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A Former Drive-In Theater in the Utah Desert Is Now a Glamping Retreat | Frommer's Yonder Escalante

A Former Drive-In Theater in the Utah Desert Is Now a Glamping Retreat

Camping and drive-in movie theaters are two forms of good old-fashioned fun that have grown hugely popular again this summer, as we're all on the lookout for socially distanced recreation options. 

A new retreat in southern Utah manages to combine both resurgent trends. 

Set amid dusty scrubland and mighty rock formations near Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Yonder Escalante has 10 custom Airstream trailers, 22 cabins, and 67 spots for RVs. 

The grounds once served as a drive-in movie theater, and, in a nod to the past, Yonder will regularly screen movies outdoors. You can watch from inside a restored classic car (Yonder's website promises that all shared spaces will be sanitized diligently.) 

Each refurbished mid-century modern trailer has a unique interior and—crucially for desert accommodations—air conditioning. The newly constructed, birch-walled cabins sleep up to three guests apiece and come with private firepits. 

(Photo courtesy of Yonder Escalante)

Except for those who show up in fully equipped motor homes, bathroom facilities are shared at Yonder. The bathhouse is at least new, with copper, terra-cotta, and travertine elements as well as separate shower rooms. 

Other common areas include a clubhouse, general store, pool, and hot tub. 

In addition to the abundant hiking, biking, kayaking, and nature-gawking available at the adjacent Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Yonder guests are also close to the Martian landscapes of Capitol Reef National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, both less than 90 minutes away by car.

Scheduled to open September 1, Yonder will begin accepting reservations on August 15. Visit for more information.