Roughing it is a thing of the past when you check into a new breed of wilderness camps from British Columbia to California. Pitching a tent? Someone’s already done it for you. And instead of having to squeeze into a one-man cocoon that is always either too hot or not warm enough, at these camps you’ll sleep easy on beds — you know, the ones with a real linens! After a hike, horseback ride or paddle, you’ll get to spread out in comfortable sitting areas or private decks. In some of these you can even book a spa appointment or have someone fix you a cocktail. Never mind the flashlight. Your tent is furnished with luxurious touches (area rugs, rustic wall art, throw pillows) and bedside lamps—the better to read at night with. So trade in that bug juice for a vodka tonic and get back to nature, in style.
WYA POINT RESORT
What to Expect: Tucked into a lush rainforest just steps from a beautiful beach in the surf town of Ucluelet is this eco-friendly resort that features wood cabins, yurts, and campsites. You’re here for the yurts, which are traditional circular canvas tents used by the nomadic people of Mongolia. The Wya yurts are built atop cedar platforms and feature private decks with barbecue. Inside, you’ll keep cozy when temperatures drop thanks to wood stoves. Your yurt is outfitted with a comfortable futon, French Press coffee makers, dishes, cutlery and fresh linens.
What To Do: Ucluelet is no longer Tofino’s shy little sister. The town has grown into an outdoor enthusiast’s haven thanks to its amazing beaches, hiking trails, and surf breaks. Cruise around Barkley Sound with Subtidal Adventures as you keep a lookout for humpback, gray and killer whales. For something a little more active, there is kayaking with Majestic Ocean Kayaking, which sets you up with a fibreglass single or double kayak and takes you out on the water with a nature guide who’ll get you up close to sea lions, seals, and sea otters. For breakfast, stop at Zoë’s Bakery Cafe, which serves arguably the best waffles in town. After spending the day on the ocean, head to Ravenlady Oyster Forte, a food truck that serves fresh pacific oyster dishes like Smoked Oyster and market fish croquettes served with lemon chutney and a killer oyster linguini dish, called The Raven’s Nest, that’s dressed with parsnip crisps, Parmesan, egg yolk, bonito flakes, tarragon and smoked wild kelp flakes.
Who’s It For: Laid back adventurers on a budget who are eager to discover a different side to Vancouver Island’s surfer town appeal.
Book It: The large yurts are very roomy and perfect for families. They feature bunk bed, a double futon and single futon.
Don’t Miss: Book a Stand Up Paddleboarding lesson with one of the resort’s First Nations guides.
Location: Wya Point Resort is set on the western shores of Vancouver Island, Ucluelet is 288 kilometres (179 miles) northwest of Victoria and 40 km (25 mi) from Tofino airport, which is serviced by Orca Airways.
CLAYOQUOT WILDERNESS RESORT & SPA
What to Expect: Along the Bedwell River’s edge and beneath a rainforest canopy are 23 deluxe white canvas prospector-style tents built on raised wooden platforms and connected by cedar boardwalks. Adirondack-style beds dressed with plush down duvets, antique dressers and lavish area rugs complete the look. A remote-controlled propane wood-stove keeps things cozy when the temperature drops. At Bedwell River Outpost, sumptuous meals are served in separate tents under heirloom oil lamps and candlelight.
What To Do: Lush fern gardens, alpine valleys, volcanic beach scapes and thousands of pristine acres perfect for hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, fishing and whale watching.
Who’s It For: Eco-conscious travelers who relish bird watching and naturalist hikes as much as Aveda body products and evening turndown service.
Book It: Suite Tents are located across a timber bridge and perched on a hillside overlooking the estuary. Furnished with a convertible chesterfield and a large lounge area with a small games table, they’re perfect for families with kids.
Don’t Miss: An early morning walk around the campground to spot black bears feasting on berries in spring or early summer.
Location: Sound Biosphere Reserve, just 60 minutes by floatplane from Vancouver. All-inclusive retreats from $4,750 per person for 3 nights; www.wildretreat.com
EL CAPITAN CANYON
What to Expect: 26 roomy (12-by-14-foot) safari-style tents built on raised wooden decks and outfitted with hand-woven willow queen beds, bedside lanterns and private fire pits right outside zip-down flap doors. A car-free policy in the canyon means you won’t hear the SUV door slamming in the middle of the night.
What To Do: Borrow a complimentary cruiser bike and explore on your own or take a horseback riding lesson.
Who’s It For: Rushing to a campsite to find a shady spot, then clearing the ground for rocks to pitch a tent is not your idea of fun. At El Capitan everything’s set up for you so you can get right down to the business at hand: a surf lesson, kayaking, yoga class or doing nothing at all.
Book It: If you think a safari tent is still roughing it, then opt for one of 100 cedar cabins with all the creature comforts—electricity, kitchenette, Jacuzzi—you have come to expect of a romantic getaway.
Don’t Miss: After a long day of hiking or wine touring, book an 85-minute stone massage right in your tent followed by a gourmet barbecue kit from the campground’s Canyon Market and Deli.
Location: Nestled in the Los Padres National Forest, just 20 miles north of Santa Barbara, California. El Capitan State Beach is a five-minute walk from the camp. Safari tents from $135 per night; www.elcapitancanyon.com
DUNTON HOT SPRINGS
What to Expect: An elegantly recreated 19th-century mining community complete with antique hand-hewn log cabins and a luxurious Tee Pee nestled in the Rocky Mountains. A river surrounds the property while the snow-capped mountains loom in the distance.
What To Do: There’s more hiking, snowshoeing, skiing and fly-fishing than you’ll ever be able to fit in one weekend.
Who It’s For: For the couple who seeks a Wild West adventure with luxe standards.
Book It: Sure, the log cabins are stunning but how often do you get to sleep in a Tee Pee decorated with a king-size pillow-top bed and Egyptian cotton sheets, bearskin rug and period furniture?
Don’t Miss: A soak in one of four hot springs, a drink in the all-wood saloon bar and a peaceful read in the book-lined lounge.
Location: The “Ghost Town” is located one hour from Telluride, Colorado. All-inclusive accommodations in cabins or Tee Pee from $300 per night; www.duntonhotsprings.com