A couple of weeks ago we visited Moab, Utah.  When we exited Colorado and entered Utah, civilization changed dramatically, beautifully.  Traveling on State Route 128 or ““the river road” toward Red Cliffs Lodge we were all alone, unless you count the free-range cattle, friendly tumbleweeds and sandstone skyscrapers all along the Colorado River.  This grand open space brought with it a feeling of lightness and freedom.

After about 30 miles we rounded one of the many tight curves and pulled into our ranch-like lodge.  I have to admit I was worried that we would find a gaudy western motif featuring cowboy boot planters.  Instead, we passed a beautiful vineyard and horse stables before reaching the main building, much like a classy log cabin, to check in. Rather than being greeted by a woman gleamed head to toe in turquoise jewelry, we received a warm welcome from the professional staff.

Guests can choose from creek side suites, river view suites or private cabins.  We stayed in the nicest option, the King River View Cabin, where for much of our stay we felt like the only people at the lodge.  The large space had a fireplace, dining area and kitchenette, a large bedroom with a whirlpool tub and private deck perfect for relaxing after a real Moab adventure.  Red Cliffs Lodge can arrange for adventures like white water rafting, horseback riding and more.

Our adventures started immediately with a High Point Hummer Sunset Safari at Hell’s Revenge, where our Humvee traveled the steep slick rock (sometimes on only two wheels) and over narrow areas like the devil’s backbone and then vertically over a sandstone fin.

My husband, whose young-man’s bucket list included biking Moab, had two private guided rides with Solfun, while I enjoyed Sorrel River Spa. The trails and Solfun exceeded his expectations and my 2 hours of bliss definitely met mine.

He biked past towering buttes on slick rock along Monitor and Merrimac.  His professional mountain biker/guide Heidi worked his skills at Klondike Bluffs where he passed dinosaur tracks, climbed hills and viewed Arches National Park.

We got a closer look at Arches when we toured the Fiery Furnace with our Deep Desert guide.  We opted for a private tour, but you can easily join a small group on a ranger-led hike through tight crevices, over unique terrain and up hills of sandstone to bear witness to natural windows and arches like the skull arch and enter the belly of the beast.  At Arches you will see vegetation, formations, rocks and sights like no other.

After our daily dose of adventure, Red Cliffs Lodge offered wonderful dining with a view. Our deck provided a perfect spot to enjoy wine or Utah’s 3.2 while tracing shiny constellations made up of the desert’s multitude of stars.  Moab is THE place to go for an upscale adventure