We wanted to spend one more night in the woods, even though summer is over, so we decided to try “glamping,” or glamorous camping at the Conestoga Ranch near Bear Lake.
Conestoga Ranch is in Garden City, and there aren’t a lot of places to stay in Garden City as they don’t seem to have hotels. But the Ranch offers a unique kind of experience, that is a little bit hotel, and a little bit camping. We stayed in a huge canvas tent that has interior wooden walls, a deck, and a bathroom with toilet and running water. There are electric lights, a shower, and all the linens you need. Outside each tent is a fire pit, and the ranch supplies all the wood, a small bag of s’mores supplies, and they even come light the fire for you. It certainly makes camping easy!
There are many things to do right at Conestoga Ranch as well. They have a game room with pingpong, air hockey, and arcade games. Make sure to bring quarters because other than ping pong, the games costs some change. Outside there is a playground next to a volleyball court, roping for wanna-be cowboys, and bean bag, or “corn hole” games. They also have bikes and helmets that you can check out and ride around town.
Perhaps the best thing going for Conestoga Ranch is the staff. They are very friendly and take care of their guests really well. We stayed on a Friday night, and even though it was fairly busy, they stopped by several times to help us haul things from the car, light our fire, and bring us additional firewood.
The tent we stayed in is called the Grand Tent, and it is one of four options available at Conestoga Ranch. The Grand Tent is the only tent that has bathrooms and showers inside the tent. There are also some really cool Conestoga wagons that you can stay in, too, but they don’t have running water or bathrooms. The showers and bathrooms for these units are located at the main office, and there are a lot of them, so there shouldn’t ever be a need to wait. The wagons come in two varieties, one for couples with a king bed, and one for families with a king bed and 2 sets of bunk beds. These wagons are corralled around a shared fire pit, too. There are also smaller tents, and one really nice tent-lodge with a huge tub in it. Be sure to check the Conestoga Ranch website for detail and pricing.
We visited late in September, and the weekend we stayed it grew quite cold, bottoming out near 40 degrees. They provided us with a small space heater in the tent, and ample blankets, so we kept warm. In the summer, this area tends to cool off pretty nicely, so I don’t think you’d be too hot at night.
As far as food goes, you are allowed to cook over the fire, but stoves are forbidden. They also have a really nice restaurant called Campfire Grill. It is in a large tent, and when the weather is nice, they open the tent flaps so you can enjoy the fresh air while you eat. Unfortunately it was cold and rainy when we were there. We had breakfast at the restaurant and the food was great. Our boys had pancakes, Mom had French toast, and Dad had a scramble with hash browns, eggs, and meat. The restaurant was very nice, and there are other food options in town. We definitely recommend bringing stuff to roast s’mores over the fire. There is also a mini fridge in the grand tent so you can keep food in your tent.
Our boys loved this adventure. They ran from place to place, laughing and giggling the entire time. Our littlest even said a prayer on the last night that we “could stay here forever!” Boy, was he disappointed! Next time we return to Conestoga Ranch, we want to stay in the wagon and pretend to be pioneers.
*We received a free one-night stay at Conestoga Ranch for our honest review of this resort.