Environment Planet Earth My Winter Getaway to a Yurt in Maine By Shea Gunther Writer University of New Hampshire Rochester Institute of Technology University of Southern Maine Shea Gunther is a writer, entrepreneur, and podcaster living in Portland, Maine. He covers topics such as renewable energy, climate change, and nature. our editorial process Shea Gunther Updated June 05, 2017 Photo:Shea Gunther. Share Twitter Pinterest Email Planet Earth Outdoors Weather Conservation Even though I wrote a lengthy article on yurts last year here on MNN, I hadn’t had the chance to actually spend a night in one before now. I’ve been a long-time tipi owner, and I lived in one though a Maine winter years ago, but had never stepped into a yurt. This past weekend I was able to rectify that shortcoming with a visit to Frost Mountain Yurts in Brownfield, Maine. Located just an little over an hour from where I live in Portland, Maine, Frost Mountain Yurts is a small enterprise operated by husband and wife Patrick and Erika Fagan, who live on the property with their family. Their four yurts are spread widely throughout the woods around their home on Frost Mountain, giving each setting a wonderful feeling of privacy and seclusion, as long as you don’t mind the occasional fellow guest cross-country skiing by on one of the myriad trails crossing through the land. I stayed in the Trailside Yurt for two nights with my wife, brother- and sister-in-law, and other friends. The roads were slick with freshly falling snow as we drove from Portland. After checking in, we made the short walk from a small parking lot to the yurt, pulling our gear, food, and drinking water behind us using sport sleds provided for guests. After lighting a fire in the wood stove and another in the outdoor fire pit, we settled in for a few days of hardcore relaxing. Brownfield is located in western Maine and is a mountainous area. Frost Mountain itself is 1,211 feet high and can be reached from the yurts in about an hour. We hiked the well-marked path to the top and enjoyed a snowy lunch of bagel sandwiches. In addition to Frost Mountain, there are a few other nearby peaks you can hike, and the Mount Washington Valley, gateway to the hiking-rich White Mountains, is only a half hour away. We found a well-researched and comprehensive binder of local activities in our yurt as well as a thick guest book of shared memories. Here are some pictures that give a good idea of the general setup of a yurt at Frost Mountain Yurts. Check in was a casual affair. Our paperwork and key were laid out and waiting for us. Take note of the dozens of snowshoes available to guests. The yurt’s kitchen is small, compact, and comprehensive. Our kitchen was stocked with pots, pans, bowls, plates, coffee makers, cutlery, and everything else needed to prepare a meal. The table was large enough to feed a group of eight and then, later in the night, host a five-person game of Settlers of Catan. The in-ground firepit greatly reduced the effects of the winter wind on our fire. Each yurt has two futon bunk beds (each with room for one person up top and two below) and a standard two-person bunk bed. Each couple in our group took a bed, and it was nice to have the top bunk to store our gear. The bunk bed on the left has a single mattress on both top and bottom bunk. The bed on the right has a two-person futon bed on the lower level. A small dishwashing station and some of the non-potable water provided to guests made post-meal cleanup easy. Prices vary according to the season but range from $98/night for a midweek warm season night to $118/night for weekend cold season night. That already reasonable price gets downright super-cheap when you add a few friends into the mix to share the costs. Visit the website for exact rates and to check availability for any of the four yurts. For those interested in trying out a night in a yurt ahead of buying one yourself— all the yurts at Frost Mountain Yurts were made by Pacific Yurts.