Night Skiing at Shawnee Peak and Sleeping in a Yurt on the Mountain

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9 out of 10 people enjoy hearing or saying the word “yurt.” I know this based on the research I conducted before spending a night in a yurt on top of Shawnee Peak in Maine.

You are probably wondering about the one person who doesn’t enjoy hearing or saying the word “yurt.” What’s his deal? Who knows. I just thought the statistic would sound more scientific if I included a dissenter. The truth is, 100% of the people I spoke with enjoyed hearing or saying the word “yurt.” Yurt. It’s fun to read the word too, isn’t it?

Like many ski resorts in Maine this winter, Shawnee Peak in Bridgton, has been blessed with great snow.  An hour’s drive from Portland, it’s a perfect-sized mountain (not too big and not too small) with diverse terrain, night skiing, and a 75-year history. I had skied this mountain ever so briefly–one run to be exact–during my Ski Maine Three-Day Odyssey a few years ago. I was psyched to have more time–one night and one day–to get to know the mountain better.

On the evening of this adventure, as we loaded the chairlift, I had my backpack stuffed with ski gear, plus a bag full of food provisions for the evening and morning–and an extra-large sleeping bag. The plans for the evening and next day: ski, eat, sleep, eat, ski. Yurt.

0 out of 10 people enjoy hearing or saying the word “outhouse.” Yurt living is not glamorous, mostly because it involves  an outhouse, no running water, limited night-time lighting, and close living quarters (two bunk beds for four adults). And yet, you probably just smiled again when you read the word yurt. That’s because yurts are magical little huts in the forest.

The yurt was tucked off of the trail, and we stowed our gear and headed out for a few twilight lift-serviced runs. The snow was gently falling and it glistened under the bright lights shining on the ski trail. Without many other skiers on the mountain, the evening seemed calm and quiet.

When our stomachs started to grumble we headed back to the yurt. Dinner was reheated meatloaf and baby red potatoes with olive oil and fresh rosemary cooked on the propane stove. Dessert was fudge. After dessert entertainment included watching the groomer make fresh corduroy, and watching Chad make the fire.

Yurt living is simple and uncomplicated. It’s life without plugs.

Sleep. Rise. Eat. Goodbye to the yurt. Ski. Ski. Ski. Ski.

Thanks Team Yurt.

The end.


  • As a ski patroller at Shawnee Peak, I will say it is really good to see the mountain used in this way. I know both the cabin and the yurt are used all year long. So if skiing and boarding aren’t your thing. Come on up and check out the blueberries come summertime, or wait till the fall colors show up in early October

  • Benjamin

    The yurt truly is a great experience and one that will last in your memory for decades to come. I have stayed a few hundred yards away at Tuckerman’s Cabin on Shawnee 5 times now with both my daughter and other friends and absolutely love it. One more thing to mention about the yurt and the cabin is that the Blizzard Pub is also an option for dining if cooking and hauling that extra food in your pack is not an attractive option. Just make sure you catch the lift back up the mountain before 930 or you will be hiking up the mountain at night to the summit where both the yurt and cabin are! Enjoy! Shawnee does a wonderful job keeping these two overnight options affordable and fun!

  • Correction. This should obviously say Eat. Ski. Yurt.

    (I am clearly NOT a skier!)

  • Yurt, yurt, yurt. :)
    Outhouse, outhouse, outhouse. :(
    But even with the outhouse concept, you still made me want to go to a yurt.

  • Eat. Sleep. Yurt.

    Is this a bumper sticker yet?

    As always, love your witty peek into the ski world, Heather!


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