Utah is one great state to visit.  There are numerous and priceless destinations like Park City; Zion, Bryce and Canyonlands National Parks; and the Mormon complex in Salt Lake City.  They’re all outstanding.  In addition, there are two somewhat less popular sites that I think you would really enjoy.

Four miles north of Moab, a quirky desert town near the Colorado border, is Arches National Park.  It’s a wonderland of over 2,000 orange natural sandstone sculptures and arches.  It’s an exciting place to visit.  You can easily spend a whole day, or even two, exploring the awesome panorama nature has created.

Frank Lloyd Wright or Frank Gehry couldn‘t have designed it better.

The real gem and sleeper destination in Utah is located right outside of St. George, a city of 80,000, about 120 miles north of Las Vegas.  The whole area is a mecca for retirees and is brimming with red hills and cliffs.

The best part about the area is its close proximity to Zion National Park, a hiker’s paradise, and Snow Canyon State Park, technically in the town of Ivins.

Snow Canyon is a treasure trove of red hills begging to be walked on or hiked—the setting for many western movies.  It’s a visual delight.  Right at the entrance to the canyon is the Red Mountain Resort and Spa.  It’s a reasonably priced facility with 200 plus rooms/villas.

The morning guided tours in three grade levels are outstanding.  They’re fun and as challenging as you’d like to make them.  The hikes are followed by a day filled with various classes and/or complete fitness and wellness programs.

After the hikes, you can participate in water aerobics, yoga, pilates, abs, hip-hop, FX, core and/or stretching.  Then there are some modestly priced horseback riding, kayaking or meditation programs.

It’s a busy day or you can just lie out by the pool to relax.

It’s a beautiful location, with an ongoing schedule of activities.

I almost forgot the Sagestone Spa and Salon.  The facilities are not fancy she-she but very simple and comfortable.

Breakfast and lunch are sumptuous with plenty of buffet choices.  Dinners are not gourmet but adequate.  You’ll sleep like a baby, guaranteed.

In addition to the hikes in Snow Canyon and the surrounding areas, the hotel has some interesting little hikes right in their backyard.

Our first trip to Red Mountain was over Thanksgiving in 1996, where we spent a guided day in Zion.  We loved it!  We went back several times; and when my back problems started, I encouraged my wife, Gabriele, to take her daughters.

Gabriele has now been there over 20 times.  That’s quite a recommendation in itself!


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