hour of daylight to explore the La Sals? Choose an extensive route based on recommendations or opt for mellow meadow touring. Cabins: $35 per person per night with a two-night minimum stay, and a maximum of 10 people. Snowcat trip: $80. www.tagalong.com; 800 453 3292
It’s easy to think of the West Coast as miles of dramatic coastline that rarely sees a speck of the white stuff, but head to the interior of these western states for plenty of powder and untouched wilderness.
Lee Vining, California Tioga Pass Winter Resort
At the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park, in the Inyo National Forest, guests must ski 1 to 6 miles on moderate- to-uphill terrain to reach the cabins and the lodge at the small and charming Tioga Pass Resort, which offers buildings with electricity (read: hot showers). Staying at Tioga means easy access to some of the most magnificent backcountry skiing in the Sierra Nevadas—steep drops and open powdery bowls. Start and end the day with hearty, staff-prepared meals. Choose private cabins or dorm-style sleeping in the bunk room. Both options include three meals a day. Cabins are $145 to $160, with a maximum of six people. Bunk room: $140 per night. www.tiogapassresort.com; 209 372 4471
Enterprise, Oregon Wallowa Alpine Huts
Northeastern Oregon feels deliciously remote—no tourist towns, limited wireless coverage, and a little-known wilderness area that includes near-10,000-foot peaks. Hidden in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, three yurts create the warm, well-stocked base camps for backcountry ski adventures run by Wallowa Alpine Huts. Choose from two trips—McCully Basin or Norway Basin—each of which takes advantage of a different part of the wilderness area, providing access to different terrain and yurts. The company offers four-day weekend and five-day weekday adventures. Both packages include experienced guides who get you to the yurts in good form, then lead you into the backcountry for all types of skiing. And, of course, they keep the hot food and drinks coming. Sleeping bags, food, and dry saunas are included in the cost, so you’re responsible only for personal gear, sleeping bag liners, and beer. The shorter trips are $600 per person, and the longer ones cost $800. Groups range from five to 10 people. www.wallowahuts.com; 800 545 5537
Five Ways to have a perfect REMOTE GETAWAY
Consider how you’ll transport your gear before packing. Figure out the terrain and the distance before deciding on a pack, ski-pulled trailer, or porter service.
Find out about bedding. Some huts have heavy bedding, so you’ll need just a sheet or sleeping bag liner; others require that you bring your own sleeping bag.
Carefully consider your menu. Remember: you’re going to be burning calories and will want hearty, hot food that can be prepared fairly quickly.
Pack a treat. It’s a vacation, after all, so don’t forget wine, beer, chocolate, or anything else you consider a delicious way to end the day.
Pack light. Find out if the kitchen is fully stocked with utensils and cookware and if the cabin comes with entertainment such as games and books. Avoid bringing anything unnecessary (or heavy).
Go Lux: Remote doesn’t always mean roughing it.
At the Winterlake Lodge outside of Anchorage, Alaska (www.alaskawildland.com/winterlake-lodge.htm; 907 274 2710), on mile 198 of the famous Iditarod Trail, visitors must arrive via floatplane. Once there, guests enjoy dogsledding, cooking classes, skiing, snowshoeing, and wine tasting. A 24-hour stay is $1,000 per person, which includes air transport to and from the lodge, meals, accommodations, guide services, and gear use.
The Brooks Lake Lodge in Wyoming (www.brookslake.com; 307 455 2121) is accessible only by dogsled, cross-country skis, snowshoes, snowmobile, or snowcoach. Expect fine dining, spa treatments, and cushy beds in both the lodge and the private cabins. Rates start at $225 per person per night.
Arrive at the Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort (www.royalgorge.com; 800 500 3871) just north of Lake Tahoe by ski or horse-drawn sleigh. Guests indulge in the huge network of groomed trails, not to mention the two luxury lodges, with hot tubs, saunas, ski instruction, and decadent food. Rates run from $110 to $230 per room, which includes breakfast. Other packages include lessons and trail passes.
Source: Women's Adventure Magazine, Jan-Feb'08
Jan-Feb 2008 and the Nov-Dec 2008 Issues of
Women's Adventure Magazine
1637 Pearl Street, Unit 201 · Boulder, CO 80302
CLICK HERE for complete 2-page article (PDF File).
4-Star Wilderness Camping. Enjoy the quiet and beauty of untrammeled Nature in considerable comfort with no equipment and no experience required. View the Graphic Amenities Summary for heating, lighting, kitchens, water supply, screened porch or deck, and more. Get help deciding which Fourpeaks Cabin is right for you.
