Utah’s National Parks have got to be some of America’s most beautiful!! Incredibly scenic, each one of the five National Parks in Utah- offer mind-blowing geological formations and more active adventures than a week allows. We gave it our all as we toured Zion, Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands (Sorry, Capitol Reef, but you are a reason to return!!) Though the majority of the clients I sent to Utah are families, this makes for one heck of a trip for adult couples too, especially when you slot in a stay at the incomparably luxurious and dramatic, Amangiri! Gil and I had a blast traveling with Jodie and Conrad on what amounted to a week of adrenaline-inducing adventures, scientific discovery, hilarious road-trips, and wonderful food!
Even the road trips in this part of the country are spectacularly beautiful! Our drives ranged from two to five hours on each leg of the journey.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park, a place that is home to the Narrows, Canyon Overlook, Emerald Pools, a petrified forest, a desert swamp, springs, waterfalls, hanging gardens, wildflowers, wildlife and more! Zion has quickly become a popular park for national park explorers. Zion is a wilderness preserved, full of the unexpected. It includes what might be the world’s largest arch – Kolob Arch, spanning 310 feet.
Bryce National Park
Bryce Canyon is a small national park in southwestern Utah. Named after the Mormon Pioneer Ebenezer Bryce, Bryce Canyon became a national park in 1924. Bryce is famous for its worldly unique geology, consisting of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah. The erosional force of frost-wedging and the dissolving power of rainwater has shaped the colorful limestone rock of the Claron Formation into bizarre shapes including slot canyons, windows, fins, and spires called hoodoos.
Amangiri: A Destination in & of Itself
Finding the calm perfection of Amangiri mid-way through our trip was exactly the perfect antidote to our active adventure through Utah. Pool time bliss with awe-inspiring vistas, intuitive service, and premium hand-crafted cocktails and cuisine was a treat!
The Amangiri is an all-suite property and with just 45 total accommodations on 600 acres, guests feel they are at a private oasis. Spacious with clean lines and natural materials, the Suites reflect the luminous qualities of the surrounding Utah desert. Each Suite has an outdoor lounge and fireplace with expansive desert views, while some feature a private pool or roof terrace
The 25,000 square foot Aman Spa reflects the healing traditions of the Navajo, with treatments drawing on the four elements of earth, wind, fire and water. Daily complimentary fitness classes from boxing to pilates to yoga and desert hikes is offered at the state of the art fitness center.
Camp Sarika is the new tented retreat located a short hike from Amangiri and offers a back-to-the-wild experience in the desert heart of Utah. The camp’s cluster of ten canvas-topped pavilions, each with a private plunge pool, centers on a shared lounge, restaurant and pool area – a perfect retreat to take over for a multi-get family reunion or birthday party!
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is known for its’ remarkable natural red sandstone arches. With over 2,000 catalogued arches that range in size from a three-foot opening, to Landscape Arch which measures 306 feet from base to base. The park offers the largest concentration of natural arches in the world. Towering spires, fins and balanced rocks complement the arches, creating a remarkable assortment of landforms in a relatively small area.
Sorrel River Ranch about 25 minutes outside of Moab, is a relaxing base to explore the area. Cabin Studios with kitchenettes are situated on the banks of the Colorado River. Ranch activities, dining and evening s’mores make for a pleasant retreat after a day exploring the parks.
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park, a unique destination full of spires, buttes, arches, rivers and most spectacular of all, vast canyons. This park is home to The Needles, Maze and Island of the Sky districts. Each area offers its own unique scenery and vastness that provide feelings of solitude. Canyonlands is sliced into these three areas by the Green and Colorado rivers. Beautiful vistas and overlooks have kept park visitors in awe for many years. Canyonlands is still an untrammeled and quiet mass of canyons that often appeal to the more rugged of hikers, 4 wheel drivers and mountain bikers.
This magical journey though Utah will be hard to beat yet, I am sure we will be back. There is so much more to discover! America is truly BEAUTIFUL!