Outdoor enthusiasts spend the night in yurts for easier camping - Tucson News Now

Outdoor enthusiasts spend the night in yurts for easier camping

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Summer is almost here. For those wanting to head into the great outdoors to escape the heat, there is a cool and unique place to camp.

Just north of Flagstaff, at 8,000 feet elevation, sits Flagstaff Nordic Center. Temperatures there are typically in the upper 70s during the summer.

The weather is great to go camping. For those not into roughing it quite that much, there is a possible solution: Sleep in a yurt.

Visitors can drive up to a yurt at the Flagstaff Nordic Center, and campers can also backpack out to one of two that are about a mile into the wilderness area.

Yurts can be a happy medium between staying in a tent or a cabin.

A yurt has canvas walls and a canvas ceiling. The windows are screened to keep the insects out. Instead of sleeping on the ground, a yurt has a wood floor. 

Campers don't need to worry as much about critters nibbling at their feet in the middle of the night.

"If you're someone that has a partner that loves the outdoors and you don't like to sleep on the ground, it's a great place for that. We've got nice, comfortable mattresses in there, wood stoves, table and chairs, barbeque grills, so it's just a step up from camping," said Tim Allen from the Flagstaff Nordic Center.

Once campers get settled into their new home for the night, there is plenty to do in the Coconino National Forest.

Allen explained what activities campers can take part in at the Flagstaff Nordic Center.

"My favorite ... staring at a tree. But to be outdoors, we've got 30 miles of hiking and biking trails. We've got a lot of avid bird watchers like to come out here," he said.

You can rent mountain bikes from the center. During the winter, visitors cross-country ski on the trails.

The cost to stay in a yurt during the week can be as low as $25 a night.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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