Covered wagon camping is becoming hugely popular as it allows you to travel back in time to the pioneer days of the Old West. However, these one-of-a-kind camping wagons come with an unexpected twist! It’s glamping in luxury with a style all its’ own. Let’s see why Conestoga wagon glamping is such a hit!
Background cover photo source: Conestoga Wagon Co.
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Camp in a Covered Wagon at Luxury Glamping Resorts!
Glamp Like a Poshy Pioneer!
What is a Covered Wagon?
Also called a Conestoga wagon, covered wagons are a type of wagon drawn by horses or pulled by oxen. Originally designed in the Conestoga Valley of Pennsylvania (Lancaster), they quickly became a popular commodity in the eastern U.S.
The horse-drawn wagons were a one of the chosen modes of transportation during the colonization of North America and westward expansion of the United States.
Covered wagons were commonly used by land-seeking pioneers and settlers, fur traders, tinkers and peddlers as they traversed vast distances to settle in new territories or sell their wares.
They were the common mode of transportation combined with camping in the 18th and 19th centuries. Conestoga covered wagons carried goods and people to destinations all across the U.S. and even Canada.
The Conestoga wagon was also the icon of the Oregon Trail and California Gold Rush. It got its’ name from the large, canvas that was stretched over a curved frame.
Instead of cowboys and their families traveling on horseback or walking long excruciating days, they would ride more comfortably inside their covered wagon.
The covered wagon provided sun, wind and weather protection during transit. And once they parked their horses and wagon for the night, they provided shelter.
Equating them to the modern day RV of today, they resembled a towable camper. Instead of roughing it and being exposed to whatever was on the ground and harsh weather, they’d camp in their wagon campers.
How were covered wagons built?
According to National Oregon/California Trail Center,
“Some Conestoga wagons were custom designed and built with double decks for special storage features. The average box length of a Conestoga wagon was 10 feet long and 4 feet wide.
The side boards could measure 4 feet high. Each wagon could carry up to 12,000 pounds of cargo. The seams in the wagon box were caulked with tar to protect them from leaking while crossing rivers.
Conestoga wagons required between 6 and 10 oxen to pull them. The metal rims on the wheels for the Conestoga wagon were 4″ wide to float the weight of the wagon across long stretches of sandy trails.”
What is so intriguing about camping in a covered wagon?
While the days of the Wild West may be history, the covered wagon iconic symbol of the pioneer spirit still lives on.
Today, their association to adventure and outdoors is taking modern day camping by storm.
Covered wagon camping is a very popular lodging option because of its’ uniqueness and the unforgettable outdoor experience.
These fun western-theme Conestoga wagon resorts and guest ranches offer an incredibly unique camping experience that you and your family may want to try.
Covered wagon camping is a fun and adventurous way to experience what the pioneers of yesteryear did (somewhat).
But there’s an interesting and unexpected twist. Instead of roughing it in a tent at some questionable campground, wagon camper guests are treated to luxury accommodations in a glamping resort atmosphere.
Yep! You read that right; you can camp in the lap of luxury. This type of wagon camping is known as glamping!
How is that? I mean, it’s a covered wagon, right? How exquisite can it be to camp like a pioneer of yesteryear?
Well, guest ranches, resorts and campgrounds have stepped up to the plate to create a form luxury camping that will have you seeing stars (in a good way!) and sleep a sweet dream!
The covered wagon luxury interiors are dressed up with all modern day conveniences! And yet, you’re still ‘camping’. Or, make that glamping!
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Do covered wagons come fully furnished?
Guest ranch and resort Conestoga wagons provide luxuries much like a hotel. Though in a camp setting, the term glamping is an understatement.
While still getting to camp outdoors, guests are treated to accommodations worth their weight in gold!
Each covered wagon resort or guest ranch may differ a little when it comes to accommodations and amenities.
Some wagon campers have their own campsite with private patio, fire-pit and primitive seating.
But, the big golden nugget surprise is what is inside a glamping wagon!
Depending on which type of wagon (solo, couple or family), you’ll find comfortable beds. Some covered wagon resorts may offer king-size beds and cozy accommodations for newlyweds and tours for adventurous couples.
Other covered wagons geared for families will have bunk beds and lots of activities within the campground.
Depending on resort or guest ranch, luxury wagon amenities may vary. Some may include a small fridge, microwave, and coffee maker.
Each covered wagon may or may not come with clean and fresh bed linens and towels just like an upscale hotel.
