Alaska Wilderness Yurt Adventure

When Tonya and Stephen purchased land in the wilderness of Alaska, they knew it would be a challenge to build. Their land is bordered by the Chugach National Forest on one side and the Wrangle St. Ellias Wilderness Preserve on the other, 1 mile east of the Copper River. Since it’s very remote, with the closest road 25 miles away and 35 miles to the closest village, the only access is either by boat or aircraft.

Bringing the yurt to the site by helicopter.

Bringing the yurt to the site by helicopter.

They chartered a helicopter service and made twelve trips to bring in all of the materials for the deck and the yurt. The loads were placed high upon a bench, which offered a fantastic view of the lake in front and the surrounding mountains. With the help of three friends, they set out to build their yurt in the wilderness.

Building the deck for the yurt

Building the deck for the yurt

They cut a trail into the site and moved all the materials to allow for the set up of the Yurt. After clearing the area of all the alders and trees, they began setting the foundation blocks. At the end of the 1st day they had the foundation set and half the 2X6 floor installed. Not too bad for a 16 hour day! By the end of the 2nd day they had finished the floor, erected the lattice wall, compression ring, rafters- and the liner, insulation and cover for the roof (this was a 12 hour day). On day three, they installed the fabric wall and insulation and were finished by lunch time…32 hours from start to finish!

Alaska yurt

Completed yurt

They plan to use the yurt as all-season retreat, so they installed a solar system for power. It has a full bathroom (with shower), full kitchen (with refrigerator, freezer and stove) and a wood burning stove from Englander to heat the yurt. They installed a well to fill the 200 gallon cistern. The yurt is a fully functional home, but it’s just located in the wilderness of Alaska. They have leather sofa and chair, full sized bed and a cafe style dinette set. The yurt is over-looking the lake, which offers a chance to watch the Trumpeter Swans and their 2 cygnets, bears, beavers, eagles and a host of other wildlife.

Yurt interior

Beautiful interior

Stephen and Tonya had looked at several options for their wilderness home: wood frame, log and yurt. They investigated several yurt manufactures, and settled on the 27′ Colorado Yurt because the finished product was excellent and the options were what they looked for. Plus, they told us the customer service was excellent! They thought the instructions were very good to follow.

They are looking at setting up 2 additional yurts and offering them as a wilderness experience for those who wish to really get back to nature. They could also be used for winter time helicopter skiing groups.

Stephen and Tonya have now spent the summer in their yurt and love everything about it. They say, “Colorado Yurt, you produce an awesome yurt!!! Thank you!” and “PS. The fishing is great!!!”

Tonya's fish

Wow! Look at that fish!

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12 Responses to Alaska Wilderness Yurt Adventure

  1. Jyoti says:

    Awesome job! Did all the furniture have to be carried in by helicopter too?

  2. Rae Curtis says:

    Hi and please,,,, don,t Feed the Bears,,,,or any other wildlife,,,,,,,,apart from that,,,,,my dream to be right there,,,,I am getting a yurt made from the south island N.Z,,,7mtr, we are makeing that for our bed room ,just so can;t wait for it to all happen,,,cheers

  3. Cindy Hancock says:

    brillant, I have a friend that I will share this with. He’s retired, planning to sell his Vermont home, winter in California and summer in Vermont in a Yurt.

  4. lacey says:

    that is so amazing!! i would love to come an rent one of your yerts when they r finished….where r you guys located excatly? peace an love

  5. Mark Melville says:

    Very cool! But Alaska and no snowload package?! I’m confused.

    • ivy says:

      Mark, They have the full snow and wind load package on the yurt. They didn’t need Winter Stout package because they are not in a very high snowfall region- more temperate near the coast.

    • Stephen Cordova says:

      Some places in Alaska do not get the amount of snow as you would in say a place like Valdez where is snows an average of 30′ a year. We usually get only 8 – 10′ and yes it does have the snow load package!

  6. Jamie Gonzalez says:

    Your little homestead looks awesome! If you don’t mind me asking…how much land did you purchase and what was the cost? It looks like you truly are living the dream! 🙂

  7. Stephen Cordova says:

    Jamie, I had purchased 10.5 acres which was in the the only privately owned land between the Chugach National forest and the Wrangle – St. Ellias wilderness preserve. This is very remote as the closest village is 31 miles away and the nearest light bulb is 25 miles away. This spring I will be posting some additional pictures on my web site.

  8. Stephen Cordova says:

    The winter has passed and we have several comments as to the survivability of the Yurt during the record snow falls in Alaska. Tonya and I will be going there on the 21st of April for 2 weeks. Upon the return we will post pictures and provide details of the adventure.
    We wish everyone a healthy and safe up coming summer and we hope to see som friends out at the lake and share some time with us.


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