This retreat is known for its group hikes, cooking workshops, and yoga classes.
As I pulled up to the Red Mountain Resort in southern Utah, I was greeted by a stunning, otherworldly landscape. The silty rust-colored mountains speckled with black petrified lava in next-door Snow Canyon State Park seemed to belong on Mars. It’s hard to believe that the wild backdrop to this wellness retreat known for its group hikes, healthy-cooking workshops, and yoga classes is just a couple hours drive from the famously wicked Las Vegas.
After checking in, I took a leisurely walk—something that do esn’t come naturally to this busy native New Yorker—on a short, circular path edged in stones before heading to my room for a whirlpool bath. Next up was an evening meditation class with Ian Phillip White, a certified Sivananda Yoga teacher and naturopath. He described the session as a choose-your-own-adventure meditation and offered four possible focal points: our breath, an image, a mantra, or a mudra (a symbolic gesture or hand position). I opted for a mantra of “let go” timed with my breath—in for “let,” out for “go.” I felt so calm and blissful afterward that I forgot I had started the same day in Manhattan.
After a few days of invigorating hikes and relaxing spa treatments, I rolled out my yoga mat on a flat landing of red rock for Ian’s Canyon View Yoga Class. When I needed a drishti, or a focal point, I focused on the jagged edge of a spectacular cliff—so much more inspiring than the specks on the walls I use in yoga studios back home.
Although I’m now back to staring at those specks, and my meditative walks are along bustling 6th Ave, I’ve managed to bring a bit of Red Mountain Resort’s calm home: I’m practicing focusing on my breath and letting go.
Plan Your Trip
St. George must-dos:
Located about an hour northeast of the resort, Zion National Park’s 200-plus square miles are filled with lush forestland, breathtaking waterfalls, and arid sandstone cliffs that are perfect for scrambling up to take in the view ( nps.gov/zion).
The on-site Canyon Breeze Restaurant boasts lots of Southwest-inspired cuisine that leaves you satisfied but not stuffed. Order the habanero-mango shrimp or orange-glazed tempeh with red rice.
Heal with Honey
After a vigorous hike or yoga class, opt for a Melting Honey Hot Stones Treatment at the resort’s Sagestone Spa & Salon, featuring a honey tonic poured over your skin and a soothing massage with warm stones.