Fun to Flashy Glamping Options in Arizona

Go beyond the tent and camp in style at glamping locations across Arizona that range from luxurious to quirky.

Not everyone wants to "rough it" when they camp. Maybe they prefer down-filled pillows and sheets to sleeping bags, room service to cleaning up campsites. For those seeking additional comfort in the great outdoors, several Arizona sites offer alternative "glamping" (glamorous camping) options that don’t skimp on the adventure.

Glamping in Northern Arizona

Canyon Motel & RV Park, Williams

Fun to Flashy Glamping Options in Arizona
Canyon Motel and RV Park. Credit: Canyon Motel.

Ideal for: larger groups and families, railfans, #vanlife

Sleep in style along the historic Route 66 in a converted railway car or caboose at the Canyon Motel and RV Park near Williams, about three hours north of Phoenix. The property spans 13 acres, is surrounded by pine forests and mountains, and is close to lakes, streams and Grand Canyon National Park.

Choose from a renovated 1950s Pullman classic railway car divided into three separate guest suites and private bathrooms (each able to accommodate two to four people). Or book one of two 1929 Santa Fe caboose suites, which can accommodate up to six people each.

Additional on-site amenities include a laundry facility, indoor swimming pool, mini-mart and playground. Need more? The Canyon Motel is within walking distance (or a quick, two-minute drive) to Williams' restaurants, shops and attractions, including the Grand Canyon Railway.

Arizona Nordic Village, Flagstaff

Fun to Flashy Glamping Options in Arizona
Arizona Nordic Village Lily yurt in the winter. Credit: Arizona Nordic Village.

Ideal for: Mountain bikers (summer and fall), snowshoe owners (winter and spring), yurt enthusiasts

At the Arizona Nordic Village, spend the night in a yurt, a circular tent common among the nomadic tribes of Central Asia. Their yurts come equipped with beds, bunks or mattress pads, and wood stoves, and each has a window-like bubble at its top so you can count stars instead of sheep as you fall asleep.

If your hiking skills aren't up to speed, you may want to book one of the three "front-country" yurts just 100 feet from the Nordic Village's parking lot. Able to sleep up to four— though only two twin-sized sleeping pads are provided — the yurts are a solid option for those wanting a more rustic experience but with some convenience, such as nearby restrooms and close access to the Lodge (and its electricity).

The more adventurous can hike, bike or ski up to two miles into the wilderness, where they'll find small and large backcountry yurts. What you give up in proximity to the Lodge and its amenities, you'll gain in views and peaceful solitude. If the trip's activities have exhausted you, book a gear shuttle at check-out to carry your stuff back to the parking lot.

Lastly, while the yurts are relatively basic, they are conveniently located. It's only a 30-minute drive from Arizona Nordic Village to downtown Flagstaff and an hour to the Grand Canyon.

Shash Dine' Eco-Retreat, Page

Fun to Flashy Glamping Options in Arizona
Arizona Shash Dine. Credit: @traamnguyeen

Ideal for: Eco-friendly travelers, off-the-grid and off-the-beaten-path wanderers, culturally curious

Located on a working sheep farm 12 miles south of Page, Shash Diné Eco-Retreat introduces guests to the culture of the Diné, or Navajo People. Stay in one of two canvas bell tents, two covered sheepherder wagons or the bell tent "suite." During the winter, you can also choose from two hogans—including one the owner Baya Meehan's grandmother once called home—and a cabin with handmade furniture.

Try the Kyo͞ob (pronounced "cube") for something a bit more different. This container-like cabin features a wooden interior outfitted with thick-down comforters and plush bedding, books, games, snacks, water and large windows from which to take in the desert scenery.

All guests at this off-the-grid bed and breakfast enjoy private "camp showers" and a traditional Navajo breakfast of blue corn porridge with fresh fruit. The real perk is the landscape. A five-minute hike up a nearby ridge reveals the Colorado River, Lake Powell and distant mountain ranges.

