Thursday, September 8, 2011

Eagle River Rapids Camp Yurt Review

Eagle River Rapids Camp Yurt 
by Sondra Menefee

Sixty-five bucks and worth every cent! 

I had just moved to town with my hubby and 6 month old and already had my brother coming to visit with his wife and toddler. Before kids we spent plenty of nights sleeping in tents, trucks and anywhere cragside, but a night at this yurt was the perfect solution for a kid-friendly adventure and my infant’s first overnight outdoors.
The 1.7 mile hike started at the Eagle River Nature Center along the nicely packed Rodak Trail. I had decided to bring my City-Mini stroller along with an Ergo carrier in case I had to ditch the stroller part way and carry my pack and son at the same time. The trail had some great hallowed out trees and blooming flowers along the path and then wandered through a beautiful boardwalked marsh; which put my little guy to sleep in no time. For the last ½ mile I put my stroller to the test hopping roots and trucking through mud puddles wishing I had bigger tires, but in no time we were there. You get in with a code for the keybox that was emailed along with printable parking permits after making online reservations- don’t forget to bring them with you!
The campsite is about fifty yards off the main Iditarod Trail so you won’t be bothered by other hikers wandering through your personal site. The valley vistas are spectacular on a clear or foggy day and a huge hexagonal deck provides you with the perfect viewing platform to lounge and enjoy them. There is a bit of a cliff drop to one side so little ones need to be watched carefully. We cooked up some good grub on the deck and my son hung out in his PeaPod tent so I didn’t have to worry about him rolling away or getting eaten alive by bugs while I helped cook. The nearby Eagle River is the water source just five minutes down the trail and past a tent campsite. It’s great for cleaning up, gathering water, or cooling off on a hot day- but beware that the water is moving pretty swiftly!
 The yurt itself was furnished with double bunk beds (no pads or mattresses), a table and chairs, a wood burning stove and a few extras such as a clothesline, a journal and some cards. The screened windows also have tarps that can be dropped to keep in the heat or opened to let in the air and light. Nearby in the trees was a bear box and an outhouse with a great view if you prop the door! There’s a shack with volunteer -provided wood already stacked for use in the wood stove along with a full size axe for you to make kindling and slice up some downed branches for the firepit.  My hubby came hiking in to spend a couple of hours (poor guy had come straight from work and then had to work early the next morning). I guess this is another plus to this location - folks can hike in and back out the same day if they can’t stay the night. Despite the eternal sunshine we tested out our axe skills and took full advantage of the fire ring to teach the fine art of Smores to the little guys.

No comments:

Post a Comment