The structure is not completely closed off so there is the possibility of flies and mosquitoes joining you for the night so I recommend this as more of a spring/fall camping option. But that clean, smooth floor was SO wonderful! Being off the dirt and able to spread our stuff out made it a really nice space for sleeping and just hanging out. And our actual camp site was huge! We easily had room for another tent structure.
It took us a bit to figure out the smoke flaps and how to open/close them to see the stars and let in some fresh air (and no you cannot have a fire in the tipi) and I THINK we closed the walls over the door correctly at night. I'm sure we could have asked for some instruction from the park rangers but that would have been too easy right? ;) We had our blow up mattress and two duffle bags and easily could have had a couple small camping chairs in there too.
Read more about the other camping options available at MN State Parks.
- "The Treaty of Traverse Des Sioux of 1851 moved the Dakota Indians from Iowa and Minnesota to a reservation 20 miles wide along the Minnesota River Valley extending from Big Stone Lake to Fort Ridgely. The Yellow Medicine Agency was established to administer the terms of the treaty.In the summer of 1862, the Yellow Medicine Agency was destroyed during the U.S.-Dakota Conflict. 2012 marked 150 years since the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Upper Sioux Agency State Park was an important location during this time.
- Today, Upper Sioux Agency State Park exists to preserve the historic agency site and provide recreational opportunities in the scenic Minnesota River Valley."
Now I'm really surprised they don't promote this more on their webpage for this park. And we only found out about it because we told the park ranger as we were checking in that we were geocachers and were casually handed a piece of paper with 8 stages of geocaches.
It's not an official cache you can log on Geocaching.com but they give you coordinates to 8 different stages and at each stage is a punch. If you come back with all 8 punches, you can then purchase a limited edition non-trackable geocoin for just $3. They only created 250 of these coins so there's no saying how long they will be available! And if they are handing them out in order, I got #72 so there are quite a few left but as word gets out on this one, they may go fast.
AND the second really cool thing about their geocaching challenge is that at the 8th stage, you will be given coordinates to the final. We were so excited to see that the final stage was a throwback geocache to the original state park challenge that took place in 2008-2009. The History Challenge! They even had the old collectible cards in there too.
Some history.....the current MN State Parks Challenge is the Call of the Wildflowers is the fourth statewide geocaching challenge at Minnesota state parks and trails. Previous challenges included the Geocaching History Challenge in 2008, the Wildlife Safari (2009-2012), and the Geocaching Avian Adventure (2012-2014).