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Image of the Bloomington Canyon Yurt (Image provided by the WSU Outdoor Program)

Those interested in a trip to a Mongolian-style yurt this winter with Weber State’s Outdoor Program might want to include a bathing suit with their equipment. Or, then again, maybe not.

On Feb. 21, 2020, Weber State’s Outdoor Program is offering a trip to its yurt in Bloomington Canyon, Idaho. The cost is $180 for a two-night stay, and, really, attendees are encouraged to bring their ski gear and food.

“The only things you need to bring are your ski equipment, your own sleeping bag, and your food,” campus recreation Assistant Director Danial Turner said. “We provide everything else.”

He said people interested in going will meet at the Outdoor Recreation Center, where transportation is provided to the trailhead in Bloomington Canyon, Idaho.

According to WSU’s website, those who want to go are required to have experience in backcountry travel. Participants need to know how to read topographical maps or use GPS and be familiar with route finding. A level of fitness is also required, as there is strenuous physical activity associated with the trip.

Those who go will navigate along groomed trails for about seven miles from the trailhead to the yurt. Most people use cross country skis, back country skis or snowmobiles to get there. Few people walk using snowshoes.

“It’s doable, I’ve had people do it,” Turner said. “But it’s a long haul. It would be about a four- or five-hour walk.”

Inside the 24-foot diameter yurt are bunk beds, two fold-out beds and a cot. It sleeps 12 but there are no individual bedrooms. There are pots, pans, dishes, containers for food storage and a gas stove for cooking. There is solar power for lighting and charging small electronic devices. Occupants heat the yurt by chopping wood for the stove.

“My favorite part about the yurt trip was sharing the space with my friends and hanging out in it together,” Weber State student Claudia Schneider said. “It’s a fun place to be.”

She said that she and some of her friends skied down to the creek and followed the creek bottom for four or five miles to the lake. It was a beautiful trek. Other people in her group went cross-country skiing at nearby Pine Hill.

She said there is a lot of beautiful open terrain for people to go back country touring, snowshoeing and riding snow mobiles. And for those who just want to hang out at the yurt, she said they can play chess, board games or dare each other to jump in the creek and join the polar bear club.

“I’ve seen people do that for sure,” Schneider said. “Two weeks ago, in the beginning of October, we were up there cleaning and chopping wood, getting the yurt ready for winter. There was about 10 inches of snow on the ground and some folks jumped in.”

Those interested in going to the yurt should go to the Outdoor Program’s web page, and scroll down in the Adventure Program Trip & Events box for the event. Then, click on Bloomington Canyon Yurt Trip link for more information

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