Can you spot Layla?
This weekend is our first anniversary (of being married… it’s like our 8th of being together)! We are super excited to be heading to Telluride to celebrate this weekend and we finally get to stay in the OPUS hut!! But today, we are rewinding all the way back to last year to tell you about our yurt mini-moon.
We did a lot of planning and DIY for our wedding, which was so exhausting, and I didn’t have a lot of PTO built up because I had recently started a new job. So instead of doing even more planning for a honeymoon, we decided to take a mini trip and then do a bigger honeymoon later. I had never stayed at a yurt before and thought it sounded like fun, so we found a dog friendly one in Northern Colorado and booked it for Sunday and Monday night. We had SO much fun at our wedding and hanging out with our friends/family who came in town throughout the week before, but I’m an introvert at heart. As we got closer to the wedding, I realized that going to a yurt meant we wouldn’t have to talk to anyone else for a couple of days – IDEAL!!
After sleeping in on Sunday, popping some champagne for mimosas, and having some family time at our house with our families (who both live out of town), we leisurely packed the car and headed up past Fort Collins to State Forest State Park and the Ruby Jewel Yurt. It was almost dark when we got to the yurt (we stayed at Ruby Jewel) so we brought the necessary stuff inside and let Layla run around a bit. If you’ve never been to a yurt/don’t know what it is (see below) – it’s like a round tent with a floor. The ones you can rent usually have a sink and some cooking pots/pans/utensils, bunk beds, a table and chairs, and a wood-burning stove with a vault toilet outside. In the summer, you can drive up to a lot of them, so you don’t have to worry about packing in your food.
We had so much fun sleeping in, hiking, hanging out, and just generally having nowhere to be.
There’s one main hike from the Ruby Jewel yurt so we did that one on Monday. We got to a little alpine lake and enjoyed some beers while Layla swam. I have a real thing for alpine lakes.
Is it too cold, Andrew? State Forest State Park is not centrally located to anything, and we were there on a Monday/Tuesday – we only saw one other person on our hike and felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. From the lake, you can climb Clark Peak for even more amazing views. We opted not to do it this time since Layla was still a puppy, but we really want to go back and do it now that Layla’s a distance running pro.
(I think that’s Montgomery pass, but I’m not sure). We were able to use the yurt supplies to cook an excellent dinner, starting with a charcuterie plate and champagne. Are you noticing a trend here? Charcuterie plates are my weakness. Plus they make you sound fancy. The Andrew grilled some steaks and I’m sure we had some sort of vegetable, but who cares! Steaks, champagne and charcuterie while “camping”!
We noticed that the Never Summer Nordic yurts filled up really quickly for the weekends this year, but if you can take a few days off work it is completely worth it for the solitude! Also – some of the larger yurts are a little bit nicer since I think they are newer, but you’re camping and sleeping in a bed, so they’re all great.
If this sounds like fun to you, here are some other hut/yurt groups in Colorado (we haven’t been to any of them yet):
10th Mountain Division – the largest hut/yurt system, but also the most popular
San Juan Huts – near Ridgway; I recently discovered these and they seem to still have some weekend availability for last-minute trips!
Southwest Nordic Center
Leadville Backcountry Yurts
High Lonesome Hut – dog-friendly year round
Hinsdale Haute Route – I believe this one is dog friendly year-round; near Lake City
Golden Gate Canyon State Park
What’s your favorite hut/yurt?