Covered Wagons at Circle Pines KOA, Williams

Fun to Flashy Glamping Options in Arizona
Covered wagons and Circle Pines. Credit: Kampgrounds of America, Kathy Maassen

Ideal for: Wild West history buffs, Oregon Trail game experts, large families and groups

Kampgrounds of America, commonly known as KOA, is known for its amenities, and the Williams/ Exit 167 / Circle Pines KOA is no different. Besides being near the Grand Canyon National Park and numerous trails, the site offers horseback rides, gem mining and mini golf.

What really sets this site apart, however, are the five Conestoga-brand covered wagons similar to those used by the pioneers of the Old West. Up to six people can fit snugly in a wagon—perfect for larger families who want a different, memorable camping experience. Naturally, being a covered wagon, there’s no kitchen or bathroom; however, there is a mini fridge, air conditioning, heat and Wi-Fi. Bathrooms are just a short walk away.

Glamping in Central and Southern Arizona

The Cozy Peach at Schnepf Farms, Queen Creek

Fun to Flashy Glamping Options in Arizona
The Cozy Peach at Schnepf Farms.

Ideal for: Solo travelers, couples, farm-to-table foodies, fans of kitsch

The 300-acre organic farm and orchard east of Phoenix has nine vintage trailers — including three Airstreams—that mix retro design with modern amenities for a fun, kitschy experience. Jam along to their 8-track tape sound systems or watch a show on your flat-screen TV. Front porches with fenced-in grass yards complete each rental.

Spend the day riding the farm's bicycles to the onsite U-pick produce and flower gardens, or walk to nearby Queen Creek Olive Mill. At night, roast marshmallows at your private fire pit before retiring to beds with 5-star quality bedding, down comforters and feather pillows. The Cozy Peach offers package add-ons where guests can order farm-fresh breakfast, lunch or dinner, including — one hopes — Schnepf Farm's famous peach cinnamon rolls.

Starting each August, trailers at Cozy Peach can be booked for the season from October through May.

Raven's Nest Nature Sanctuary, Patagonia

Fun to Flashy Glamping Options in Arizona
Raven's Nest Nature Sanctuary, Patagonia. Credit: Raven's Nest Nature Sanctuary

Ideal for: Zen seekers, solo travelers and couples, sustainability supporters

Nestled in a mesquite bosque near Patagonia Lake in Southern Arizona (75 minutes south of Tucson), Raven's Nest operates two remote glamping sites at its eco-friendly retreat where privacy and comfort are given equal priority.

At each site, African-style safari canvas tents atop wooden platforms are outfitted with rustic furnishings, energy-efficient fans in the summer (heaters in the winter) and a nature library. Flaps at both ends are equipped with screen doors, allowing fresh airflow, and comfort comes in the form of adjustable, queen-size Sleep Number air mattresses. A private bathroom area uses sustainable water practices to irrigate nearby trees and shrubs.

When you aren't relaxing on the patio or rocking in your hammock, enjoy birdwatching excursions, astronomy programs, biodiversity tours, botanical walks, wilderness survival workshops and more hosted by Raven's Way Wild Journeys.

Note: In support of the campsite's commitment to sustainability, guests are encouraged to bring only biodegradable soap, shampoo and conditioner or use the amenities provided.

Arizona Luxury Expeditions, Statewide

Fun to Flashy Glamping Options in Arizona
Arizona Luxury Expeditions. Credit: Don Stevens.

Inspired by African safaris, Arizona Luxury Expeditions offers a classic glamping experience to locations including Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Travelers are led on custom multi-day tours (or explore independently) during the day, then retire to luxury tents at night. Each extra-large tent has an elevated queen bed (or two twin beds), decorative floor coverings, fans, lighting and bedside tables. (All lodging includes toilets and showers.)

In the morning, guides prepare hearty breakfasts featuring fresh-made cinnamon buns, eggs, bacon and pancakes, all served in a screened-in dining space. Dinner options include steaks grilled over an open fire, pan-fried trout and stew simmered in a Dutch oven.

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About the Author

Tiana Velez

Arizona native Tiana Velez grew up in Tucson and spent several years in Phoenix as the digital marketing manager for the Arizona Office of Tourism. She's a former reporter and lifelong traveler, and she often can be found wandering the aisles of a bookstore, antique mall or art museum wherever she lands. Find her on Instagram at @the.wanderingmex where she posts pics of her travels and things that make her smile.

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