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Where in Colorado can you see a one-of-a-kind 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car, take a fast sports car out for a drive, see the canyons from a helicopter, play outdoor laser tag, take a horseback ride among spectacular scenery, relax at the spa, mountain bike, hike or learn the history of the area from a Curator of Curiosity? Most of the guests that Mountain SheBuysTravel spoke to during her visit had also stumbled upon Gateway Canyons for romance, as did she and her husband.
One of the best-kept secrets in Colorado, Gateway Canyons Resort, is a luxurious oasis in the middle-of-nowhere, Colorado. This resort is an interesting blend of New Mexican design style and enchanting vistas mixed with Colorado colors and locale.
Created by the founder of the Discovery Channel, Gateway Canyons has unearthed the history of the area to make it an interesting place to visit. Colorado mountain towns like Vail and Aspen boast world-class skiing. But they don’t have an antique car museum with a one-of-a-kind vehicle or a Curator of Curiosities with a name like Zebulon Miracle.
Gateway Canyons Resort Located in Beautiful Colorado
First, let me tell you that the drive to Gateway Canyons Resort is spectacular, wherever you may be coming from. It is different from the many other beautiful resorts and front range landscapes. This drive south of Grand Junction winds between canyons in the middle of nowhere. The area to the north of Gateway Canyons Resort has the most vibrant orange and red colors of fall that I have seen in Colorado. The many rock formations in the area are ancient.
Gateway Canyons Review
Gateway Canyons is a beautifully landscaped walking resort. Buildings built in an adobe Santa Fe style are scattered throughout the property. We felt as though we had the resort to ourselves, even though we were told it was almost full. Its design maximizes outdoor living and the spectacular canyon views.
There are several different room types at Gateway Canyons Resort. They are all as beautiful as the exterior of the resort with thought to every detail. Some rooms even boast a private hot tub on the balcony. The spacious casitas are set further back on the property for more privacy and spectacular views and have outdoor showers for a really lovely touch.
We stayed in the Kayenta Premium King Suite. The wall between the bedroom and living areas has a romantic pass-through gas fireplace for both rooms. Guests will enjoy the crackling flames from either the bedroom or living room. The large freestanding clawfoot tub in the bathroom holds a rack with a wine glass just calling for a relaxing soak. The spacious balcony boasts not only beautiful views but also a gas fire pit to provide warmth on chilly evenings. And, the beds are really comfy. I can’t think of any detail that was lacking, if like us, you are visiting Gateway Canyons for romance.
Things to Do at Gateway Canyons Resort
Don’t be fooled into thinking there won’t be much to do at Gateway Canyons Resort just because it is in the middle of nowhere. The resort was created by John Hendricks, the founder of the Discovery Channel. It is a tribute to his legacy.
Gateway Canyons Auto Museum
An auto museum wouldn’t typically be on my to-do list. But without knowing much about it, I did know it was something my husband would LOVE.
As we were checking in we browsed around the lobby. My husband immediately gravitated towards a coffee table book — “The Performing Art of the American Automobile: The Hendricks Collection on Exhibit at the Gateway Colorado Auto Museum.” Seeing that book made him just a little excited.
The auto museum is John Hendrick’s personal collection on display for resort guests. The highlight was the one-of-a-kind 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car. We only took a quick tour through the museum. My husband’s one regret this visit was not spending more time admiring the shiny antique cars.
Gateway Canyons Resort Spa
Our visit was a short one. So we did not take time to experience a luxurious spa service ourselves. All of the treatments sounded wonderful.
We did manage to find time to enjoy the state-of-the-art steam room, sauna, and outdoor spa. These facilities are accessible to all resort guests at no additional charge. It was the perfect way to relax after any of the active adventures the resort offers.
Hiking, Biking & Climbing Gateway Canyons Resort
Gateway Canyons offers many different guided hiking, biking, and climbing excursions. Or, depending on your ability level you could explore on your own.
As a mom, I wake up early. And, the one time I am glad for that is when I am somewhere fun and interesting. The sun rises a bit later when you are in a canyon. The morning after a full moon I managed to get out prior to sunrise and hike a trail starting right on the resort property. The sunrise and full moon both at the same time was quite a sight.
But were I to go back, I would certainly love to go on the guided hikes. Gateway Canyons Resort offers access to many nearby national parks including Grand Mesa, Arches National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Four Corners National Monument and Moab.
Gateway Canyons Cruiser Bikes
I must mention that Gateway Canyons offers a large collection of cruiser bikes available to guests at no additional charge. It is a really nice touch to be able to explore the resort’s extensive grounds via cruiser bike.
Gateway Canyons Resort Adventure Center
The Adventure Center is not just where you check out cruiser bikes or arrange must-do Palisade Ranch horseback rides. It is where you can arrange almost any type of group activity that you can imagine: off-road touring in UTVs or Jeeps; sport shooting, high tech outdoor laser tag, archery, air tours in the resort helicopter and more.
On our brief visit, we only had time to take advantage of the Palisade Ranch horseback riding, which we loved.
Enrichment at Gateway Canyons Resort
It was fascinating to take in a talk from the resort’s Curator of Curiosity, Zebulon Miracle. He is a wealth of information about the area. The oldest rock layer on the resort’s signature landmark, “The Palisade” is 290 million years old. One of the West’s most famous outlaws may have committed one of his first bank robberies in the area. As fascinating as Zebulon’s talk was, I can only imagine what a treat it would be to take one of his excursions.
Gateway Canyons for Families
This visit to Gateway Canyons for romance, of course, did not include our kids. But it would be a fun place to bring your family, especially for a multi-generational family trip. Many of the activities do have minimum age requirements ranging from around 8 to 16 years of age. But kids will be entertained at the beautiful pools for hours. Also, a couple of programs by the resort’s Curator of Curiosity are specifically for children — Rock Art Making and Exploring Scat.
Gateway Canyons Resort and Sustainability
Truly anyone should love this oasis in the middle of beautiful Colorado. John Hendricks has managed to create luxury and every possible attention to detail in a magical place in the American West that otherwise people would never think or know to visit. Much of the property acreage falls under a conservation easement. The resort is committed to energy conservation, protecting scenic landscapes and critical wildlife habitats.
We stumbled upon this hidden gem. Other guests shared that same feeling with us. Have you ever stumbled upon a place where you found unexpected delights or a surprising connection? Tell us about it below!
Liana Moore lived overseas growing up, attending British public school for kindergarten in London. She then moved to Stavanger, Norway for nine years until age 15, growing up with friends of different cultures. Summers involved camps in Switzerland and Wales, plus USA time in East Texas and Minnesota. Liana sees things from others’ viewpoints, believing those experiences shaped the woman she is today. She’s instilling that empathy in her children, having fun along the way. Currently based in the mountains of Colorado, much of her time is spent exploring the Rocky Mountains. When she’s not marketing a resort property professionally, or traveling and writing, find her trying out new sports like BMX biking with her nine-year-old daughter or debating with her five-year-old son (and occasionally winning). Follow Liana’s adventures at Insider Families.