by Lissa Poirot
Under Canvas operates glamping opportunities near Moab’s national parks, Arches and Canyonlands. Situated on 40 acres of land near both park entrances, families can enjoy luxury camping in safari tents that provide up to four beds. The basic safari tent can comfortably sleep two adults and two children with a king-sized bed and camp cots. Tipi tents are also available for children that may be placed right beside your tent for extra room and privacy. Guests of the safari tents receive beds, rugs, chairs, drawers, bedside tables, lanterns, a wood-burning stove with free firewood, and bathroom facilities with showers, sinks, and toilets. Packages are available to include outdoor park adventures, including hiking horseback riding, biking, white water rafting and more. Breakfast can also be provided to guests. Pets are welcome.
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- Luxury camping accommodations
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Fantastic experience. Would do again! The entire Moab staff are GREAT!!! Genuinely friendly, focused on making your stay as comfortable as possible and very adaptable to changing weather conditions. I cannot write elequently enough about this wonderful experience.
Now let me set the scene:
Our stay included the 2 coldest days and nights Moab experienced during October since the mid-1800’s. I believe 7 degrees Fahrenheit, and could have been colder. I am not sure of the Wind Chill temperature with the extremely brisk wind blowing our first night at the campsite..
The first night was, as I mentioned, very windy so the temperature seemed colder than the actual temperature. The tent was COLD and the canvas was “flapping most of the night” with the wind blowing outside but it was not disturbing to us. The wood stove was easy to start because of ample kindling and the logs were really dry. I believe the wood was pine so the burn was relatively quick and the tent became “warmish” enough for us to put on 3 or 4 layers of clothing plus gloves, wool head bands and wool hats.
Once dressed as warm as it was possible, we sat in front of the wood stove and enjoyed our wine and snacks. Was this ideal in the BITTER COLD? No, it was not ideal, but we are camping and accepted the reality of the situation. This was “Winter Camping”! “An Incredible Adventure!” Our original plan, for the first night, was to have our wine and snacks outside, on our porch, looking out at the La Salle mountains and the star filled sky but the bitter cold and extremely brisk wind prevented us from sitting outside. We kept saying that this is an adventure!
Garrett personally delivered an artificial log to our tent with the hope of keeping the fire burning a little longer during the night. The artificial log may have lasted a little longer than the pine but the fire did burn out sometime during the night and the temperature in the tent declined to "BITTER COLD”. The layers of clothing, the wool hat and the head-band kept us almost warm enough so we actually had a relatively good night of sleep in a VERY comfortable bed. And the bed was defititely comfortable but I need to emphasize that it was COLD even under the bed covers.
We awoke to frigid temperatures and, fortunately, no wind. It was COLD!! Our faucet and toilet were frozen. The faucet had a really nice stalactite hanging from it. The toilet did not flush. Definitely winter camping. We went across to the main tent and had coffee and wonderful conversation. The propane heaters in the main tent gave us a chance to get warm from the frigid cold of the previous night as we talked and enjoyed our coffee and planned our day.
During the second day we were out hiking and enjoying the sites and sounds of the parks and trails. It is toward the end of this day of hiking that we were a little concerned and apprehensive about our second night and returning to the campsite. We were ready to endure the cold, but also not looking forward to it. We did not pack clothes for sleeping in this type extremely cold temperature. There was no prediction of these frigid temperatures on any of the weather apps.
We decided that before we returned to the campsite we would have dinner (sandwiches) at a local restaurant. The restaurant would give us a little more time to be warm before going back to our tent. It was during dinner that we discussed the best methods to stay warm during the night.
When we returned to the campsite, about 7:00pm, we learned that we were the only guests that did not check-out due to the extreme cold weather. Colton said an email was sent to the guests asking if we wanted to check-out. I did not see the email until he mentioned it to us. We were hiking all day and I did not check my phone during the hikes nor during dinner. We responded “no” because we discounted the idea of leaving at that time of evening. We had convinced ourselves, during dinner, that we could endure another night of “winter camping” without the amenities of running water or working toilets. We convinced ourselves that we would be able to “layer our clothes” enough to keep warm during the night.
As it turned out, our staying the second night was the best option. Colton provided us with a propane heater for the tent and “sub-zero” sleeping bags. Colton set up and positioned the propane heater in our tent while I set-up and lit the wood burning stove. It was relatively warm and comfortable. Colton even provided for our sweet indulgence with some Hershey chocolate bars.
This second night, in spite of the continued cold, was spent comfortably warm due to the sleeping bags, propane heater and the comfortable King sized bed. We continued to have no running water and the toilet was not working (frozen) but, for us, it was all part of the “adventure” and unanticipated experience. We did stand outside our tent, this second night, and viewed the the stars and constellations in a dark sky. Absolutely amazing!!
We slept well this second night and awakened to a beautiful morning of bright sunshine. We did not sleep in the sleeping bags but had them over the blanket. We were very warm, comfortable and, as I mentioned, slept well this second night. Again, we returned to the main tent for our morning coffee and relaxed conversation.
The UnderCanvas corporate officers need to recognize and congratulate the staff at the Moab site for their dedication to focusing on the comfort and needs of their guests along with their ability to adapt to the uncontrollable and unexpected weather. Everyone on staff was wonderful, warm and welcoming. This is “winter camping” at its best and, in spite of the inconveniences, we are happy that we endured the 2 nights. .
I cannot say enough how very happy we are and that we did endure the two nights because we now have a wonderful memory and an increditble story to tell family and friends.
We also have gained an very high level of respect for the men and women who traveled this area without the amenities of “sub-zero” sleeping bags, comfortable beds, propane heaters, thick canvas tents, battery lanterns, restaurant options for meals, etc.
Over all a nice place but the wood stove (the only heat) was so poorly installed that it smoked almost all the time. The only way we could use it was to open the tent flaps to vent the smoke out. I've used a wood stove (all kinds) since the early 80's and it was easy to see how poorly it was installed. One pipe sloped down so the smoke tended to back up and into the tent. They had plenty of good wood and starter stuff. That night it went down to 22 degrees and no heat - unless you wanted to be 'smoked'. In the morning, only a small icecyle came out when I went to use the sink. That would not be a big deal for regular camping but when you are paying much more than a Hampton Inn rate - it could/should have been much better.