By Elisabeth Ostrander
If ever there was a perfect visual to bring meaning to the mantra Utah: Life Elevated, it might be the majestic red cliffs and natural rock formations amid the canyon country which defines Moab, Utah. For those who might be picturing the snowy slopes and opulence of Park City — perhaps it may even come as a welcome relief to those who lack a fondness for cold weather — the alternative vacation experience found in southern Utah is a pleasant discovery.
As the Colorado River winds through the red rock canyon along a scenic byway, it also flows peacefully by the Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa, a lush green 240 acre oasis in the middle of the scenic desert landscape. As you arrive on property, you’re immediately welcomed by the rolling pastures dotted with happily grazing horses, who greet you on the path to the main lodge and surrounding cabins, which blend seamlessly into the natural landscapes.
With just 55 rooms, including several spacious hotel suites with soothing jetted tubs, the ranch delivers on its promise of serenity and relaxing solitude. Inside, the décor brings a tasteful twist to southwestern culture, paying homage to the wrangling history of the ranch, yet providing all the modern comforts and conveniences you’ve come to expect in a luxury hotel.
You can soak it all in on the expansive property – the warm desert sun, the crisp air, savor the views along with a glass of fine wine from your private deck or in the riverside lounge. Should you require anything of course, the warm and friendly staff are always available to accommodate your requests.
Don’t let the rustic elegance fool you – resort amenities include a fine dining restaurant which prepares creative cuisine each evening from the finest and freshest ingredients available, and fuels your body with a hearty breakfast before you explore the great outdoors.
The awe-inspiring views at nearby Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park bring a sense of peace and an overwhelming appreciation for the vast landscape, which is unlike anywhere else on earth. Your time will be well spent meandering the roads and trails throughout the parks – as well as providing choice locations for aspiring photographers – to create lasting memories.
For the more adventurous soul, the resort offers guided horseback trail rides, and Moab, Utah is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities for all ages and speeds – bicycling, hiking, scenic flights and skydiving, rafting to rockcrawling. You just might discover a new hobby, or rediscover a passion for past pursuits.
Perhaps you had a more relaxing experience in mind? Then you simply must take note that Sorrel River Ranch boasts a full service spa. Choose from an array of massage therapies – from traditional Swedish to hot stone massages – to unique body treatments, such as the Wranglers Wrap, intended to restore and rejuvenate both the mind and body.
Whether you’re enjoying a solo expedition, a romantic getaway for two, or a fun family vacation, you’ll reconnect with your inner thoughts and feel a sense of renewed physical energy. If nothing else, the allure of feeling as though you’re quietly sharing a secret with the other guests, makes the trip to this remote, yet accessible resort, all worthwhile.
Elisabeth Ostrander is a freelance adventure travel journalist based in Salt Lake City, Utah, who not only has a healthy appreciation for outdoor activities, but also an affinity for well appointed luxury hotels and resorts. Having stayed at various mountainside ski lodges across North American and Europe, to oceanfront hotels and private island escapes in the South Pacific, she is forever in search of unique vacation experiences with the unmatched access to an abundance of adventurous activities.