After a recent trip going yurt camping on Lake Hartwell, I can definitely recommend staying in one of the yurts in Georgia State Parks. There are several benefits to camping in yurts, and fortunately, there are several parks in Georgia that offer yurts for your glamping pleasure.
This was the first time that I’d ever stayed in a yurt, and I really liked the convenience of staying in a yurt versus traditional tent camping. Not only was it fun to stay in such unique accommodations, but we had a blast playing in the lake.
After you see all the pictures of our yurt, I know you’re going to want to go stay in one yourself!
Yurt Camping On Lake Hartwell
When I told my friends and family I was taking the kids camping in a yurt, they all had the same question: what is a yurt? A yurt is simply a round structure made of sticks or poles that are covered in fabric. Basically, it’s a giant round tent.
Yurts usually have windows and a skylight, and in Tugaloo park, they also have electricity and furnishings. It takes away a lot of the packing and work to set up camp when you first get in which is nice for short trips like ours.
Benefits of yurt camping
- Your tent is already up and waiting for you at the campground – no fighting poles and tarps
- It has a ceiling fan and overhead lighting – great for summer camping
- Space heaters are provided for fall and winter camping
- There are 3 beds/futons that sleep six – no hauling air mattresses or sleeping on the ground
- Each yurt has a private lakefront deck with Adirondack seating for 4
Not having to pack, set up, and take down a tent took a lot of the work out of camping with kids. It was such a pleasure to arrive at camp and instantly start having fun!
While it was hot inside the yurt when we arrived, it quickly cooled off after we opened the windows and turned on the fan. Outlets around the yurt make it easy to add additional fans, and overnight it was quite comfortable for us even in early June.
The mattresses in the yurt are covered in a waterproof fabric and appeared clean. I was a little worried they’d have stains or look dirty, but they didn’t.
As far as comfort, the mattress is very firm but much better than the floor. The adults in our group were a little sore after sleeping there, but the kids were very comfy.
I was up the earliest in the morning, and the lake view and Adirondack chairs were the perfect place to enjoy a hot cup of coffee before the rest of the crew started stirring.
What the yurts do not have:
- There’s no air conditioning, but with the ceiling fan and a box fan you can keep it nice and cool.
- There’s no running water inside the yurt. So no toilet, sink, or kitchen. In fact, cooking in the yurt is prohibited.
- Sheets or pillows – make sure to bring your own!
None of those is really an issue to me since we’re supposed to be camping. Because there are beds and electricity, I think yurt camping qualifies as glamping (glamorous + camping).
It would be so fun to up the glamorous part with expensive linens and fluffy pillows. I recommend taking one of these camping mattress pads to make the futon cushier.
Some twinkle lights, battery operated candles (don’t use fire inside the yurt, duh), and maybe some breezy curtains would add a romantic feeling…and some privacy.
I think it would be hard to see into the yurts from the other parts of yurt village, but definitely not impossible – especially at night. So having the curtains would be a nice additional layer of privacy. It would be easy to hang them, just bring some string and tie them to the yurt structure.
Yurt village in Tugaloo Park
In addition to the yurt tent, each yurt site also has a fire ring, charcoal grill, and picnic table. There are six yurts that rent for $75/night in Tugaloo. All the yurts are collected together in their own little area, and they share a central restroom facility.
We stayed in Yurt 6 which was very private and had (fairly) easy access to a small beach area and excellent lakefront views. I liked that this yurt was one of the closer ones to the restrooms, but it was down a steep hill as they all are.
All of the yurts are well spread out, so you don’t feel like you’re camping with your neighbors. While you can definitely hear other families and kids having fun in yurt village, we didn’t see them very much and had the beach area to ourselves.
What to bring yurt camping
While the yurt itself has much of what you’ll need for shelter and sleeping, you still need to bring other camping gear.
- Bed linens and pillows
- Mattress pad if desired
- Fans for inside yurt (definitely needed in summer)
- Flashlight or lanterns for night trips to the restroom
- Portable potty and kitty litter for inside the potty bag (very helpful when camping with toddlers)
Of course, you don’t want to forget supplies for your camp kitchen, and we also brought folding chairs to put on the beach and around the campfire.
For activities, bathing suits, life jackets, and fishing gear came in handy for playing in the lake. Bream fishing off the small beach was great, and the kids had a great time playing in the water.
We also brought board games which were fun to play at the table in the yurt after the sun went down.
Where to go yurt camping in Georgia
Tugaloo park on Lake Hartwell is not the only Georgia State Park with yurts. There are actually 5 other locations that offer similar accommodations.
Just a short drive west of Atlanta, this state park in Lithia Springs has 10 yurts available for $95 per night. This park encompasses 2,549 acres and has a 215 acre lake. In addition to camping, there are fishing docks, a boat ramp, playgrounds, and a museum and gift shop.
Located on the edge of beautiful Lookout Mountain in northwest Georgia, this state park in Rising Fawn has 10 yurts available for $100 per night. If you love hiking, there’s plenty to discover in Cloudland Canyon state park. Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring canyons, cliffs, caves, waterfalls, creeks, and more in this impressive park.
North of Atlanta on Lake Allatoona, this state park in Acworth has 1 yurt that rents for $90 per night. Enjoy fishing, hiking, and picnicking. Bring your own boat or rent one at the nearby marina.
This state park in Winder located between Atlanta and Athens has 6 yurts that rent for $85 per night. There’s plenty to do including fishing, boating, biking, and hiking. Or try your hand at the challenging wooded frisbee golf course.
Traveling south of Atlanta toward Macon, this state park in Jackson has 6 yurts that rent for $75 per night. A 650 acre lake offers fishing and boating, or hike along the river and through the hilly forest to explore the remains of a hydroelectric power plant foundation.
Have you ever been camping in a yurt?
Share your experience in the comments below!