Love the great outdoors, but don't want to sleep on the ground? Teepees, yurts and gussied-up tents let you do it in comfort.
In Alberta, Sundance Lodges in Kananaskis Country (45 minutes from Calgary and Banff) rents out 12 tepees, each sitting on a private, forested site on grounds with views of Mount Allen, Mount Lorette and Mount Kidd, with the Kananaskis River a short walk away. The tepees have a wooden floor and come equipped with a kerosene heater and foam mattresses (sealed in plastic) inside, and a picnic table and firepit outside. 1-403-591-7122; www.sundancelodges.com. From $57.
Also in Alberta, visit the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site for a tepee stay along the North Saskatchewan River. Run through the Métis Association of Alberta, the three large tepees have wood floors and liners to reduce drafts, sleeping mats if required and large firepits outside. Interpretive programming is available on request. Contact Travis Weber at email@example.com; 1-403-846-9373. From $19.60 (per night, covers admission fee and camping).
In B.C., the Tipi Camp Nature Retreat sits on the edge of Kootenay Lake with views of the Selkirk and Purcell Mountains in the distance. The camp offers four tepees and vegetarian meals from a large outdoor kitchen, various workshops and retreat programs. 1-250-505-3173; www.tipicamp.bc.ca. From $105 per person, includes gourmet vegetarian meals; does not include $15 per person daily caretaker fee (less for children).
Also in B.C., traditional Blackfoot tepee camping can be had at Hat Creek Ranch, a provincial historic site. 1-800-782-0922; www.hatcreekranch.com. From $45.
In Nova Scotia, Mersey River Chalets offers six Sioux-style, accessible tepees on the shores of Mersey River and Harry Lake in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve (a UNESCO site), a few kilometres from Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site. Rates include kayaks, canoes, tennis and basketball court use, a fully equipped kitchen, swimming and firepit. Fully accessible (including the tepees) with wide nature trails and specially designed wharfs with wheelchair swing. 1-877-667-2583; www.merseyriverchalets.com. From $70 for two people; $90 for family.
TENTS, BY ANY OTHER NAME
At the extreme luxury end, make like Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds and enjoy Canada's great outdoors at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in B.C. where the wooden floor is just the start. It's a tent in form only. 1-888-333-5405; www.wildretreat.com. From $4,750 for three nights.
In Pointe-Taillon Park on the shore of Lac Saint-Jean in Quebec, cycle in to sites where you will discover ready-to-camp Huttopia tents on wood platforms, equipped with a complete kitchen set, propane stove, small fridge, electric or gas heating, a picnic table, fireplace and lawn chairs. You can rent bicycles to tour the park's 45 kilometres of trails, as well as the camping-cargo bike trailer to get your gear from your car to the campsite. The popular (read: book early) Huttopia tents are available at 13 other Quebec national parks. 1-800-665-6527; www.sepaq.com. Packages from $83.
In Alberta, Jasper National Park is now offering cottage tents with wood floors, a double bed, bunk bed and fold-out chairs, electric heat to ward off the chill, and a picnic table outside. Public showers, washrooms and a cooking facility are nearby. Parks Canada staff will come to your site to teach you camping basics - including cooking bannock over an open fire. One cottage tent is wheelchair accessible. 1-877-737-3783; www.pccamping.ca. From $70, plus daily park entrance fee of $9.80, and reservation fee of $10.80.
In the Yukon, Boreale Biking's yurts are so fully equipped you can use wireless Internet to find a smoothie recipe, and then the bicycle-powered blender to make it. Enjoy it in a hammock outside. Heated bedroom yurts have queen, double and twin beds with wool or down duvets, hardwood floors throughout, and kitchens with stove, fridge, stainless steel cookware and ceramic dishware. The shared bathroom yurt has a hot-water shower, toilet and sink. 1-867-332-1722; borealebiking.ca. From $95.
Various provincial and national parks and private adventure companies now offer yurt accommodation - and more are bringing the traditional Asian dwelling onboard (Fundy National Park in New Brunswick is expected to have yurts in time for summer camping).
In Quebec, Forillon National Park yurts have wooden floors, windows, bedding , a stove and even a sink. 1-888-773-8888; www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/qc/forillon/index.aspx.
In Ontario, visit the Ontario Provincial Parks website for information on yurt camping. www.ontarioparks.com/english/yurts.
In Northwestern Ontario, Minaki Yurt Adventures offers four yurts - the grandest of which is the bunkhouse yurt. It sleeps up to 11, has a kitchen, a pellet stove, three outhouses in the immediate vicinity and a sauna house nearby. 1-807-224-2203; www.minaki.ca. From $75.
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