While I was planning out the details of my southwest road trip, the idea of glamping in the desert popped into my head.
I figured that this road trip from Denver to LA would be the perfect opportunity for me to try out the trendy new form of accommodation that is becoming popular all over the globe.
If you haven’t already heard of glamping, here’s the deal: It’s like camping, but a little more glamorous. You might have a proper bed, or a raised platform to camp on, or a larger, more spacious tent. You might have some sort of service included (like a cooked breakfast), and you likely won’t be at a noisy campsite with partygoers who are making noise until 2AM.
A few months ago, I wrote about my relationship with camping. By upgrading the camping experience, I hoped that a few extra luxuries might allow me to actually enjoy sleeping outdoors this time around.
There were a few glamping options in the southwest, but the one I ended up choosing was a teepee in Monument Valley. I really wanted to choose a place where I might be able to see the stars, and I loved the idea of fully immersing myself in the desert. Here’s all the deets about my desert glamping experience in Monument Valley!
Desert glamping in Monument Valley
We stayed in a teepee at the Monument Valley Tipi Village. This place is run by a Navajo family, and it’s actually just a regular campground. There are a few powered sites for caravans, some unpowered sites for tents, and about 8 teepees scattered around the site. The teepees cost $90 USD per night during the summer season.
We ended up in one of the newer teepees outside the fenced campground. This was both a good and bad thing: The good side was that it was further away from the main campground and therefore more private, the bad side was that these teepees had no power supply and were further away from the bathrooms.
Our teepee was much larger than I expected! We entered through the flap, and found that it had 2 single beds set up on each side of the tent. It also had a camp table with a battery-powered lamp, and a box filled with extra blankets. The floor was carpeted so it felt much nicer than a regular tent.
Outside, we had a private campfire and picnic bench. As evening fell, we purchased some wood for a fire and then ate our dinner while the stars revealed themselves. I’ve seen some excellent starry skies in my time, but this one was honestly the best. It was so peaceful to sit in the desert and spot shooting stars, high-altitude planes, and satellites moving overhead.
After retreating into our teepee, we jumped into our separate beds. It got cold overnight, and even with the extra blankets, Rob and I both felt like we could have been warmer. At one stage we just squeezed into the same bed to steal body heat, which definitely made the cold more tolerable.
In the morning, I woke early and made it outside just before the sun rose over the desert. It was one of the most amazing things to watch. Aside from the barking of a nearby dog, I could hear nothing else around me – it was just me and the desert and the sunrise.
There were only 2 combined bathrooms/showers at the campsite (definitely not enough considering how many people were staying there) and when we checked in the morning they were both busy, so Rob and I both decided to forgo the shower and take off for our next destination straight after breakfast.
Even though our glamping experience did still feel as though we camped in the desert, I definitely enjoyed it more than I would have if I was in a regular tent. The spacious teepee and real bed made a huge difference to my comfort levels.
It was also great that we didn’t have to take any camping gear – having everything already set up for us on arrival made things so much easier for us. I can now conclusively say that I much prefer glamping to regular camping!
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