SHERIDAN — Glamping, otherwise known as glamorous camping, comes with the comfort of luxurious yurts, tents, cabins, RVs and campers, rather than pitching a tent in Wyoming’s wilderness and roughing the elements as they come.

As long summer days become short, cold nights in fall and winter, many glamping hotspots in northern Wyoming and Montana close after a busy Labor Day weekend. They slumber through winter until summer comes again.

The end of the summer season doesn’t mean fewer interested tourists and travelers, however.

The Sheridan/Bighorn Mountains KOA sees a spike in end-of-season travelers, Stacy Packard said.

“Lots of people are waiting for the busy time to end,” Packard said.

Packard said the KOA has seen an increase in campers through the summer season and into the fall. The restraints of COVID-19 have encouraged people to travel, often across the U.S.

The KOA has a community fire pit, pool, horseshoe pit and store, but Packard said the KOA sees a lot of campers, especially during Born in a Barn in early September.

“I think glamping has picked up because people can make it their own, like the little campers. It’s a fun way to get away, it’s not necessarily expensive and they can keep to themselves but they can (also go) with their friends,” Packard said.

Campers have become one of the most popular modes of glamping Packard has seen. Packard said campers have been hard to buy and more expensive. She has talked to many passing-through travelers who have traveled across the U.S. to purchase a camper. People are willing to travel long-distance for them, Packard said.

As glamping becomes more popular and the demand for glamping spots to stay open through the fall and winter increases, accommodating that interest becomes a consideration for the KOA and Apsaalooke Glamping on the Crow Reservation in Montana.

Kathleen Carpenter, the owner of Apsaalooke Glamping, combines tradition with continental breakfast and luxurious teepees from April to October.

Carpenter and her family spend an entire weekend harvesting teepee poles. She said everyone pitches in and it is part of the tradition of the Crow Indians.

“The Apsaalooke teepee has 21 poles, each representing an important component of the home and we take all this into consideration when we put up the teepee,” Carpenter said.

At the end of the season, they put away the teepees indoors to keep them away from the elements. But Carpenter said she is exploring expanding into the fall season with hot tents, also known as wall tents.

“We also use wall tents during Crow Fair when we would put up our teepees, and of course during ceremonies,” Carpenter said. “During this time we have our teepees up, but we also use our wall tents, which are also made of canvas and have four walls, and those tents have the ability to put a wood stove inside of them. They have a chimney or an opening for the chimney.”

Carpenter said glamping has become an appealing way to vacation over the past year due to smaller groups and having private, more spacious locations to explore and distanced from people.

“I think a lot of people starting looking into glamping and Airbnbs, you know just renting RVs and cabins. I think a lot of people got interested in glamping during this time. It is all the rave,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter said “people like to try new things.” Montana invites glampers interested in experiencing authentic Native American culture by connecting them with local Crow outfitters for fishing, tours and oral storytelling, Carpenter said.

That continuing appetite for glamping during the fall months invites travelers to hit the open road and glamping businesses to expand.

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