Glamping at Cloudland Canyon
Some people live to be outdoors and think camping under the stars is heaven. Others (like me) enjoy the outdoors and can appreciate a great hiking spot, spectacular mountain views, playing in a lake, but at the end of the day a nice soft bed and warm shower make it all that more enjoyable. So in an effort to satisfy my children’s desire to camp and my desire for a few creature comforts we happened upon Yurt camping at Cloudland Canyon State Park.
Cloudland Canyon is made up of 3,485 acres of varying elevations with excellent hiking trails that can accommodate novices to expert (aka in really good shape!). The park is located in NorthWest Georgia about 30 minutes from Chattanooga. The park offers all types of campsites from backcountry to RV with full hook up. They also offer cottages and a pioneer campsite, but it is the Yurts that I fell in love with!
These adorable and incredibly spacious tent like structures are elevated off the ground, rain proof (I can attest to this as our first night it poured rain with fierce winds and not one drop of water came in), they are HEATED (what a bonus for fall and those cold nights that pop up – also allows for comfortable camping in winter), have electricity (central light along with 4 outlets for charging phones or a power fan for hot summer nights), vented sky dome and ceiling fan (this is lovely for summer as well to allow heat to escape). Inside the Yurts have wood floors and sturdy furniture made of pine which includes a futon (that fold into double bed) and a bunk bed/futon combo so that you can comfortable sleep six. There is also a small bar area with stools for playing cards or indoor dining and a great shelf for storing camp goods.
TIP: Yurt 7 is closest to the bathroom facility. Yurts 3 & 6 are directly across from the playground. Yurt 5 is closest to the West Rim trail, but it’s easily accessed from any of the Yurts (although Yurt 1 is at the very front and a little longer walk to the trail).
On the outside most have a space right out front for easy parking to load and unload, along with a fire ring, picnic table, outdoor water spigot, and lovely decks on front and back (some are on the side as pictured). The bathrooms and showers are a short walk and include family bathrooms as well which is so nice for families with small children! Another great plus for this campground is there is a playground/picnic area in the center of the yurt village, this is a great place for the kids to play while parents are making dinner.
If you are new to camping this is a great facility to try, I suggest a weekend trip 2 nights/3 days. This facility is well suited for an adults only weekend, family weekend, or girlfriend getaway!
Camp Menu Ideas:
Dinner Idea – After arriving and unpacking my favorite first night dinner is Tacos in a Bag and campfire cones. I pre-cook the ground beef at home and add my taco seasoning so it’s just heat and eat when you arrive. The below recipe is plenty for 4 people.
Recipe: 1lb precooked ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
At home cook ground beef and drain, add taco seasoning packet and ½ cup water cook for 5 minutes. Place seasoned meet in disposable foil pan and cover with foil and freeze.
1 bag lettuce shreds
1 snack pack of Dorito’s single serve bags (I normally buy the 12 pack and use any leftovers for snacks over the weekend).
1 bag shredded cheese
1 jar taco sauce
Any other topping can be purchased as well based on your preferences!
The Yurts have a fire ring/grill so bring charcoal or wood (can also purchase wood from camp office), start your fire, heat up your taco meat and dinner is served! Bring along graham crackers, marshmallows, and Hershey bars and you can have s’mores for dessert!
Breakfast Idea-A really easy and very delicious breakfast that I like to serve is stuffed waffles. This may sound complicated but it’s actually very easy and big hit with the kids and adults!
Recipe: 1-2 boxes of Eggo Waffles
1 jar Nutella
1 jar peanut butter
1 pint strawberries washed and sliced (again prep this at home before you arrive)
Small tub soft butter
This is a fun and hands on breakfast for kids as well. Take two waffles and spread/fill with desired toppings, then cook in hot frying pan either over fire of camp stove each half separate in butter, once brown smash together with spatula (like a grilled cheese) and remove from heat when warm, brown, and melting chocolate/marshmallow goodness is coming out!
There are so many things you can do but among my favorites are:
- Cards – These are a must and lifesaver when it rains, I always bring a simple deck and some Uno cards
- Glow Stick Balloons – Purchase a pack of balloons and one $1 pack of 10 glow sticks from any Walmart or Target, blow balloon up just a bit, activate glow stick, insert in balloon and finish blowing up. This great fun for tossing back and forth, playing keep away, etc at night in the dark. Just have extra balloons as they pop easily when they land!
- Walking Stick Art – As you hike the trails find a great stick that you can bring back to your campsite. From home bring 2-3 small rolls of duct tape (use to wrap top of stick 5-7 inches and prevent splinters) for handle at top along with 2-3 bottles of craft paint and cheap foam brushes. Then paint stick using imagination and you have a great keepsake from your camping weekend!
- Chattanooga Aquarium is just a 30 minute drive and great day time activity away from the campground
- Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls, and Incline Railway are also about 20-40 minute ride and other great day time activities