An ancient lifestyle is proving itself extremely popular in today’s Linn County campgrounds.
Yurts — that have been used for centuries by nomadic cultures — are filling up as soon as they come on line, according to Parks Director Brian Carroll.
“They are very popular with the public,” Carroll. “They are basically full for the season.”
Yurts are portable circular — tent-like structures — with wooden frameworks for rigidity and an open floor plan.
Carroll said that so far, two 20-foot and one 16-foot yurt, have been constructed at River Bend Campground near Cascadia.
There are also two 20-footers open at Whitcomb Creek Campground on Green Peter Reservoir and another one will open in August.
One yurt is operational at Clear Lake Resort.
“They cost about half the price of a regular cabin to build,” Carroll said. “A cabin costs about $40,000 and I think the yurts cost about $20,000. We will continue to add cabins as well, although costs associated with them have gone up quite a bit.”
Carroll said the yurt packages are purchased from Pacific Yurts in Cottage Grove and the log-style furniture in them is made by Tim’s Rustic Log Creations of Sweet Home. The futons and mattresses are from the Futon Man in Lewisburg.
“I like the fact that everything comes from Oregon,” Carroll said.
Carroll said some of the yurt sites are large enough that families can add a camping trailer to their overnight stays.
“It costs about $65 per night for a yurt and for another $20, they can add a camping trailer,” Carroll said. “It gives families an option.”
Amenities at each yurt varies, so people should ask questions when making reservations.
“Some yurts have electrical power and some don’t,” Carroll said.
Basically, each yurt comes with a two-level bunk bed that can sleep 3 and a futon.
If the site has electrical power, there will be a microwave and small refrigerator. They also have a heat source, so they can be used during the winter months.
There also is a small table inside the yurt and a picnic table and BBQ outside. Some of the yurts have small porches.
Carroll said his staffers work on the yurts as they find time while keeping up with other maintenance issues.
“We’re in our busiest time of year, so sometimes, they may only get to work on a yurt one day per week,” Carroll said. “We’re unbelievably busy right now. Outdoor recreation is the only game in town, although we want everyone to be socially responsible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
To learn more about reserving yurts or other campsites, visit https://linnparks.com/visit-linn-county/reservations/.
Carroll said some seasonal jobs remain to be filled. Contact the Linn County Parks Department at 541-967-3917.
Carroll said the new water system at Waterloo County Campground is working well and he welcomes comments about the renovation of Lewis Creek day use area on Foster Reservoir.
“We are beginning master planning to renovate Lewis Creek and we would really like to hear from the public as to what they would like to see there in the coming years,” Carroll said.
Carroll said Sunnyside Campground was full on Tuesday last week.
“We’re lucky if we can get the sites cleaned on Mondays,” Carroll said. “We hope we will be able to make up for the slow start of the season and make budget,” Carroll said.