Glamping: Wild Luxury for Modern-Day Campers

Grand Canyon Under Canvas interior. Photo by The Nomadic People.

By Lisa Racz

Arizona provides desirable weather nearly year round. The beautiful colored desert landscapes and the northern forest foliage make being outdoors and taking “staycations” a happening thing for those who want to step away from the hustle and bustle of city life and commune with nature.

Grand Canyon Under Canvas exterior. Photo by The Nomadic People.

“Glamping” (glamorous camping) takes camping to a new level. The enthusiastic camper can enjoy the outdoors with a bit more style, packing resort-style amenities within a wooden Yurt or canvas safari-style tent. Glampers experience the best of the remote wilderness without sacrificing comfort.

Arizona provides several “glamp” sites to choose from, depending on where you want to go for the weekend. Some offer clear sky ceilings for star gazing, electricity, compost toilets and running water, along with a comfy bed to fall into after a long hike or a day of fishing — after a luxurious heated shower, of course.

If the outdoors have been calling your name, but you’re not ready to “rough it” in the wilderness, then give glamping a try at one of Arizona’s top-rated “glamp grounds” for a one-of-a-kind outdoor experience. Here are just six glamping retreats around Arizona.

Check into a canvas tent filled with luxurious amenities but surrounded by wilderness at Grand Canyon Under Canvas. Located along historic Route 66 in Williams, Arizona, and sitting at the base of Bill Williams Mountain, you’ll be just a stone’s throw from the south rim of the Grand Canyon. For more information on Grand Canyon Under Canvas, call (928) 248-8808 or visit www.undercanvas.com.

Dining under the stars at Raven’s Nest Catclaw Lounge. Photos by Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary.

Glamping in the Jaguar Camp Tent at Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary offers an outdoor adventure with resort-style comforts and gourmet outdoor dining. Raven’s Nest is located in southeastern Arizona in Patagonia, Arizona, by Patagonia lake. For more information call (520) 519-9966 or visit www.patagoniaaz.com/safari-eco-lodge. For driving directions, visit www.patagoniaaz.com/how-to-get-here.

Cochise Stronghold Retreat is located in Cochise Stronghold Canyon along the Dragoon Mountains just outside of Pearce, Arizona. Enjoy the sounds and sights of nature in a Yurt nestled among the oak and juniper trees, with amenities that include an outdoor shower and hot tub along with outdoor cooking for that campfire experience. For more information, call (520) 826-4141 or visit www.cochisestrongholdretreat.com/woodlands-yurt.

Trailer glamping at Shady Dell. Photo by the Shady Dell.

Glamping was originally achieved by parking a camper in the wilderness with some or all of the amenities you would find at home. At Shady Dell, all the trailers — and even a 1947 yacht with sleeping quarters — are all vintage, like stepping back in time while enjoying the outdoors in a campground setting. If you don’t want to cook in your private kitchen, Dot’s Diner is located right on site. The Shady Dell is located on 1 Old Douglas Road in Bisbee, Arizona. For more information, call (520) 432-3567 or visit www.theshadydell.com.

Restored sheepherder covered wagon. Photo courtesy Shash Dine’ Eco-Retreat.

The peaceful Shash Dine’ Eco-Retreat is located on Lake Powell in Page, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation. The Bed & Breakfast has been built to accommodate guests year-round, providing a unique Navajo cultural experience. Traditional Navajo hogans, bell tents, restored sheepherder covered wagons, or cabins are all equipped with comfortable bedding, drinking and bathing water, and lanterns. Sit around the large fire pit for cooking storytelling at night. While there, visit the Shash Dine’ ranch to experience traditional Navajo ranching. For more information, call (928) 640-3701 or visit www.shashdine.com.

Interior cooking area and bunk beds at Jump Up Cabin. Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service, Southwestern Region, Kaibab National Forest.

If you’re interested in outdoor luxury but not quite ready to give up the traditions of camping, then try out Historical Jump Up Cabin located in the northwestern part of Arizona at the trailhead of Ranger Trail #41. You will enjoy comfortable bunk-style bedding, a kitchen area with a wood-burning stove, the indoor eating area along with outdoor picnic tables, and a fire pit to cook your campfire meals and roast marshmallows. The mornings are active with wildlife, a perfect time for a fun, casual hiking right out the cabin door through the Kanab Creek Wilderness. There is no running water and no firewood provided, so you will need to bring your own. For more information and directions, visit www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/kaibab or visit www.azbackcountryadventures.com/jump. For reservations, call (877) 444-6777.

For more information on where to go glamping in all of North America, visit www.glamping.com/destinations/north-america. For Arizona glamping, visit www.glampinggetaway.com/region/arizona-az. For global glamping, visit www. glampinghub.com.


Lisa Racz is an award-winning journalist who has lived in Arizona since 1972. She hopes to inspire the public with her writings and strives to illuminate the minds of her readers. She is also fascinated with writing children’s books.

Find more travel destinations at greenlivingaz.com/travel

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