#1893 "So close to its natural state that you can imagine yourself as a pioneer just discovering the area."
Subject: Guestbook Entry
Date : 8/29/2004
Name : The Abrigo Family
Email : email@example.com
Location : Staten Island, New York
Comments : Dear Martin,
You are a very lucky man. Fourpeaks is a unique place of great beauty
that's been kept so close to its natural state that you can imagine yourself
as a pioneer just discovering the area. One way you could determine if
potential guests would appreciate the experience would be to have them stop
at Lake George Village first and have a look around there. If they tell you
they actually like the crowds and commercialism, then tell them to forget
Fourpeaks. It takes a different mindset to go into the woods and spend the
day picking up frogs instead of cruising the T-shirt shops in Lake George!
As much as we loved Fourpeaks, though, we weren't enthusiastic about
the outdoor privies! Chemical toilets are definitely the way to go (pun,
ha-ha) and we would immensely appreciate this amenity on a future visit.
We're contemplating a return visit with some friends to share a bigger
place than Thoreau House. Ridge Camp was really attractive and I'll bet the
fall foliage season there would take your breath away! Would you be willing
to get a couple of chem toilets there for the fall season? Let me know and
I'll see what's doable on everyone's schedule (possibly around Columbus
Regards, The Abrigos
More about this. (Keep reading.)
Subject: Thanks very much for your thoughtful Guest Book entry.
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2004 16:25:37 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Martin (Your Adirondack Guide)"
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Hello Frances, Joselito and Valerie!
Thanks very much for your thoughtful Guest Book entry.
The comparison with Lake George Village (or for that matter) downtown
Lake Placid is a good one. There are after all many (the majority of
vacationers really) who don't value privacy and are even scared to be
where there aren't A LOT OF PEEEPLE around. Asking them if they like
LG or LP village is a good way to figure them out. I'll try and
Quiet (no audible sounds except natural sounds like birds and insects
and wind in the leaves and such) is really scary for most people. They're
used to cars and planes and radio and TV and peeeple and even sirens.
A guest who just came down from Ridge today commented about that. He
couldn't hear any highway sounds at all or even airplanes. He says
he's visited lots of "wilderness" or "backcountry" places where city
sounds and sounds of motors still get in and spoil the quiet.
Yes. You can have the use of a chemical toilet while at camp. I mentioned
that in the "Thank you" letter that I sent to you following your visit
(see copy below). It's part of several new upgrade offers in my "Luxury Camping"
program. I don't want to be left behind with all the progress that's being
made to put "NATURE WITHIN REACH" to anyone who wants to take a look at it,
even for just a weekend. It's not so scary after all.
You can read something about what is "Luxury camping" and where to find it
in a magazine article from the Southwest Airlines In-flight magazine
(Fourpeaks is mentioned). Just click http://4peaks.com/fluxury.htm
Along with that "Luxury camping" page is an (almost finished page)
"Luxury Camping at our Adirondack Backcountry Camps," including a list
of new amenities available to Fourpeaks visitors, free phone service,
running water, flush toilets, hot showers, outdoor screened dining (some with
small fee) along with the already available complete kitchens, outdoor grills,
table and hammock, scenic private hiking trails, and pet-friendly accommodations.
Read about the new stuff at http://4peaks.com/foamen.htm still somewhat
"under construction" but due to be finished soon.
Thanks for thinking about coming back. You will have to remind me (my new
inquiry form will provide for it) that you want the flush toilets for your
visit. I'd love to have you back. Maybe I'LL MAKE YOU a meal to pay you back for
your friendly hospitality while you were at Thoreau.
The calendar http://4peaks.com/femail2u.htm shows Ridge is available
for Sept 11 for 3 nights and Sept 17 for lots of time, but Labor Day weekend
is already booked. Sorry. Please consider those alternate dates or maybe
Sugar Camp for Sept 2.
Hope to see you soon. (20% discount off posted rates apply for a second visit
#0461 "I loved the quiet. Even hauling water was fun. I took a shower and loved every step of the process . . ."
Subject: RE: YOUR FOURPEAKS RESERVATION
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2004 13:25:22 -0400
From: "Al C***"
Ted and I had a great time, Woody too. I loved Ridge and can't wait to
return. I think you have a great place. I loved the quiet. Even hauling
water was fun. I took a shower and loved every step of the process,
heating the water, filling the little shower pump and was
hing down. In
the words of Arnold S. in The Terminator, 'I'll be back'.
15** Broadway 36th floor
NY, NY 10036
212 277 **** phone
212 719 **** fax
#1532 "We had a WONDERFUL time this year, notwithstanding the pump situation."