Oh, but that’s not the gist of it. Some Conestoga wagons may also have electricity, air conditioning and heat.
Some covered wagons may include its’ own private or community bathroom or a community bathhouse with showers nearby.
Either way, wagon camping is the best way to glamp while still roughing it!
How many people can sleep in a covered wagon?
Guest ranches and resorts that rent out their covered wagons can typically accommodate up to 6 persons in a covered wagon.
Realize though, those accommodations will be tight. Covered wagons are about the size of a small camper minus the slideouts.
But, wagon masters (owners) have created incredible spaces with bunk beds and trundles for children to bed down in with mom and dad in the big bed.
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Can your pet sleep with you in a covered wagon rental?
Each guest ranch and resort has their own pet policy. It’s best to check each campground or guest ranch’s website should you be camping with your dog or cat (if any). Or, you can call their facility directly.
If they do allow you to bring your dog or cat, please be conscious of your pet’s behavior.
Be cognizant of and respect other guests by practicing good pet etiquette and basic pet rules. Always clean up after them and don’t allow them to bark unnecessarily.
Oh, and most importantly, always follow the leash policy for your fellow campers’, pet’s and your safety.
How close are covered wagon resorts to attractions and services?
If you’re a bit squeamish about camping in the middle of nowhere, fear not! Most luxury glamping wagon resorts are safe and sound. If you need assistance, there’s most always nearby help and services.
Some glamping excursions even have security gates. This helps to keep peepers and gawkers away from the glamping wagons while you’re trying to relax.
And, purely by design, a lot of guest ranches with covered wagon camps are typically located within 10-20 miles of some National Parks, historical sites, living history museums or other local attractions.
They’re also usually located within driving distance of local restaurants and bars, shopping as well as other nearby town offerings.
What you need to know before reserving a covered camping wagon
Due to the popularity of camping in covered wagons, it’s wise to to plan your experience in advance. Availability of covered wagon experiences can vary greatly depending on location and time of year.
Also, get out your credit card! Be aware, camping in these 1800s replica covered wagons can be a bit on the pricey side. Just remember they’re all about the unique camping experience you and your family will get to enjoy.
When reserving a covered wagon, read the terms of your reservation contract carefully. Some may require a minimum 2-night stay during peak season, holidays, and Friday stays.
Also, be aware of cancellation terms concerning reservation deposits. And you need to be aware of their operating hours. Some guest ranches close their gates at sunset so guests feel comfortable and their safety.
Also, you’ll definitely want to verify the details and authenticity of the experience before making any reservations. Make sure to inquire about amenities, safety measures, and the overall camping experience to ensure it meets your expectations.
Also, it’s important to adhere to their check-in and check-out times as to not to disturb other campers early in the morning and evening.
Keep in mind that these wagon ranches expect their guests to honor their campground rules and practice good etiquette so all guests have a pleasant experience.
Some resort covered wagons may be fully furnished with clean linens, towels, drinking water and complimentary coffee.
But at other more primitive campgrounds that have covered wagons, you may have to supply your own bedding, towels and coffee.
Usually though, they provide clean bathroom facilities and shower rooms.
Various guest ranches and resorts may offer activities and tours that may or may not require additional payment.
GO! Get the full experience at these once-in-a-lifetime camping getaways.
And now for the good part! Where are some of the best covered wagon resorts and guest ranches in the U.S.?
Where can you camp in a covered wagon?
These pioneer-era, replica glamping wagons are typically located in resorts near National Parks and popular attractions.
They may also just be serenely situated in naturalistic settings that boast their spectacular million dollar scenic views.
Let’s dive right in to plan your covered wagon camping adventure! Here’s a list of popular covered wagon resorts, ranches and campgrounds where you can glamp in the lap of luxury!
Covered Wagon Camping Resorts and Ranches
Whispering Pines Covered Wagon Resort
Whispering Pines Covered Wagon Resort is centrally located between Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Lake Powell and Grand Canyon National Park.
Whispering Pines is the perfect little piece of paradise secluded in a modern pioneer village. Travel back in time and experience the wild west but in the lap of luxury.
And, experience the towering ponderosa pines, bubbling water falls, flowing grassy meadows and grazing mule deer.
Whereis Whispering Pines Covered Wagon Resort located? 475 N Seaman’s Canyon Road, Alton, UT 84710.
Zion Wildflower Resort
Nestled in the rugged landscape of Virgin, Utah, Zion Wildflower Resort is perfectly located for guests wanting to be near Zion National Park.
