Cozy Glamping Spots for a Mid-Winter Getaway

From unexpected snowstorms to below-freezing bathroom breaks, winter camping is a wild adventure. Some nights, you relish the hilarity of navigating tent poles with numb fingers. Other nights, you'd rather show up, sit back, and crack open a beer. If you're ready for the latter—a mix of chilly excursions and heated luxury—it's time to treat yourself at one of North America's best winter glamping sites. Here are our favorites.

Throughout the pandemic, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.

Photo: Chris Burkard

Sheldon Chalet

Denali National Park, Alaska

On a glacier ten miles northeast from Denali’s peak, Sheldon Chalet is one of the most remote guesthouses on the planet. The family-owned chalet honors its namesake, esteemed Alaskan bush pilot Don Sheldon. He acquired the chalet’s five rugged acres under the Homestead Act in the 1950s with one goal in mind: to build an isolated vacation spot in Denali National Park, accessible only by plane. Sheldon passed away before his dream became reality, but his two children saw the vision through in 2018. The Sheldon Chalet sits at 6,000 feet elevation, with five luxury rooms that sleep up to two guests each. A remote mountain locale means adventure opportunities abound, like mountaineering ropes courses, sledding, glacier treks, and rappelling, with evening fires on the deck followed by fine Alaskan dining inside. Prices start at $3,150 per person for a three-night minimum stay; helicopter transit from Talkeetna (110 miles north of Anchorage) is included. 

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Photo: Courtesy Free Spirit Spheres/Tom Chudleigh

Free Spirit Spheres

Vancouver Island, British Columbia

In a forest along Vancouver Island’s east coast, three wood-and-fiberglass treehouses are putting a new, spherical spin on glamping. The spheres hang 15 feet above the ground; private wooden stairways connect you to each main door. When the wind blows or your travel buddy moves, the treehouses (safely) rock back and forth. Each Free Spirit Sphere sleeps two to three guests (from $314). The property’s adjacent Big Qualicum River Regional Trail connects you to more than six miles of riverside hiking, while the Canadian Mount Washington’s 1,700 acres and 1,600 vertical feet of alpine terrain are a one-hour drive away. With no dining options onsite, nearby waterfront restaurants like West Coast Food House and Sandbar Café are your best bet.

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Photo: Colleen Smith

Ski-Out Yurt

Fairbanks, Alaska

Set in the foothills of Fairbanks’ Moose Mountain, this rustic Mongolian-style yurt is surprisingly spacious. Up to six glampers can enjoy three bedrooms, one bathroom, and a fully equipped kitchen, plus ski slopes two steps from the front door. For bites and brews, drive 30 minutes to downtown Fairbanks, where two popular Alaskan breweries, HooDoo Brewing and Black Spruce Brewing, stay open year-round. An unusual outdoor activity—walking with reindeer—is available at the Running Reindeer Ranch for $70. From $200 per night; minimum two-night stay. 

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Photo: Trevor Reichman

Adobe Eco-Dome

Terlingua, Texas

Don’t let the powder-white igloo fool you; this adobe eco-dome is set in the toasty desert of southern Texas, just 45 minutes from the Mexican border. Up to three guests can enjoy the peaceful isolation and unobstructed stargazing of this solar-powered site provides (from $107). The property is located in a Dark Sky Ordinance Territory 300 miles from El Paso, with Big Bend National Park’s canyons, mountains, hiking trails, and wildlife within a one-hour drive. The dome’s refrigerator, propane stove, and oven are essential, as the secluded desert makes for a sparse local restaurant scene. 

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Photo: Courtesy Eastwind Hotel & Bar

Lushna A-Frame Cabin

Windham, New York

Tucked away in the hills near the Catskills’ Windham Mountain, these tiny A-frame cabins are about as minimalistic as it gets. Three 220-square-foot Lushna cabins are part of the Eastwind Hotel & Bar, a property that housed hunters and fly-fishermen in the 1920s. The wood cabins sleep up to two guests each. As a glamping guest, you can frequent the main hotel bar for communal breakfast, dinner, and cocktails on weekends. Windham Mountain’s slopes are two miles from the Lushna cabins, as are local hangouts like the Catskill Mountain Country Store and Restaurant. From $458; minimum two-night stay.

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Photo: Courtesy Borealis Basecamp

Borealis Basecamp 

Fairbanks, Alaska

Aurora chasers flock to Borealis Basecamp’s clear-ceilinged domes. This glamp site is 45 minutes north of downtown Fairbanks, in the far-flung forests, where activities like mushing and snowmobiling await. There are ten domes, half of which come with small kitchens, but you can eat, drink, and play games with other base camp glampers in the central yurt (from $389). That is, until the aurora borealis steals the show—a phenomenon that dazzles guests up to 250 nights per year. 

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Photo: Courtesy Glamping Hub

Eco-Friendly Cabin

Mattawa, Ontario

Seclusion is the main attraction at this cozy wood cabin (from $192). Situated on 485 undisturbed acres, the forest-ringed estate feels ultraremote, but it’s only a three-hour drive from Ottawa and 15 minutes from the shops and restaurants of downtown Mattawa. The 14-person cabin lives up to its eco-friendly name, complete with solar panels and an indoor composting toilet. A fully equipped kitchen makes it easy to fuel up for a day on the slopes. You can snowshoe, backcountry ski, tube, and sled in the nearby Laurentian Mountains, home to North America’s first ski lift. 

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