Yurt Would Offer Camping Alternative At Makoshika State Park
March 24, 2021 | View PDF
Glendive - The tipi at Makoshika State Park near Glendive is a popular place for visitors to camp, and soon the park may add a yurt to its lodging options.
A yurt is a round, tent-like structure once used as a portable home by ancient nomadic tribes in Central Asia, particularly Mongolia. Nowadays, yurts have evolved into a popular, upscale camping option, boasting furnishings and other amenities.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is proposing to build a 20-foot diameter yurt at Makoshika. If approved, the yurt will be built in an existing campsite in a rustic setting. FWP wants to provide a high-quality camping option with a great view of the park’s unique badlands formations. A 30-foot trail will connect the yurt to a parking area and latrine. The structure is expected to attract a new demographic of campers and increase campsite revenue.
“Our tipi is booked every night during peak season, and the yurt experience will give campers another fantastic alternative camping experience in the park,” said Makoshika State Park Manager Chris Dantic.
Yurts may appeal to people who do not have the ability or gear to sleep on the ground in a tent. They also fall into the “glamping” – short for glamorous camping – movement for people who are looking for more amenities and services than traditional camping offers.
The yurt will have windows and a door, along with an eight-foot deck with railing. Furnishing plans are not finalized, but the park is looking at a queen bunk bed, a pull out couch and a small table with chairs. If the budget allows for ample solar power, a microwave may be included.
The Montana State Parks Foundation for the yurt project secured a $25,000 grant. The foundation also provided $5,000 and FWP provided $5,000. If the project is approved, construction may begin in April and be completed in May.
FWP has completed an Environmental Assessment of the project and is seeking public comment. The EA can be viewed on the FWP website at https://fwp.mt.gov/public-notices/news/2021/mar/0302-makoshika-yurt-ea. Written comments will be accepted through March 23, and can be mailed or emailed to: Brian Burky, Region 7 Parks Manager, PO Box 1630, Miles City, MT 59301; [email protected]
Makoshika State Park is Montana’s largest state park with a total of 11,501 acres. In 2020, Makoshika received 128,288 visitors. The park has many amenities including a campground, visitor center, 11 designated trails, pavilion, archery area, 200-seat amphitheater and a PDGA disc golf course. In 2017, the public as USA Today’s number-one attraction in the state of Montana voted Makoshika State Park. Fossils from nine species of dinosaurs have been found in the park, and the visitor center has impressive fossil displays and a paleontology lab with visitor programs.