After our cross-country road trip was delayed indefinitely due to COVID, Ryan and I spent the months between March and August of 2020 making vague plans. Our initial plan was to set out with vague plans anyway, but with the uncertainty of everything related to travel we decided it would be best to start laying down some solid plans, primarily our accommodations. So, we spent one rainy August day surrounded by our laptops and a few bottles of wine and booked a couple of weeks' worth of campsites and Airbnbs. One of the places we booked was a yurt, on a property in northern Idaho, which can be found on Hipcamp here.
This was one stay I was most excited about. It looked rustic, yet inviting, and I imagined it would be a welcome reprieve from the weeks of tent camping we'd be doing for several weeks prior to staying here. We spent two nights at the yurt - here are my thoughts!
The location was great. It was secluded, but it wasn't difficult to reach. Our GPS brought us right there! However, the host, Todd, left detailed driving instructions in case we needed them. I liked that we were only a short drive into the nearby town of Sandpoint, Idaho too. There are lots of shops, cafes, and even an indoor market in Sandpoint, so I was glad we were so close!
One thing I didn't love about this stay was that our yurt was right next door to the host's home (they actually have a yurt, too!) but this was made clear in the listing. It's just my personal preference and I feel the same way with all Airbnbs and Hipcamp sites - I just prefer to have a private space with no host interaction. And although I said it was right next door, our yurt was really a good distance away from the host's yurt so it wasn't too uncomfortable. They definitely gave us privacy, which was nice! There are lots of woods to explore, and apart from the host's yurt, you can't see any neighbors.
I thought the yurt itself was really cute! It was simply decorated with personal touches like artwork on the walls and books in the nightstand. We thought the whole structure was so cool - we actually looked into what it would cost to own a yurt ourselves! We thought it would make a nice little guesthouse - exactly like this was!
It didn't feel cramped, but it felt a little small in the sense that there was only one chair at a desk. We'd brought along board games and would have appreciated another table and chair because hunching over the floor wasn't quite so comfortable. The bed, which is technically a futon, wasn't the most comfortable either. But it was definitely okay for just a short stay.
The kitchen was nicely stocked, though we did bring along our own supplies, so if anything obvious was absent from the kitchen we likely wouldn't have noticed. The water situation was new for us, but really cool! And it worked well. On the Hipcamp listing it's called a "gravity feed water system," and essentially, it was a water container on a high shelf with a pipe leading to the sink. When you wanted to turn the water on, you simply turned a spout, and water would pour down from the pipe. Rustic, but easy-to-use and energy-efficient!
There was a wood stove inside the yurt which we did fire up one night and it made for a really lovely atmosphere! We used the wood stove primarily for aesthetic despite the fact that it did get a bit chilly at night. Thankfully, there was also an electric heater so we didn't need to tend to the fire all night! Speaking of electricity, there were quite a few outlets in the yurt so we had no problem charging our devices. There was also a private fire pit outside and tons of chopped wood available for us to use!
Without a doubt, my least favorite aspect of the yurt was the outhouse. It was private, which was a plus, but honestly, I didn't think it was very clean or well taken care of. I get that it's an outhouse, but we've experienced cleaner outdoor toilets in public parks, so it was disappointing that I was more grossed out by this private one! It did make for some aesthetic photos though.
There was a heated outdoor shower available, but it was shared with the host's family, which I wasn't super comfortable with. It's very nice that it's offered as an option though! Considering we were only staying two nights, a shower wasn't really an urgent priority for us anyway.
Overall, I think this yurt is a really nice stay as long as you don't mind a more rustic experience. Keep in mind you'll be close to the host's yurt, will have to use an outhouse, and possibly share an outdoor shower, too! If you're a-okay with those things, you'll love this unique little stay!
To check out this exact yurt's listing on Hipcamp, you can find it here, and if you want to book this yurt (or any other site on Hipcamp), you can use this link to get $10 in Hipcamp credit toward your first stay!