The truth is that once you’ve gone glamping you may never camp again, especially if you are over 40-years old (like me). I have spent many nights on the cold, hard ground or in a dying blow up mattress. I can confidently say that there’s something addictive about sleeping in a comfy king size bed under a tent.
You may have passed the Platte River Fort & Resort on Hwy 34 just east of Greeley. And you’ve probably wondered what it is. It’s a replica of a real-life fort and once inside, I realized it does resemble Bent’s Fort and that’s not an accident.
Platte River Fort was built in 2001 and was modeled after Bent’s Fort in La Junta, Colorado. If you ever get the opportunity to visit this real-life fort, do it. The original owners of Platte River Fort lived in the fort and used the unused rooms for educational purposes.
Today, the Platte River Fort is a multi-use facility that hosts weddings, family reunions and more. It’s also the home of Hank’s Bar & Grill, six yurts and one covered wagon. If not being used to host a large party, the rooms at the fort are rented to the public.
It’s a one-of-a-kind establishment, the kind I love to discover. Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to stay in one of the resort’s Lotus Belle yurts.
Ryan and I were booked into the Serenity Yurt at Platte River Fort. All six yurts and the covered wagon are located a short drive (or long walk) away from the fort, next to the South Platte River. They are spaced fairly far apart and outside each yurt there is a fire pit and chairs, as well as a picnic table. These yurts provide all the outdoor accouterments of a nice campground, along with a stunning view. Portalets are tucked into the trees.
The South Platte River is high right now, but near the end of summer, it becomes a playground for yurt and wagon guests who float, splash or just sit in the cool water.
We dined at Hank’s Bar & Grill. This new restaurant at Platte River Fort is open to the public. Once the word gets out about their hamburgers, they might have a wait. The menu is straightforward and everything we tried was delicious.
Hank’s is located in the barn behind the fort, and the hamburgers are cooked outside on a beautiful grill. Ryan and I each ordered the $10 Platte River Fort Burger. It is loaded with cheddar cheese, house BBQ sauce, bacon jam as well as lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles. All burgers and sandwiches come with potato chips and a side. Sides include such comfort food such as potato salad, mac & cheese, corn on the cob, baked beans and coleslaw.
We are both hamburger connoisseurs and these burgers rocked. They are big, half pounders and super juicy. You’ll need a wet wipe afterward but sticky fingers are well-worth it.
Back at our yurt, we made a fire and settled in for a glass of wine as the sun set over the South Platte. I won’t lie, mosquitoes love it here, but thankfully there is bug spray in the yurt. In fact, the yurt also features a fire starter which is convenient when you forget matches (like we did). We had brought fancy firewood from Ryan’s shop scraps, so we sipped wine and enjoyed the exotic smells of burning kilned cherry, walnut and oak.
The Serenity Yurt features several chairs and tables, owl pillows and a Colorado Bird Book, perfect for a bird nerd like me. The king bed and pillows are truly comfortable.
The river is loud at night, so you might want to bring along earplugs if you are sensitive to noise. Currently, there’s a little waterfall near the Serenity Yurt that makes a racket, but it may disappear as the river goes down.
The next morning, which was a weekday, we had to get going and didn’t make a camp-style breakfast. Hank’s has donuts and coffee available from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, but we couldn’t stick around.
We dined at Butter My Biscuit in Kersey, Colorado, about six minutes by car. The restaurant opens at 6 a.m. and the food is delicious. The biscuits and gravy were some of the best I have eaten. Plus, the prices here are right so it’s worth planning at least one breakfast here when you visit Platte River Fort & Resort.
Book your glamping yurt at PlatteRiverFort.com/lodging/glamping.
Thank you the Platte River Fort & Resort for hosting our stay.