Campfires and Canvas – The best luxury camping in the United States
From permanent structures that rival the world’s top hotels for service and indulgence, to luxury tented camps deep in the backcountry, the best glamping in the United States spans a wide spectrum, each offering a very different luxury camping experience. What those at the top of the tree have in common is a wonderful natural setting, impeccable attention to detail, and a great team behind them. Here’s a sneak peak at some of our favorite luxury camping experiences in the United States:
Camp Sarika by Amangiri
For many Amangiri needs no introduction, this modernist marvel in Southern Utah consistently ranks among the top luxury hotels in the world. The picture has been completed by the recently announced launch of Camp Sarika, opening in April 2020. The singular design aesthetic and attention to detail of the main Amangiri resort has been maintained in a series of ten canvas-topped pavilions but with an even greater connection to the dramatic landscapes that surround. Private plunge pools and firepits provide intimate focal points to unplug and soak in the rocky mesas and slot canyons that envelope the camp. Unlike the main Amangiri property, Camp Sarika has several two bedrooms tents, which will be perfect for families.
Dunton River Camp
Like the fantastic Dunton Hot Springs just up the valley, Dunton has accomplished true understated luxury with their safari-style glamping tents. The eight tents sit in the West Fork of the Dolores River Valley, an idyllic corner of the San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado. Tastefully designed interiors, luxurious beds, and clawfoot tubs will have you momentarily forgetting you’re in a tent, but step outside and mountain trails, alpine meadows, and trout-filled streams await. Chef-prepared meals are served in the central farmhouse, a sauna sits down by the river, and the firepit, underneath the dark night sky, is the perfect place to end each day of your Colorado glamping adventure.
The Resort at Paws Up
If you’re looking for some of the best glamping in the American West, look no further than Paws Up. Part dude ranch, part luxury hideaway, the Resort at Paws Up sits on 37,000 acres in Western Montana, classic ‘Big Sky’ country. To the north lies Glacier National Park and the town of Missoula is a short drive to the west. The resort has multiple private log homes dotted across the ranch but it’s their luxury tented camps that warrant a mention here. With six or so tents per camp, it’s an intimate set up and perfect for a larger group or extended family. The pretty Blackfoot River, of a ‘A River Runs Through It’ fame, runs through the heart of the ranch and our favorite camp locations are those perched above this tumbling waterway. Each has their own chef and dining pavilion, as well as a butler at the ready, so while part of a larger resort, they feel secluded, private and immersed in nature.
With their new tented camps, Ranchlands delivers a glamping experience in Colorado that will let you harness your inner cowboy or girl and get an authentic taste for life on the range. Ranchlands operate four working ranches, including Zapata, where conservation and preserving the ranching heritage are the primary goal. Their low-touch tented camps are located on the Chico Basin property, where a large herd of Beefmaster cattle roam Colorado’s eastern prairie. Camps can either be taken privately by a group or you can join a scheduled week, typically hosted by experts in their field; a master horsemen, National Geographic photographers, or an acclaimed Western artist. Your days revolve around the circadian rhythms of ranch life; up early and fitting in with the tasks at hand, whether that’s moving cattle, branding, or leatherwork. End your day with dinner on the open prairie, watching the sun drop behind distant Pikes Peak, before taking the conversation to the campfire.
The Ranch at Rock Creek
Montana’s Ranch at Rock Creek, takes rustic luxury to its extreme and their luxury glamping tents are no exception. Dotted along Rock Creek, which winds through a remote valley near Philipsburg, each unit stretches the limits of a ‘tent’ or indeed ‘camping’, being more of a cabin-tent hybrid; think sumptuous king beds, tasteful western furnishings, full ensuite bathrooms, separate living areas, and a front porch to watch the world go by from. Trapper Cabin, tucked away in its own secluded corner of the ranch, is the perfect romantic bolthole, with heated floors to keep you warm on those long winter nights and a private outdoor soaking tub.
Custom Wilderness Camps
Perhaps the ultimate glamping experience in the U.S., a custom safari-style camp, constructed just for your group, can provide access to true wilderness and solitude without scrimping on the creature comforts. From remote private land on the California coast to the wilds of Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante, the camp can be located according to your specific priorities and trip goals, and is delivered in accordance with ‘leave no trace’ principles. Levels of luxury can be tailored; from the truly elaborate to something more nimble but expect hot running water, real beds, and gourmet meals prepared by your camp chef. By day you’ll explore your surroundings with your guide team and evenings are spent sitting round the campfire recalling the day’s adventures. This will be a truly memorable wilderness glamping experience!
IMAGE CREDITS: Luxury Frontiers, Aman, Jack Richmond (Dunton), Maddie Jordan (Ranchlands), Ranch at Rock Creek, ASC