Utah's Red Rocks


OLD WEST
The stunning red canyons and stone of southern Utah in Arches and Canyonlands national parks are worth the trip, but far less traveled and just as magnificent is the 1.9-million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, adjacent to Bryce ­Canyon National Park and housing a mostly unsung trove of fiery-hued slot canyons. The basic canyoneering trip offered by Excursions of Escalante is an ideal introduction to down climbs and rappelling in these serene canyons; owner and guide Rick Green, named Hiking and Backpacking 2005 Guide of the Year by the Outdoor Utah Recreation Guide, takes small groups of aspiring canyoneers only to unpublished canyons.

NEW WEST
The red rocks take top billing at Red Mountain Spa in St. George, a two-hour drive from Las Vegas. Most everything centers around the dramatic landscape at this health-focused spa, from the daily multilevel guided hikes and rock climbing to orienteering, geology, and archaeology walks. Even the spa treatments, such as the Adobe Lavender Hydrating Cocoon, incorporate the red earth, and canyon stones are used in the Canyon Sage Warm Stone Massage. You'll need your muscles worked over after a jaw-jarring journey down the Canyonlands' White Rim Road, a 100-mile ­mountain-bike trek that takes you through peerless red-rock country and which is routinely ranked one of the country's great trails. Postride, slake your thirst and swap tales of near-endos at the Moab Brewery.

Natural Wonders | UTAH

Arches National Park
(435) 719-2299
www.nps.gov/arch
$10 (per vehicle) entrance fee

Canyonlands National Park
(435) 719-2313
www.nps.gov/cany
$10 (per vehicle) entrance fee

Bryce Canyon National Park
(435) 834-5322
www.nps.gov/brca
$20 (per vehicle) entrance fee

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
(435) 826-5499
www.ut.blm.gov/monument

Excursions of Escalante
(800) 839-7567
www.excursionsofescalante.com
basic canyoneering trip is $125 for a full day (includes lunch and transportation)

Red Mountain Spa, St. George
(435) 673-4905
www.redmountainspa.com
from $239 (inclusive)

Canyonlands' White Rim Road
(435)719-2313
www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/whiterimroad.htm

Moab Brewery
(435) 259-6333
www.themoabbrewery.com