It’s a rough day at Gateway Canyons Resort as I stand inside a hangar-like structure faced with one of the toughest decisions of my travel life. Do I take one of the Bentleys…the Porsche..? Maybe the Shelby Mustang GT or the Tesla Roadster?
In the end I go with the red Camaro convertible, as it’s a sunny day and it’s my kind of car—easy to drive and lots of power. And five minutes later, after the friendly folks at the resort’s Driven Experience compound have filled it with gas, I’m zipping through the canyons and bluffs thinking, this has to be the most fun I’ve had in a long time.
But then my mind flashes back to the experiences our FAM trip has packed into the weekend visit and it’s a toss-up. In two short days our group of about 10 has taken an ATV convoy into the hills, ridden horses to a luxurious cowboy cook-out deep in the woods, and taken a helicopter flight through some of the most dramatic scenery outside the Grand Canyon. That’s not to mention stargazing, poolside lounging with cool cocktails and dinosaur fossil-hunting with the on-site ’Curator of Curiosity’ by the name of Zebulon Miracle.
Oh, and did I mention one of the best massages of my life at the resort’s spa? A trip to a car museum with vintage automobiles? This is without even delving into the basic hospitality of the sprawling resort, including elegant cuisine and lodgings that include my ‘casita’—a standalone adobe beauty with high ceilings, comfortable king bed, big-screen TV and massive bathroom highlighted by a large tub and even an outdoor private shower area.
The brainchild of Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks, Gateway Canyons is about an hour south driving time from Grand Junction, Colo., and is probably best-suited for smaller groups and events, as it currently only comprises 72 lodging units and around 9,000 square feet of event space. When it comes to families, some of the outings are a bit on the grownup side, so parents with teenagers might find it a more rewarding escape than those with younger children.
But any way you slice it, this is a uniquely wonderful place—whether you’re seeking adrenaline rushes, spa-enhanced bliss, or a memorable combination of serenity and excitement.