That Time We Stayed in a Yurt in Arkansas

IMG_3223I really don’t know how we came up with the idea of renting a yurt in Arkansas, but I’m glad we did. My husband and oldest son love to camp; my youngest son and I don’t do tents. The cost of staying in hotels makes travel too expensive to do frequently. So, when I came across the idea of renting a yurt at Petit Jean State Park, it seemed like the perfect common ground for our family.YurtIMG_7385

To get me to sleep in the great outdoors, I require a few simple things: a door that locks, electricity, no bugs, and a real bed.  The yurts at Petit Jean State Park come with these things and more for only $55 a night. In addition to coming furnished with three sets of bunk beds and some chairs, the yurts include many basic camping essentials, such as a lantern, ice chest, and propane cook stove (outside).


Since the yurts come fully equipped, you might imagine we hopped into our car with a few essentials and hit the road to Arkansas. Unfortunately, by the time we were done, we looked like the Clampetts as they headed off to the Beverly Hills. Later, I realized we had everything except my purse. 


When we arrived at camp, we were all eager to see what we had gotten ourselves into. The yurt exceeded our expectations! It was quite large, with plenty of room for all the stuff we brought (see above).

So many aspects made it better than tent camping! Electricity, a deck for messy shoes, real beds, and plenty of head room. However, it wasn’t entirely free from insects, as we did see several daddy long legs, but I could brave them.

The yurt also had several windows and a large sky light, which helped brighten the room. Most importantly, it just seemed like a really cool place to be.


Despite being distinctly different from tent camping, staying in a yurt shares some problems with tents. First, no air conditioning. We traveled to Petit Jean in early June so we could stay in the yurt before the true heat of summer hit. The yurts do come with a box fan, but in an Ozarks summer, a fan would just blow the steamy air around.

Another similarity to tent camping is no restrooms in the yurt. (This isn’t true of all rentable yurts, however. Some fancier yurts come equipped with restrooms and kitchens.) Luckily, our hike to the restroom wasn’t too difficult.

We were most excited to see the yurt came with a canoe we could use on the huge lake right off our deck.



That evening, we watched the sun set in the mirrored waters of Lake Bailey.


We slept well in our bunk beds and arose early the next morning to explore Petit Jean.

If you are looking for cheap, fun accommodations, check into a yurt. Many state parks and private campgrounds are now renting them out. Our only regret was that we had rented the yurt for just one night.

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8 years ago

I like the way you put pictures and words together. The pictures bring the words to life and the words give background and depth to the pictures.

Gary Watkins
Gary Watkins
5 years ago

I don’t see a bathroom anywhere ?

keshav bisht
keshav bisht
4 years ago

Thank you for sharing your experience. We are planning for Thanksgiving this year. Looking forward it.

Kerri Cox
4 years ago
Reply to  keshav bisht

Hope you have a wonderful trip!