Yoga Travel By Location

Carefree, Arizona: Everything You Need To Know About This Energy Vortex Is In The Name

Carefree has a vibe so mellow you could melt into it as though in Savasana, surrounded by massive boulders and towering, hundred-year-old saguaro cacti. Here's what you need to plan your visit.

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All Access
15% off New Year Sale
$7.02 / month*

  • A $500 value with everything in the Print + Digital Plan plus 25+ benefits including:
  • Member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Vegetarian Times, Clean Eating, Yoga Journal, Outside and more
  • Exclusive yoga sequences from top teachers
  • More than 100 diet-specific meal plans
  • Today’s Plan training platform with customized training plans
  • Outside TV Shows, Films, and documentaries
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+
Yoga Journal

Print + Digital
50% Off New Year Sale
$2.00 / month*

  • Annual subscription to Yoga Journal magazine
  • Access to all member-exclusive content on
  • Ad-free access to
Join Yoga Journal

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

At specific points around the world, the earth churns with tangible, tingly energy at sites known as vortices, visited by those seeking connection, healing, or a good story to tell. This special series in your road map to six such hotspots in the Western United States—and what to do once you get there.

Homelands Of:  Akimel O’odham (Upper Pima), Hohokam, Yavapai–Apache

True to its name, Carefree has a vibe so mellow you could melt into it as though in Savasana, surrounded by massive boulders and towering, hundred-year-old saguaro cacti. There’s something in the vitality of the desert—how life thrives here under harsh conditions—that’s inspiring, a reminder that we, too, can regenerate the parts of ourselves we thought lost. Take it as an invitation to integrate what you’ve felt on this journey, to carry that experience along with the full life you’ve lived, and appreciate how each now informs the other.


Here you can turn off your mind and sink into submission, and Civana Wellness Resort & Spa provides a friendly space to do so. Take part in as many (or as few) of the complimentary classes as you like: daily intention settings and gratitude circles, aerial and wall yoga, courses on working with and releasing your myofascia, sound healings under the stars. Developed as a more accessible alternative to some better-known retreats and founded under the guiding principle that wellness is for everyone, Civana isn’t about the singular journey, but rather cultivates a group experience. Thoughtfully curated holistic wellness programming, heart-centered spa treatments such as cranial sacral therapy, and creative meals prepared by a decorated vegan chef serve as a reminder that human existence finds harmony in the collective.

You only really need to leave Carefree twice. First, drive to secret gem Saguaro Lake Ranch, where kayaks are on offer to paddle down the Lower Salt River, below the magnificent Bulldog Cliffs and past wild horses, river otters, and saguaros that wave from the shoreline. On your way back, detour to Stratta Kitchen, where simple whole foods and Mediterranean flavors transform under James Beard award–winner and Michelin-starred chef Alex Stratta, who left fine French dining after a health scare reshaped his thinking about food to move from indulgent, heavy meals to veg-centered dishes.

The second time you leave won’t be until your final departure, when you smile at its shrinking shadow in your rearview mirror.


Also visit:

Mount Shasta, California

Big Sur, California

Ojai, California

Joshua Tree, California

Sedona, Arizona