This is a guest post from Mitch Stevens, founder and lead guide of Southwest Discoveries. Based out of Tucson, Arizona, Southwest Discoveries offers multi-generational guided tours of the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Horseshoe Bend, the Tortolita Mountains, and more. Visit Southwest Discoveries for more information, and click here for Mitch’s original online post.
As our readers know, we often spend a lot of time writing about the splendor and majesty we outdoor enthusiasts find when visiting and hiking the Utah parklands. However, an integral part of the trip – and often shortchanged when articles of the journeys are written – are the fantastic amenities and diverse Utah lodging options that await you when you get there. The following are our top 3 destinations for lodging in Utah.
Boulder Mountain Lodge – Boulder, Utah
Boulder Mountain Lodge
PO Box 1397, 20 N. Highway 12
Boulder, UT 84716
“Magical rock formations, geologic wonders full of color, texture, and spellbinding beauty inhabit the area. One becomes acutely aware of how small and insignificant we are against the backdrop and solitude of the area. Endless slot canyons and crevices beckon you, each with its own unique perspective and hidden secrets” – Ed Doran, photographer
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is filled with these places. We showcased this area recently in our Hiking the Escalante series. This brings us to lodging in the Escalante, an awe-inspiring landscape, rivaling that of the Grand Canyon.
Boulder Mountain Lodge, located in beautiful and charming Boulder, Utah, sits at the heart of an extraordinary landscape and is at the top of our list when discussing Utah Lodging. It is an oasis of comfort and luxury in the middle of what is arguably the most scenic red rock canyon country in North America. It is a perfect location for exploring Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Dixie National Forest, Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and many other national and state parks.
Boulder Mountain Lodge introduces their guests to the unparalleled natural wonders of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and provides a lodging experience as memorable as the surrounding landscape itself. The lodge is a member of the Utah Hotel and Lodging Association, the Boulder Business Group and Escalante Boulder Chamber of Commerce.
On a recent visit to the lodge, we were impressed with their spacious rooms, intimate ambiance, spectacular views and fine dining. There was also an impressive array of services and amenities. Their rooms include decks or patios with amazing views of the red rock and canyon country as well a wide variety of amenities including satellite television, DVD players, coffee and tea service, and refrigerators.
Moreover, the famous Hell’s Backbone Grill, an award-winning restaurant, is on the grounds. Their “farm-to-fork cuisine” is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This eatery was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of six “Destination Restaurants” in the country. It is a culinary experience not to be missed! Dinner reservations are strongly recommended.
For southern Utah Lodging accommodations, Boulder Mountain’s surroundings and location can’t be topped. It is only a short drive from some of the most spectacular national parks and monuments in America. The lodge is situated along Highway 12 Scenic Byway, Utah’s first “All-American Highway.” This road was named one of the top ten scenic byways in American by Car and Driver Magazine.
Red Cliffs Lodge – Moab, Utah
Red Cliffs Lodge
Milepost 14, Highway 128
Moab, Utah 84532
For reservations, call (866) 812-2002 or redcliffslodge.com.
Moab. The word evokes images of whitewater rafting, world-class mountain biking, epic hiking, national parks, red rock canyons, and Native American rock art and ruins. Moab is the self-proclaimed adventure capital of the West and it is not difficult to see why. Moab’s awesome canyon landscapes inspire nothing short of awe.
Red Cliffs Lodge is in the middle of this superlative landscape, nestled in a canyon along the banks of the mighty Colorado River. Surrounding the lodge, you will feel the excitement of climbing unbelievable sandstone hills or riding the rollicking rapids of the Colorado at Westwater Canyon, where the rapids can reach a Class V. This river stretch was rated by National Geographic as one of the “Best Short Whitewater Trips” in the west!
Last August when we stayed at Red Cliffs Lodge, we experienced luxurious comfort. The lodge is surrounded by two of America’s most astounding national parks, Arches, and Canyonlands. Moreover, Moab, Utah is the ideal departure city for endless opportunities for world-class fun including hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and white-water rafting.
When we approached the property, we were greeted by a herd of horses. The Castle Creek Winery is located on the property, just inside the main arch. Just beyond the pasture, we enjoyed a fine restaurant and a film museum. Amenities included tennis courts, a pool, a creek, a beautiful lawn and the beautiful Colorado River. What more could we ask for!
While rustic, Red Cliffs Lodge offered award-winning comfort. The lodge featured their “River King” and “Creekside Queen Suites,” as well as cabins and executive suites. Two thousand-foot canyon walls enveloped and shielded us from the outside world. It was hard to believe that the lodge is only 15 miles from Moab.
The walls of the main rooms were the color of baked clay and furnishings were natural woods. Fabrics were southwestern and Native American designs. Each suite and cabin had a private deck for enjoying the magnificent scenery, including the restlessly flowing river. There was ample wildlife and birding to enjoy as well as splendid star-gazing.
Red Cliffs Lodge was included in the National Geographic Traveler Stay List, touted as one of the top Utah Lodging destinations in the world. The resort was named by Trip Advisor as a five-time winner of the certificate of excellence.
Zion Lodge, Zion National Park – Springdale, Utah
Zion Lodge, Zion National Park
PO Box 925
Springdale, Utah 84767
Are you fond of trekking down narrow gorges, exploring hidden treasures, obscured from even the most intrepid of hikers? Zion National Park is my favorite place in America. Soaring 4,000-foot Navajo Sandstone cliffs tower above the peaceful and placid Virgin River, enveloped by a cobalt blue sky characteristic of southern Utah. The last on our list of desirable Utah Lodging destinations is Zion Lodge. Beautiful Zion Lodge lies in the middle of this hiker’s paradise. The lodge is open year-round and offers special winter rates and packages. Guests will experience historic accommodations including cabins with two double beds, full bath, gas log fireplace and private porch and hotel rooms with a private porch or balcony. All rooms feature air conditioning, phones, radio alarm clocks and hairdryers.
Most rooms have two queen-size beds, a full bath, and private balcony. The lodge’s rooms are equipped with a 37-inch flat-screen television with satellite reception. They are clean, comfortable and within walking distance to trails as well as the main lodge, where nightly naturalist interpretive programs are offered.
When our family stayed at Zion Lodge last January, we were surrounded by the magnificent beauty of Zion National Park. Hiking trails, including a network of paths leading to Emerald Pools, a series of spectacular waterfalls and clear spring-fed ponds, were just a few minute walk from the lodge.
The lodge was founded 135 years ago by Fred Harvey, a 19th-century visionary who provided weary travelers on the Santa Fe Railroad with a warm bed and a home-cooked meal. Today, they are the largest park management company in the nation, with operations spanning from Yellowstone to Grand Canyon, and they remain true to the legacy of simple hospitality. In 1968, Xanterra acquired The Fred Harvey Company and applied the company’s expertise in the hospitality industry to its own chain of hotels and restaurants. Xanterra, which means “protector of the earth,” became the largest national park concessionaire in the United States.
If you’re heading out to Utah, definitely look into these three amazing lodging options. Utah is an amazing land, filled with colors, canyons, open lands, and blue skies. It’s a marvelous place to visit.
Mitch and I hope this information will help you plan your lodging in Utah. This great state has so much to see and do! What’s your favorite place to stay at while in Utah? Let me know in the comments!