5 of the most unusual campsites around the world

Unusual campsites
This one isn’t a campsite or hotel but a “Portaledge,” described as an “event” and an “unusual experience.” Photo: Courtesy of Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht
If you’re looking for the typical campsite equipped with a fire ring, barbecue grill and a place to put up your tent, our National Park System is loaded with them.

If you’re the adventurous type, however, boy do we have some unusual campsites to recommend for you.

From camping out in a bird’s nest made for humans to sleeping in a tent suspended from a tree, to getting cozy in a travel trailer inside an old vacuum cleaner factory to a remote ski hut, to a remote bivouac at 9,301 feet, we have plenty of adventure to direct you to for your next exotic camping destination.

Here are five unusual campsites from around the world:

Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht in Bavaria, Germany

Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht
Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht is “an event,” not a hotel or campsite. Photo: Courtesy of Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht
OK, first, let us be very clear. This is not a hotel or a campsite, we are told. Susanne Säckl informed GrindTV that “sleeping in a Portaledge is thought [of] as an event for one night” and “as [an] unusual experience.”

Well, Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht is definitely unusual.

The Travel Channel described it as an adventure resort in the German Alps that features platform beds that are suspended from the trees or from a cliff face 3,280 feet off the ground. It also has simple wooden platforms in a tree, much like a tree house.

That’s the sleeping arrangement. During the day, you have elaborate ropes courses, a 3D archery course, hiking and climbing among other activities to choose from. The adventure resort also offers something called an Eskimo Weekend whereby you can build your own igloo and sleep overnight in it.

Enjoy an Eskimo Weekend in the German Alps. Photo: Courtesy of Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht

Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht lists the price for an Eskimo Weekend at about $150 to $200. To sleep hanging from trees is $272 and from a cliff, $968. On the tree platform, it’s $136.

This destination is probably not for those afraid of heights or those who tend to walk in their sleep, for that matter.

Bivouac Gervasutti, Italy

Italian Alps
This one is located in the Italian Alps at 9,301 feet and is accessed by rappelling down a rock face. Photo: Courtesy of Caters News
The Bivouac Gervasutti is definitely not for everybody, particularly because one must rappel down a rock face to reach the location situated at 9,301 feet.

The shelter is built overhanging an outcropping of rocks beneath the walls of the Grandes and Petites Jorasses in the Italian Alps.

Alps Room with a View
The view of the Italian Alps is spectacular at 9,301 feet. Photo: Courtesy of Caters News
The unique structure is divided into an entrance, lunchroom and two dormitories with a total of 12 beds. It uses solar panels to power its heat and electricity. The accommodations are free but making a small donation is suggested.

The first hut in this climbing location was built out of wood in 1948. In 1961, it was rebuilt from wood and sheet metal. The current model, made of composite sandwich shell modular, was constructed in 2011.

Check out the website for more photos and information.

HüttenPalast indoor caravan park, Berlin, Germany

HüttenPalast is an indoor travel trailer park. Photo: Courtesy of Jan Brockhaus
Um, yeah, that’s a travel trailer — inside a building! Yes, people stay there overnight.

At HüttenPalast, built inside a former vacuum cleaner factory, tourists can choose from three differently designed, old-time travel trailers and three cozy wooden cabins that are situated inside a factory hall.

“Spring, summer, autumn and winter — we are open all year long and hope that you will visit us to enjoy some camping — idyll in the middle of the city,” the HüttenPalast website says.

“We give you a touch of summer feeling — even in winter — and retro-happiness as you sit and swing in front of the huts or walk in flip-flops with toothbrush to the beautiful showers.”

HüttenPalast has three travel trailers and three wooden cabins inside an old vacuum cleaner factory for overnight stays. Photo: Courtesy of HüttenPalast
This unique campsite is for those who — well, actually, we’re not sure exactly who this is aimed for. Those who like sleeping in a travel trailer parked in a hotel lobby, perhaps?

Travel trailer and cabins start at $75 per night, which includes a croissant and coffee in the morning. Hotel rooms are available, too, from $80. No campfires are allowed at your campsites, by the way.

Human Nest, Treebones Resort, Big Sur, California

Bring your own sleeping bag to the Human Nest at Treebones in Big Sur. Photo: Courtesy of Treebones
Treebones describes itself as a premier glamping resort — that’s glamping, otherwise known as a luxury form of camping — but also offers traditional campsites. You must bring your own tent.

Otherwise, the facility has 16 yurts featuring plush, comfortable queen-sized beds, cozy comforters, hot and cold running water and a 2- to 3-minute walk to shared restroom and shower facilities. You’re camping, remember?

But the Pièce de résistance is the Human Nest, a woven-wood piece of art — a bird’s nest for humans — created by Big Sur artist Jayson Fann. Here, you bring your own sleeping bag to spread out on a full-sized futon mattress.

The walk-in campsite, boasting of the best views at Treebones, comes with a picnic table and nearby access to water.

The Human Nest is $150 per night and has a two-guest maximum. Yurts for two people range from $275 to $355 per night. A campsite is $95 per night. An ocean-view campsite with a tent put up for you is $130 per night. There is a two-night minimum with all the accommodations.

Ostrander Ski Hut in Yosemite, California

Ostrander Ski Hut
The rustic Ostrander Ski Hut, built in 1941. Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
During the winter, this rustic, historic retreat in Yosemite National Park is located above Ostrander Lake at the edge of a glacial cirque, an amphitheatre-like valley that offers steep slopes for backcountry skiers and snowboarders.

The two-story stone structure was built in 1941 and is operated by the Yosemite Conservancy and National Park Service, which has a season-long “hut-keeper.”

Ostrander Ski Hut
Ostrander Ski Hut in Yosemite National Park. Photo: Courtesy of Yosemite Conservancy

“While the hut has no electricity, solar-powered lights are provided for evening use, and wood is stocked for heating,” the Yosemite Conservancy website says.

“Water is collected from a snow-fed alpine lake, and guests filter it for drinking. The rustic accommodation includes single bunks with mattresses, community cookware stocked in a common kitchen, and two outdoor toilet facilities. Visitors provide their own food, water filter, sleeping bag and personal gear.”

The Ostrander Ski Hut is a 10-mile trek from Badger Pass Ski Area and is open from mid-December through the end of March. Because it’s so popular, early reservations are awarded through a random lottery system.

Fees are $55 per night Friday through Sunday and $35 Monday through Thursday.

All the routes to the Ostrander Ski Hut require considerable stamina and cross-country skiing experience. It is not recommended for novice skiers.

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