This posh resort is known for all sorts of glamping experiences; one of which is in a hand-crafted, climate controlled covered wagon with spectacular views of Zion!
Also, while camping in a covered wagon, guests can enjoy the onsite pool and hot tub and beautifully designed luxury bathhouses.
Where is Zion Wildflower located? 100 Kolob Terrace Road, Virgin, Utah 84779
Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort
If you’re planning to visit Zion National Park, do it in old cowboy style! Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is part of a large forested plateau that borders the eastern edge of Zion National Park and just a short drive from Bryce Canyon National Park.
Combine your Zion experience with glamping under the beautiful canopy of southern Utah stars in style! Experience the feel of an old 19th century covered wagon with lush amenities and comfort.
This is definitely one of the best summer destinations to enjoy mighty Zion and Bryce!
Where is Zion Ponderosa located? Twin Knolls Road, Orderville, UT 84758
Capitol Reef Resort
Recharge your soul with an amazing one-of-a-kind experience at Capitol Reef Resort in Torrey, Utah. Just outside of Capitol Reef National Park, you can camp in posh style in an authentic 19th century Conestoga covered wagon with up to 6 guests.
You and your travel companions can sip your favorite concoction while enjoying the scenery after a day of exploring and hiking the great towering red rocks sheer cliffs, canyons and domes.
What’s even better is the resort and hotel is just 1 mile from the entrance of Capitol Reef National Park.
Where is Capitol Reef Resort located? 2600 E Highway 24, Torrey, UT 84775
Grand Canyon Glamping Resort
Grand Canyon Glamping Resort offers covered wagon camping in, not only one of the most incredible places in the U.S., but also on earth!
For those who enjoy luxury travel and camping all-in-one, glamping in a covered wagon is the best of both worlds.
It allows glamping guests to reconnect with nature; all while enjoying the finer resort amenities. They even have their own on-site concierge/chef!
You’ll get to experience the comfort of luxury amenities and cozy quarters while enjoying all the striking views and natural beauty of the Grand Canyon.
Best of all, Grand Canyon Glamping Resort is literally just 1 mile to the Grand Canyon Skywalk on the West Rim! And, if you’re up for a scenic driving adventures, it’s 2 hours from Las Vegas.
It just makes sense to make Grand Canyon Glamping Resort your base camp while enjoying all of America’s scenic national treasures!
Where is Grand Canyon Resort located? 6033 E Shamrock Street, Meadview, AZ 86444
Page Lake Powell Campground
Treat yourself to a stay under the stars in a Conestoga style covered wagon with modern comforts in the beautiful Grand Canyon state! No doubt, you’ll fall in love with the stunning landscape at Page Lake Powell Campground!
Just a few of the many standout amenities in each covered wagon include sleeping for up to 4 persons.
Each wagon camper comes with its’ own king size bed and twin bunk along with bedding, heating and air conditioning, electric with USB charging ports, and more! Guests of all ages are privy to use the campground pool, camp store, shower house, fitness room, and playground for the little campers.
Page Lake Powell Campground is located in the heart of the Grand Circle in Page, Arizona. It’s situated amongst some of the most spectacular National Parks in the American West.
And, the covered wagons are just minutes away from world-famous Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon Tours. As well, it’s surrounded by some of Arizona’s most scenic desert landscape; perfect to take in a once-in-a-lifetime Arizona desert helicopter tour!
Where is Page Lake Powell Campground located? 849 South Coppermine Road, Page, AZ 86040
North Haven Campground
North Haven Campground says it best, “Break away from the daily grind. Go remote. Climb a mountain, hike some trails, or simply rest and recharge your life!”
And that’s exactly what you’ll get while wagon camping at North Haven! The 25′ custom glamping wagons feature king-size bed, bunk bed, wagon wheel table, heat and air conditioning. Also, guests have full access to a private bathroom in their nearby shower house.
This guest ranch campground offers family friendly custom glamping wagons in northern Idaho just 2.5 miles north of Bonners Ferry.
Where is North Haven Campground located? 78 Tobe Way, Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
Make your Theodore Roosevelt National Park experience extra special by camping in a covered wagon at Medora Campground!
Theis covered wagon camp is conveniently located just outside of Theodore Roosevelt National Park South Unit.
Their corralled covered wagons will make your adventure feel like a true pioneer. Each wagon has ample space to set up camp, enjoy dinner around the custom wagon wheel table.
If you’re a night owl, definitely take in a million stars glistening overhead. But, if you’re rather an early riser, you just can’t pass up opportunity to see a sensational Badlands sunrise.