Subject: Re: Your Fourpeaks visit 08/09/04 to Sugar Camp
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2004 16:30:03 EDT
Thanks for your note. We had a WONDERFUL time this year, notwithstanding the pump situation. We also couldn't get the
electric shower to work, although we replaced the batteries. You might want to check that out, too.
We left a couple of leashes, as you probably figured out, but don't worry
about it. Keep em or throw em out, whatever. Betty and Rudi have fancy new ones.
We no doubt will return next summer. I want to use my new kayak a lot, so
we might do some lake camping as well.
More about this. (Keep reading.)
Subject: We had a WONDERFUL time this year, notwithstanding the pump situation.
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2004 17:15:36 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Martin (Your Adirondack Guide)" To: Mamemail@example.com
Thanks very much for you email about your stay at Sugar Camp.
I'm glad you had a good time and I hope you'll make it again
next year. As I mentioned in my [Thank You] note (copy below)
the hand pumps can be frustrating at times, even with regular maintenance.
Next year the option of "running water" will be available at
Sugar Camp and several of the other camps. It's part of my new
"Luxury Camping" program to put "NATURE WITHIN REACH" to anyone
who has an interest in it, for a week or just a weekend.
There's was a magazine article recently about "Luxury Camping," what it is
and where to get it (Fourpeaks is included) and you can see this at
now "NATURE WITHIN REACH--'Luxury camping.'" CLICK http://4peaks.com/fluxury.htm
Aside from "running water" there's the new option of flush toilets
(portable chemical toilets) and outdoor screened dining and more.
A graphic chart of these additions is on a new page "Luxury
Camping at our Adirondack Backcountry Camps" http://4peaks.com/foamen.htm
(still a bit "under construction" but to be finished soon).
I'm sorry your portable hot shower didn't work for you. (I wish you had
mentioned it as I have spares.) It turns out the fault is in the switch
and the manufacturer (www.Zodi.com) has an upgrade version. I just
ordered four of them. It's black instead of green. And these will
be in place shortly instead of the original showers. I'm sorry you missed
the fun of trying this! "Luxury camping" for certain and really very
simple to use.
Thanks again for writing. Hope to see you next year (or even sooner).
Dear Carey and Mike,
Re: Your Fourpeaks visit 08/09/04 to Sugar Camp
Mike--Sorry you had the problem with the hand pump. I
figured out later that it needs priming (water poured in at
the top) to insure a good seal. Next year I'll have more to
offer: gravity water in holding tanks, so no pumping at all.
. . .
An Adirondack Miscellany Newspaper and Magazine articles, Books and lots more.
Ice storm of the Century Devastates Northcountry.January 1998
Town of Jay Happy 200th Birthday Party at the 1829 Southmayd Stone House May 1998
Natives and Outsiders at the Jay Old Covered Bridge. June 1998
Jane McCrae Murdered by Indians in Ft. Edward NY. July 1777
Adirondack Great Camps: Adventures in the Wilderness.
Miss P, the famous www.Internet web purrcat, interviews Tramp, our Fourpeaks barking cocker.
Ironman USA comes to Fourpeaks.
Chickadees In Winter
Flying Critters on your Adirondack Vacation.
Adirondack Letters: "Hints of Balsam and Pine from our corner of the Adirondacks."
AuSable River Swimming: Where the Pools Are Never Crowded, And Water Slides Are Nature's Own (New York Times)
A new novel about Fourpeaks: Moss Krupnick's Daughters of Utopia, 196 pages, $9.98
For your Adirondack experience--"Stay Awhile In Style!" Plattsburgh-Republican November 2002.
NATURE WITHIN REACH: Luxury Camping. (July 2004, Southwest Airlines SPIRIT (In-flight Magazine.)
Annual Jay Yard Sale. (First Sale August 19, 2006.)
Glamping. (Glamorous Camping.) (Jan-Feb, Nov-Dec 2008, Women's Adventure Magazine.)
"Imagine a place that preserves the charm of the nineteenth-century back-country dwellings . . ." ADIRONDACK LIFE, 2006 Collectors Issue.
Are you in this picture? Fourpeaks hosts now welcome paying guests to a 700-acre rest and playground for vacations in the Adirondack Great Camp tradition. Couples appreciate Fourpeaks secluded settings. Outdoor loving families have fun exploring our accessible wilderness. Folks with dogs enjoy the open spaces to run their pets. A private nature rereat. For a vacation away from it all. Are you in this picture? CLICK HERE to find out! [More about this at Frequently Asked Questions.]
Keep up with us through occasional newsletters. CLICK for sample.
"Hints of Balsam and Pine from our Corner of the Adirondacks"
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