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What is Glamping? and What Sets Backland Apart?

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

Backland Glamping Tent

Glamping is the marriage of camping and luxury. The practice is here to stay, and we’d be honored to be your first choice for your next Grand Canyon or Arizona glamping adventure.

Back to Nature

Ah, the great outdoors. The fresh, clean air; the organic conversation between earth, wind, water and wildlife; the sound of your own breathing not drowned out by the dinging of a busy, notification-driven life. Many would agree that nature in its grand variety is just the healing balm our high-speed, high-stress society needs.

The pond at Backland

The global pandemic of 2020 had the one positive side effect of luring us back to nature. Though camping habits have consistently been on the uptick year after year, COVID-19 did wonders for the trend as traveling virtually stopped and the outdoors became our escape and respite from isolation. According to the 2022 North American Camping Report released by Kampgrounds of America (KOA) there were 93.8 million active camper households in the US in 2021, and 9.1 million first-time camper households.

To Camp, or Not to Camp?

Despite our yearning for communion with nature, the novelty is short-lived for some as camping comes with a level of commitment and sacrifice not everyone is willing or wanting to make.

Some shy away from camping adventures because of bad experiences or exaggerated stereotypes. Picturing your red, itchy skin (from bug bites, sunburn, poison ivy or all three), twig-tangled hair and dirt-smudged cheeks being chased by a bear (or paranormal activity) only to find a snake in the sanctuary of your musty sleeping bag in the midst of a lightning storm is hardly reality but what Hollywood might suggest.

For others it’s more of a practical resistance. Maybe you’re not able to sleep just anywhere like you could in your teens, mummy sleeping bags might bring on bouts of claustrophobia, or maybe you’d simply like to use a private bathroom rather than find what you think is a hidden spot only to meet the eyes of your camping neighbor mid squat.

Typical Camping Set Up

And the gear, oh the gear! The tent itself might take up half your car along with coolers, camp chairs, tables, cooking and recreational equipment, lighting, water, food and more, and you’ll spend a good chunk of your vacation just making and breaking camp.

The point: most people don’t avoid camping because they have an aversion to connecting with nature and the serenity that follows. But aversions of any kind can lead to avoidance. While the idea of “roughing it” appeals to some and becomes the challenge and the point itself in embarking on outdoor adventures, there are many of us still who want to experience nature in a way that brings us closer to it while smoothing out the rough with modern amenities; there’s no shame in this, AND there’s a perfect solution.

What is Glamping? A Perfect Match

Leave it to humans to create a compromise complete with a snappy nickname: glamping. Yes, it is as it sounds, an apt combination of the words glamor and camping, and while this catchy portmanteau is relatively new (circa 2005 when it was used in England and made official in 2016 with an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary) the concept or at least the inspiration for it actually dates back centuries.

Picture canvas tents lit by candle or lamplight, furnished with washbasin, cot, trunk and wardrobe. In many respects, this was the way of life, not “glamping” by today’s standards (what with not having an REI down the street). But historically there are examples exceeding these amenities by lavishly bedecking outdoor accommodations: the Scotts in preparation for a visit from King Henry V, diplomatic summits between leaders of empires, Ottoman military camps, and African safaris (which became a trend in the 1920s). The idea of elaborate outdoor camps luxuriously furnished with creature comforts and prized possessions of the time was not that uncommon and might have been considered “glamping” had they only the term to define it.

The Origins of Glamping

Medieval Military Camp Recreation

While we may have dialed it back a notch from wine fountains and intricately embroidered tents, we’ve certainly stretched our imaginations. Yurts, treehouses, elaborate tents, huts, igloos, trailers and more provide unique glamping experiences across the globe. The KOA released their first Glamping report in 2022, reporting that an estimated 17 million households took at least one glamping trip in 2021, which is a 155% increase from 2019. No longer a budding and uncertain trend, glamping is here to stay. And we’d love to show you how Backland is leading the way.

Glamping the Backland Way

Backland Glamping Tent at Night

Backland Glamping Resort is the premier Arizona and Grand Canyon glamping experience. Our luxury eco resort sits on 160 acres of private land including ponderosa pine forests, meadows and ponds. We want to help you nurture a relationship with the great outdoors and do so responsibly, sustainably, and, of course, glamorously.

Just How Glam are We Talking?

Some glamping locations do upgrade the camping experience, but only slightly. Sure, a tent will be provided that you don’t have to set up. And you might have a bed (with sheets!) instead of the forest floor. But while canvas tents look ever so romantic in pictures aglow with warm lighting and gauzy mosquito netting reminiscent of an adventure in the indiscriminate eastern wild, they’re not temperature controlled. Once you’re zipped in for the night, you’ll bake in the heat and freeze in the cold. Plus, you’ll have to venture out to see the stars at night (or anything, for that matter)—perhaps when you’re wide awake, unable to sleep due to the noise of flapping canvas in the wind or on your way to a communal bathroom in the dark.

