Moab, Utah, has long been a popular destination for adventure travelers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its stunning red rock landscape has served as the backdrop for so many movies and TV shows that it should probably be removed at this point: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Thelma and Louise, Mission Impossible: II, Austin Powers III, Star Trek, 127 Hours, The Lone Ranger, Transformers: Age of Instinction, HBO Westworld.
But it’s more than a pretty face. Moab is also a top destination for rock climbing, skydiving, canyoning, mountain biking and rafting. It’s no surprise then that, as an emerging epicenter of adventure – and home to Arches National Park, the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches – its popularity is only snowballing. . According to Moab Area Travel Council director Elaine Gizler, 2021 has seen a record number of visitors, and although Moab’s average occupancy rate tends to hover around 62% year-round, that number has risen to 76% last March, up 10%. from 2019.
On top of that, it’s a top destination for anyone looking for a quiet, relaxing vacation, awash in pristine scenery, and over four hours from the nearest major airport (that would be Salt Lake City). And if you want to experience these two worlds – a little discipline, a little respite – there’s only one place to stay while you’re there: Moab’s only luxury offering, the Sorrel River Ranch Resort. and Spa.
Choose your adventure
The beauty of a trip to Moab is that it has the potential to be whatever you want it to be. Fancy a relaxing hike to the top of the property followed by a guided yoga session? It is one thing you can do. Prefer to enjoy your view from 1,200 feet above sea level while falling through the air for a minute straight? It is also something you can do.
“The Sorrel Experience is purposely designed to provide not only your standard adventures, but educational adventures as well,” says Elizabeth Rad, owner and operator of Sorrel River Ranch. “Education is built into everything we do because it is crucial to us that our guests leave Moab with more than memories. Our goal is for them to gain a deeper respect for the region’s rich history during their stay, and we pride ourselves on incorporating this message in a new and exciting way with each new season.
Through the Sorrel River Adventure Center, guests can organize guided hikes, horseback riding, rock climbing, canyoning, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, hot air ballooning or paddle boarding. Looking for a relaxed tour of the beautiful surroundings, including? They’ll also reserve one for you – once you’ve picked the vehicle of your choice from a menu that includes UTVs, Jeeps, Jets, and Helicopters.
In addition to a handful of other seasonal excursions, the resort has also recently started offering tandem jumps via Skydive Moab. Tours depart from the nearby Canyonlands Regional Airport and land directly at the resort grounds. While the experience leans towards the more expensive end of the spectrum, it will likely be the first and last high-end destination you arrive at by literally jumping out of a plane.
Once you’re ready to relax, you can’t go wrong with a rock yoga session with Wild Sol Retreats, an experience your correspondent has found to be truly therapeutic. And later, because Moab is full of surprises, the same instructor who guided my sun salutations to the top of the mountain also led me through a full UTV jaunt through Onion Creek. (Among the instructor’s multi-trait qualifications? American Mountain Guide Association Single Step Instructor, Utah Whitewater Captain, Wilderness First Responder, Certified Yoga Alliance Teacher at the 200 Hour Level, Level II Reiki, ISA Certified Slackline Instructor and Self-proclaimed Guide to Life’s Adventure.)
All of that to say: Moab is exploding positively with activity, and whatever you are looking for during your stay, Sorrel can – and will – make it happen for you.
Life on the ranch
Located 53 kilometers from the small Canyonlands Regional Airport, 34 kilometers from the city of Moab and 32 kilometers from Arches National Park, the Sorrel River spans over 240 beautiful acres that adjoins one of the last unspoiled stretches of the river. Colorado. Originally a quaint riverside farmhouse built in 1903, the resort debuted in 1999 in the hopes of “catering to discerning travelers seeking the ultimate culmination of service, adventure and fun. relaxation ”. Boasting 59 rooms, including eight studios with balconies, eight family suites and a ranch, they achieved that goal. You don’t even have to leave the property to get the full Utah ranch experience.
The rooms, while adapting to their environment, exude luxury. Minimalist and Western in design, they feature bespoke furnishings, freestanding bathtubs, jetted tubs, private terraces and stunning views of the desert or the river.
The horse-strewn property also has a spa where you can enjoy treatments, saunas and steam showers, as well as a 24-hour fitness center, several fire pits, an outdoor pool and a hot tub, a family garden, a pet zoo and stable, a tennis court and an old-fashioned general store on site. It also bears repeating that no matter where you are on the property, you will be greeted with world-class views of the American Southwest.
What to eat
Indulge in local food and drinks at Sorrel’s Epic Bar and River Grill, both located in the Main Lodge. The latter, which offers an eclectic menu (you can expect bison and elk) rich in seasonal and local ingredients from Sorrel’s own garden, is the result of a partnership between the chef, the culinary team and the gardener on site. Open daily, the River Grill serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but reservations are required for dinner.
JJ’s Mercantile – the general store – is located just off Highway 128 and sells gifts, groceries, and supplies to resort guests as well as campers, locals and passers-by. Although only open in season, the show kitchen and bakery offers pastries, hot coffee, and espresso, as well as a variety of sandwiches and salads.
Alternatively, about four miles and eight minutes by car from JJ, is a second housing complex called Red Cliffs Lodge, which Sorrel patrons often frequent for The Cowboy Grill. Slightly less formal than the River Grill – you might see a few shirts tucked into jeans, rather than draped over them – the menu features a number of hearty local dishes, including Rocky Mountain oysters (that’s fried bull testicles, for the non-anointed).
And while a trip to the city of Moab is certainly worth it, whether it’s in search of regional cuisine or just to swap stories with the locals, most of Sorrel’s rooms also have their own kitchenettes, which is a great option. Makes it totally unnecessary to leave the resort for food – or anything else, for that matter.
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