YURT gonna love it.
Written by J. L. James
Photography by Jeremy Rodgers
If roughing it at the top of a mountain isn’t your style, you should check out the various glamping options offered in the Ouachita Mountain region. Located at 1700 Shady Grove Rd in Hot Springs, Catherine’s Landing is the only 10- star recreational park in Arkansas, according to Davina McHenry, event and group director of Catherine’s Landing. The RVC Outdoor Destination features RV sites and luxurious cabins, but the YURTs — that’s Year-round Universal Recreational Tent – are the perfect mix of primitive and glamorous camping. “It’s the best of both worlds,” McHenry said. “It’s a permanent standing tent in a wooded setting, it has a barbecue grill and fire pit, but it also has a queen sized bed, sky lighting and climate control.”
The wood and vinyl structure comes in two sizes at Catherine’s Landing. Eight total YURTs stand on the immaculate landscape of Catherine’s Landing; four with a 16-foot diameter and four of them measuring 20 feet. The park features both regular and deluxe-furnished YURTs. The standard features are a queen-sized bed, one bunk bed, a futon, both heat and air and a mini-fridge while the deluxe features two bunk beds, a queen-sized bed, a futon, mini-fridge, microwave and dining room. All the units have windows which zip open or closed, all units include Plexiglas sky lights. Catherine’s Landing offers a special couple’s YURTs which is included in the Couple’s Getaway package. This 16-foot luxurious cabin-tent offers one king-sized bed, a microwave, a dining room table for two and a dresser. “It’s a fun getaway for kids, families or couples,” McHenry said.
All the YURTs have laminated, wood-style floors and a wooden frame. The only thing lacking from the luxurious structures are bathrooms and kitchens, but Catherine’s Landing has clean, maintained restrooms with private shower stalls only mere yards away from the YURTs. It is truly an outdoor camping experience with all the convenience of a glamping experience. “It’s a structured place. Sometimes when you put kids in tents,” McHenry said through a chuckle, “they don’t stand up as well.”
McHenry said there is no limit to what guests of Catherine’s Landing can do on their stay. Catherine’s Landing holds the Bovine Nine Disc Golf Course, zip lining on site, a swimming pool, a Bark Park where pets can roam freely, and Catherine’s Landing also schedules fishing tours on Lake Ouachita. “Guests call and tell me what they want to do and I set the agenda,” McHenry said.
If YURTs are still too primitive for your taste, Catherine’s Landing has even more glamorous glamping options. Currently 13 luxurious cabins ranging from 300 to 500 square feet stand on the beautiful property. RVC plans to add several more in the near future. The cabins all have fully furnished kitchens, bathrooms and central heat and air. “I tell people the only things they need to bring are spices, food, clothes and themselves,” McHenry said. The more luxurious cabins feature a loft-style sleeping area. Both the cabins and the YURTs include housekeeping services. If you’re the kind of glamper who’s invested in your own glamping equipment, Catherine’s Landing offers 117 RV hookup sites. Each is a 65-foot concrete pad and feature either a 50 amp or 30 amp electrical hookup. The RV sites feature hookups for water, sewer and cable. All the overnight areas on Catherine’s Landing include free Wi-Fi and garbage pick-up. For those who want to get a little closer to nature but still have the conveniences of a resort, Catherine’s Landing plans to add tent sites by midsummer, according to McHenry.
Of course Hot Springs offers a number of places to glamp. Nestled in the Ouachita Mountains along the shore of a babbling creek is Gulpha Gorge Campground at 305 Gorge Road in Hot Springs. The park offers both tent and RV camp sites, barbecue grills and public restrooms. A gorgeous hiking trail leads up the mountain and into the Ouachita wilderness. The RV and tent sites are available with or without utilities, and the latter are available in either 30 amp or 50 amp hookups.
Other RV and glamping destinations in the area include Cloud Nine RV park at 136 Cloud Nine Dr., Treasure Isle RV at 200 Treasure Isle Rd. and Brady Mountain Recreation Area and Campground at 1320 Brady Mountain Overlook just west of Hot Springs. Brady Mountain is located on incredible Lake Ouachita and offers nearly 60 RV sites and several tent sites.
Whether you want to rough it, be pampered by housekeepers and resort staff or pretend to rough it while being pampered by housekeepers and resort staff, Hot Springs and the surrounding Ouachita Mountain area has exactly what you’re looking for.