July 2, 2015

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Conestoga Ranch Makes Camping in Bear Lake Glamourous

by Adva Biton

July 2, 2015

Garden City—What can you do if you love the great outdoors but you’re not a camping enthusiast? Do you like all the beautiful vistas Utah has to offer—but not so much the experience of packing and pitching a tent, cooking your own meals and going to the bathroom out in the middle of said great outdoors? If so, Conestoga Ranch, a new glamour-camping (or ‘glamping’) site near Bear Lake is seeking you out.

When Tom Hedges first saw the area around Bear Lake, he was struck by the lack of amenities in the area.

“We were even more blown away by the lack of development and all the potential for new development in such a beautiful area,” he said. “That sparked our interest in being in Bear Lake in the first place. We thought ‘if we build it, people will come.’”

Rather than build up an expensive resort, Hedges and his partners said the thought was to create a camping atmosphere with resort-like comfort.

The Conestoga Ranch grounds will include family tents, two tents options for couples, along with covered wagons and a premium camping spot. The family tents include two bedrooms and a private bathroom, with a king-sized bed in one bedroom and bunk twin beds in the other. The couples’ tents come in two varieties – the grand couple’s tent, which has a bedroom with a king-sized bed and a private bedroom, and the regular couple’s tent, which has no bathroom. Both varieties include an outdoor space with a fire pit and chairs.

The covered wagons Conestoga Ranch offers come in a variety of sizes, sleeping up to eight per wagon.

“The mobility of the wagons [mean that we] can make for an encampment,” says Hedges. “So if a family reunion of 60 comes, we can have them be in a more privatized area. The flexibility and versatility of the wagons opens up the ability for people to pick and choose what’s best for them.”

Conestoga Ranch also offers food options like the Campfire Grill, which will have a wood-burning pizza oven, all you can eat nights, salads and more. There is also a shake shack for milkshakes and shaved ice. A game tent offers opportunities for kids to have fun, where there will be a playground for toddlers and games like shuffleboard for others. The grounds also include 19 well-finished showers and bathrooms, as well as a campground for those who do enjoy bringing their own tents and camping traditionally.

The amenity Hedges says he’s most excited about is Conestoga Ranch’s room and picnic basket service.

“If a group of six comes, before they go to bed they can fill out a picnic card,” says Hedges. “[The next day,] we’ll have sandwiches and chips and sodas in a picnic cooler so they can go out for the day. We’ll also have Kobe beef hot dogs and s’mores packages including sticks to roast them over the fire.”

Events at Conestoga Ranch include live music and entertainment on Friday nights and a rodeo every Saturday night. The ranch is near trails that lead directly into the hills for mountain biking or hiking, and Bear Lake is about a quarter-mile away.

“The property is on a hillside overlooking the lake. We think the views are valuable,” says Hedges. 

 Conestoga Ranch opened

 July 1. Parties interested in booking tents or wagons can do so online at www.conestogaranch.com or by calling (844) 464-5267.

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