Conestoga Ranch

Glamping At Its Best

By Nissa Alloy

Glamping, the new buzz word for camping while enjoying luxury and ultimate comfort, is a hot trend in America today as many nature-seekers have experienced. The wealthy have camped this way while on expeditions or safaris for decades around the world but now glamping is more affordable for the average person and widely available. Due to the fact that it puts you in the middle of the natural landscape while still providing you all the creature comforts, travelers across America are choosing this option as an alternative to hotels and other more traditional lodging.

Millennium Magazine was delighted to experience the Conestoga Ranch, another superior Glamping outfit, as they opened up for their first season. This unknown gem is located on Bear Lake in Garden City, Utah in-between the high profile town of Park City, UT and the breathtaking vacation destination of The Grand Tetons National Park, in what is called the “Caribbean of the Rockies” and stretches north into Idaho. This incredible vacation destination is still widely undiscovered and creates a major WOW factor that travelers experience as they come through the canyon and see the stunning turquoise blue body of water beckoning for them to come and play!

The Conestoga Ranch is not only a destination in itself but a great location for travelers to stop off at, on their way up to the Tetons, Jackson Hole, WY or one of the grandest parks of them all, Yellowstone National Park. You can schedule any one of the daytime activities from horseback riding to boating on the lake and enjoy one of their delicious boxed lunches along the way.

The variety of accommodations are split between several types of tents and custom-made wagons, all designed exclusively for the ranch. The Conestoga Wagon (similar to a Chuck Wagon) is set in a community circle for either a more private experience with friends and family or a larger more diverse community experience where you can get to know other campers — perfect for camping with kids. What ever your preference one can choose accommodations according to your needs of space and adventure.

Millennium chose a gorgeous ‘Grand Tent’ for our needs with a decor that reflects a modern western feel with most everything made of wood and of the highest quality. The beds are large and incredibly comfortable with crisp fresh linens and heated warming blankets for colder nights. The private bathroom inside the tent is equipped with a shower inside a large galvanized tub, sink, toilet, heater, towel service and everything you would find at a luxury hotel.

Also new for 2016 Conestoga Ranch will offer the Royal Tent, a bit more of a luxurious suite for honeymooners, VIPs and special celebrations as well as an event’s tent for booking large parties such as weddings, corporate events, family reunions. It has space for up to 125 sit down guests with a bit more for concert style seating and is located at the top of the property affording premier views of the incredible Bear Lake.

Wondering what you can do in the area? We were happily surprised as we realized that this place was made for those looking for everything from total relaxation to the extreme athletic adventure and everything in between. Together with the benefits of being out in the open and enjoying the fresh air, all happy campers can participate in the wide array of things to do in this spectacular natural environment. And this season Conestoga Ranch has a concierge service available to schedule your entire stay if you so choose.

Primo Yoga and fitness sessions under the close supervision of professional instructors take place on the camp-grounds while you are surrounded by beautiful scenery, kissed by the sun and caressed by the wind. This is a truly freeing experience leaving one feeling more refreshed and rejuvenated. Top quality cruising bicycles are complimentary, so we couldn’t wait for the opportunity to check out the neighborhood from bicycling to the crystal clear lake for a swim, to a ride into town for a famous Bear Lake Wild Raspberry Milkshake!

The ranch also offers excursions with various kinds of boats that include paddle boards, kayaks, ATVs, Seadoos etc. giving one the opportunity to see the beautiful lake and its surroundings. The near-by Bear Creek Lodge gives guests the opportunity to experience it all on horseback and or with Razor off road vehicle rentals for a chance to see the breathtaking back-country that surrounds Bear Lake. For families with young children, a playground, game room and general store featuring ‘Shakes on the Lake’ is open for continental breakfast or snacks starting in May.

Campfires are organized in the evening, where everyone is welcomed and invited to share a story or listen to music. If your tent has its own fire-pit, the very helpful, kind and accommodating staff will fire it up and bring you your very own complimentary S’mores kit!

Spending so much time out in nature and fresh air always makes one hungry. The on-site restaurant ‘Campfire Grill’ is open to the public as well as ranch guests for lunch and dinner on May 1st with a full menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner starting mid-June. This Pavillion style open air restaurant bar/lounge is a giant step up for a campsite restaurant. The eatery is manufactured from heavy canvas with a spacious cathedral ceiling and opens up to an incredible view of Bear Lake or can be zipped up tight for colder or rainy days. Beautiful custom made tables and space heaters fill the room. A wood-fired pizza oven featured as the focal point is always ready to cook up a selection of hand-made pies; from a simple Margharita to a creative PROSCIUTTO + ARUGULA with garlic bechamel, and mozzarella. For holiday weekends the Ranch will be starting an authentic pig roast cooked in their custom made grills.

The grill’s menu will take your taste-buds on an unexpected adventure, raising the bar of camping cuisine to a higher level. With dishes like Angel Hair Shrimp Pesto and cherry tomatoes, lemon, garlic and Pecorino Romano cheese and the grilled Colorado Lamb Chops, with fresh herbs, garlic and rosemary mashed potatoes you will be thoroughly delighted. And of course there are areas where one can grill your own food for a more authentic camping experience.

While dining we were joined by one of the owners and President of the Conestoga Ranch, Tom Hendrick who happily shared his love of food, the outdoors and the hospitality industry. Taking the conversation to the campfire he continued to impart his stories and details of concept to fruition and vision for the future of the Conestoga Ranch that include lots of fun events throughout the summer on the ranch. They will have an astronomer, line dancing, swing dancing, boot camp work outs, yoga retreats and more. So check out their website and social media pages to keep up with what is going on and schedule a highly recommended stay at the Conestoga Ranch.

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