Introducing the Backland Tented Suite

Backland Glamping Tent

The custom tensioned canvas of each of our luxury tents is stretched taut over framework and won’t flap noisily in the wind. In addition to our suites being situated 75+ feet apart, sound-dampening insulation will ensure you won’t hear every muffled word and sound uttered by your neighbors. Speaking of privacy, each tent has its own ensuite bathroom with shower (and eco-friendly toiletries) ready for unlimited nighttime visits without fear of abrupt wildlife encounters or tripping and losing your way in the darkness en route to the public bathroom. Or a tree.

Backland Glamping Tent Bathroom
Backland Glamping Tent Shower

Electricity is a given, and each room is outfitted with a mini fridge and coffee maker. Housekeeping is provided and parking is right next to your suite, saving you a trip to a communal parking lot down the road if you forget something in your car. Electric vehicle charging stations are even available at reception.

Temperature Control

Backland Glamping Tent Views

Arguably even more appealing than our privacy is our temperature control. Each suite is fully insulated with high efficiency AC and heating to maintain your preference in any weather. Luxury linens on a king-size bed will keep you cozy in sleep, and comfortable furnishings will help you relax, ponder, converse, study or create with ease during waking hours.

How About that Nature?

Backland Glamping Tent Views

With privacy you’ll also enjoy spectacular views. Backland tents feature 16’ panoramic sliding glass doors that open onto your own patio with furniture perfect for lounging at any hour to enjoy a breathtaking sunrise or views of the stunning San Francisco Peaks. Skyview tents have additional skylights above the bed tailor-made for stargazing as you drift off to sleep. And thanks to our tireless efforts to sustain and nurture our corner of the wild, there is no shortage of animal life and activity at which to marvel. Wi-Fi is not available in the tents encouraging you to unplug legitimately (but don’t panic—it’s available at reception if you need it).

Backland Stargazing Skylight Views

Things to Do

A laid back, quiet retreat at Backland may be all you require of a glamping experience, and you won’t be disappointed. But if you’re looking for activities to include in your R&R, consider these unique offerings.

Complimentary Activities

  • sand volleyball

  • kayaking and fishing on our beautiful pond

  • lounging and sand play on our beach

  • geocaching

  • telescope stargazing

  • s’mores toasting around the fire pit

  • hiking, biking, running or strolling on various onsite trails

  • birdwatching

paddle boarding backland glamping

Other Luxuries

  • made from scratch restaurant

  • forest tented spa offering massages for couples or individuals

  • private guided tours of the Grand Canyon

  • private guided tours of Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon

Helicopter Tour of the Grand Canyon

(See our website for booking these activities prior to your arrival.)

Fine Dining in the Great Outdoors

Rest assured you won’t have to subsist on hotdogs or the day’s catch during your stay with us. At Backland you can choose to dine in- or outside of our glass-walled restaurant as you enjoy gourmet meals prepared with fresh, seasonal, local ingredients and a new menu for each night of your stay.

Glass Walled Dining Room at Backland

Convenient Seclusion

Want to have the overnight camping experience but have the ability to shower in the morning before visiting an Arizona attraction sans greasy hair and wrinkled clothing fragrant with campfire smoke and a few days’ musk?

Backland is enough off the beaten path to provide quiet serenity while also being centrally located with easy access to a number of Arizona attractions. We are situated about 15 minutes off of I-40, one of the most common routes to the Grand Canyon, and with other desirable destinations like Williams, Flagstaff, Sedona and Sycamore Falls all within a 90-minute drive or less, there’s plenty to do on a day or overnight trip, making us the perfect Arizona glamping choice for adventuring.

Responsible Traveling

Travelers who care enough about nature to choose the glamping experience likely share our concern for the environment and the impact we make on it. As an eco resort, Backland is committed to sustainability in our practices as well as positive impact in our proactive use of land and resources to leave the landscape better in our wake. From high efficiency energy and water fixtures to pollinator gardens, we have and will continue to implement new phases of eco-conscious initiatives.

Your Arizona and Grand Canyon Glamping Destination

We still love camping and hope you do too. But if you’re ready to try something new or you've already caught the glamping bug, let Backland be your next luxury adventure.

Backland Glamping Tents

Whether your goal is to reconnect with nature, reconnect with yourself, or reconnect with loved ones, Backland is the natural choice. We offer quiet seclusion, laid back recreation, and an eco-conscious approach to land management and hospitality practices that will ease the mind and rejuvenate the soul.

Pond with Beach at Backland

Take a leap into luxury and enjoy nature the Backland way today.


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