Best of the West

Utah offers visitors the great outdoors as well as a bit of pampering

By: Irene Middleman Thomas

From towering snowy peaks to rushing rapids, from deep red rock canyons to scorching sands and sheer cliffs Utah might be the perfect state for adventure travelers.

With a fascinating variation of terrain, color and climate, Utah offers a wealth of wilderness areas, nature preserves and 12 national parks and monuments with some of the world’s best hiking, rock-climbing, mountain biking, snowmobiling, skiing, river rafting, fishing and hunting. In addition to adventure options, Utah’s resorts also offer clients a reprieve from the outdoors.

Northern Utah

Northeastern Utah is an exquisite, highly diverse region. The Uinta Mountains have the highest peaks in the state, thousands of sparkling lakes, old-growth forests and abundant wildlife and fish.

A sportsman’s paradise, the northeast attracts snowmobilers, hikers and bikers, cross-country skiers and snowshoers, hunters, boaters and rafters. In addition, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, with its 91-mile-long reservoir, is famous for its parasailing, rafting and waterskiing.

Northern Utah is home to Salt Lake City, the capital and largest city in the state, along with the spectacular Wasatch Mountains. Rising out of the desert, this range hosts various top-flight ski areas. Park City a picturesque Victorian mining town once known for its wild, woolly western lifestyle is renowned today for its excellent ski resorts. Winter sports are so outstanding here that the area, along with Deer Valley, was chosen as the site for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

While visiting, book clients at the Stein Eriksen Lodge a posh slope-side inn. The Lodge features a full-service spa, 175 distinctively appointed rooms (all with jetted tubs) and luxury suites.

Central Utah

Midway was founded by Swiss immigrants who were attracted to the area’s Alps-like scenery, and resorts here tend to incorporate the setting into their amenities.

The Homestead, a resort built around the local hot mineral waters, offers 148 lodging rooms, a golf course, tennis courts, sleigh rides, cross-country skiing, horseback rides and indoor and outdoor pools and is an easy drive from the region’s many ski resorts.

Composed mainly of small cottages, the Homestead also features suites and guestrooms, but the special attraction is the 55-foot limestone Homestead Crater where clients can swim, snorkel, scuba or take a mineral bath.

Southwestern Utah

Southwestern Utah where the Mojave Desert, the Great Basin and the Colorado Plateau meet has the highest concentration of national parks in the country, including the Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce, Zion and Capital Reef.

The striking Grand Staircase, a series of steep terraces of colored rock, is best experienced at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This area is one of the best locales in the country for solitude.

Moab, known as a “fat-tire” bikers’ headquarters, is also popular with four-wheel-drive enthusiasts. Set in a fertile valley surrounded by sandstone cliffs, Moab has also been used as a backdrop for many Hollywood westerns.

Red Cliffs Lodge, alongside the whitewater rapids of the Colorado River, is a classic Old West-style ranch house. The Lodge offers all mini-suites with riverfront patios along with adventure sports, including horseback riding, biking and whitewater rafting. The Castle Creek Winery and a classic movie museum are also onsite.

Just 10 minutes west from Capital Reef, the Lodge at Red River Ranch is an elegant, yet rustic, property with 15 rooms on 2,200 acres. Rated one of the 25 best American lodges by Travel + Leisure magazine, the Lodge features a grandiose Western ambiance. Situated along the Fremont River and enormous sandstone cliffs, the resort offers a variety of recreational and sports activities onsite.

In the very southwest corner of Utah lies the town of St. George, with its luxe Red Mountain Spa.

This spa resort is located on 55 acres with the nearby mountains and national parks as a backdrop. Framed by towering cliffs and red-rock formations at the entrance to Snow Canyon State Park, Red Mountain offers a wide selection of fitness activities, as well as a full-service spa.


The Homestead
Commission: 10 percent

Lodge at Red River Ranch
Commission: 7 percent

Red Cliffs Lodge
Commission: 10 percent

Red Mountain Spa
Commission: 10 percent

Stein Eriksen Lodge
Commission: 10 percent


Celebrating its 25th anniversary on the slopes, Deer Valley Resort will offer two packages for the ski season.
Starting at $119 per person, per night, for two adults, the value packages saves clients up to 30 percent on select lodging and includes three nights’ accommodations at the Lodges at Deer Valley and two days of skiing for two at the Deer Valley Resort.
The offer is based on availability and is valid from March 26-April 16.
In addition, the Snowball and Icicle special allows clients who book five nights to receive two nights free at select Deer Valley properties.
The package is based on availability and is valid from April 1-16.
Deer Valley Resort was recently named the number-one ski resort
in North America by the readers of SKI magazine.