Medora Campground is the perfect place to set up your basecamp to enjoy your endless adventures in Teddy’s Badlands, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the Little Missouri River and adorable town of Medora.
Where is Medora Campground located? 3390 Pool Drive, Medora, ND 5864
Jellystone Park Mill Run Covered Wagons
Corral the kids and treat them to an unforgettable camping getaway in a covered wagon at Jellystone Park Mill Run in Pennsylvania!
Each covered wagon at Jellystone includes sleeping for 6, air conditioning, small refrigerator for drinks and snacks, cable tv, coffee pot and toaster.
All you need to bring is your own clean bedding (pillows, sheets and blankets) as well as towels, cookware and personal items.
And, if you’re inclined to pay your respects, it’s a comfortable driving distance to the 9/11 Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville.
Where is Jellystone Park Mill Run located? 839 Mill Run Road, Mill Run, PA 15464
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Horse Cave KOA Holiday
If you love horse country, caves, classic cars and lots of cool animals, then I highly recommend taking your family to Horse Cave KOA Holiday in Cave City, Kentucky.
Home to the Kentucky Derby, the world’s finest Bourbons and in beautiful bluegrass horse country, you can enjoy camping in a unique experience of camping in a covered wagon!
Your family can travel back in time to the pioneer days by staying in one of their three Conestoga wagons!
Each wagon is equipped with one king size bed, one set of twin bunks, a small fridge and microwave, electric, heat and air conditioning. And don’t worry about bringing your pillows, sheets and blankets. Bedding is provided.
Each wagon even has its own private patio and fire-pit so you can experience what true pioneer camping is under the stars!.
Where is Horse Cave KOA located? 489 Flint Ridge Road, Horse Cave, KY 42749
Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo
It’s true! The Sunshine State has it’s own dude ranch right smack dab in the middle of Florida! And boy are we excited to share this one!
At Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo, guests can experience a true conestoga ranch glamping resort!
Amidst the greenery of Florida’s natural beauty, you and your family can enjoy camping in a way you’ve only dreamed of, in their exclusive Luxe Conestoga Wagons!
Relax, unwind, and step back in time to a perfect mixture of the rustic Old West and luxury.
Wake up to scenic views of American Bison grazing nearby! And, get ready to take full advantage of all the unforgettable activities and adventures that are right on the ranch.
These glamping wagons are like nothing you’ve seen nor experienced before! Each wagon is about 500 square feet, sleeps up to 6 guests and has it’s own full bathroom with walk-in shower!
They also have heat and air conditioning to make those nights a sweet dream! Enjoy sipping your coffee in rocking chairs on your covered wagon’s deck!
Where is Westgate River Ranch Resort and Rodeo located? 3200 River Ranch Boulevard, River Ranch, FL 33867
What if there is no covered wagon camping near me?
If there’s no covered wagon resorts near me or your chosen destination, there are plenty of other options.
You may find you can camp in a covered wagon during special events such as historical reenactments and rendezvous, festivals and renaissance fairs, western-theme resorts, ghost towns and old west towns, and even some farms.
Visiting National Parks during your glamping adventure?
Also, each park also has its’ own park-specific annual fee if you think you’ll be frequenting one park several times throughout the year.
Or, if you’re going to be visiting several different National Parks throughout the year, you may want to just purchase an annual pass for about $80 (2023 price). This pass is good for all national parks and monuments.
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Plan Your Glamping Trip!
If you’re planning on taking your RV, it’s important to know before you go! By planning ahead of time, your experience will be greater and less stressful.
Anytime we plan our RV destinations, we start our research using RV LIFE Trip Wizard. RV Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes specific to your RV and travel preferences.
When we’re scoping out places to camp or park our RV, RV LIFE Campgrounds is a great place to check out camping options near points of interest. Campground Reviews is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you.
Learn more by signing up for the FREE 7-Day Trial.
Wrapping up where to camp in a covered wagon near me!
As you see, covered wagon camping is truly a one of a kind glamping adventure that everyone should get a chance to experience!
After a day of exploring a National Park or enjoying the town, you and your family will return to your own covered wagon to continue your camping adventure.
What better way to fall asleep outdoors than in a Conestoga wagon but in the lap of luxury! Listen to the howlin’ coyotes, hootin’ owls and cooing doves as you drift off to dreamland just like the pioneers of centuries but in your own covered wagon!
Great reads to help you plan your National Park visits!
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