Gateway Canyons Resort: A Red Rock Paradise in Colorado

  • 01 of 06

    Gateway Canyons Resort

    Aerial view at Gateway Canyons Resort
    Courtesy of Gateway Canyons Resort

    Western Colorado’s red rocks don’t get nearly the attention of nearby Moab, Utah—and that’s exactly why adventure travelers should consider Gateway Canyons Resort. This playground for active travelers—founded by Discovery Channel creator John Hendricks—claims unrivaled views of the Palisade rock formation; challenging hiking trials; rappelling, climbing, horseback riding, and rafting opportunities, all without sacrificing luxury or sustainability. 

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  • 02 of 06

    Resort History

    Fire pit by the pool at Gateway Canyons Resort
    Courtesy of Gateway Canyons Resort

    Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks fell in love with Colorado’s Red Rocks on his first visit in 1995, and he loved the region so much he began operating a massive ranch near the resort and opened this sustainable luxury retreat. His goal? Design a space that combines upscale luxury and outstanding adventures, all while showcasing the dramatic natural setting.

    An added bonus? Hendricks also loved cars, and his multi-million dollar collection of classic vehicles is on display at The Gateway Colorado Auto Museum. Among the 50 cars in the museum are a 1906 Cadillac Model H Coupe and the 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car that Hendricks bought at an auction for $3.24 million.

     

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  • 03 of 06

    Resort Guest Rooms

    Casita dining room at Gateway Canyons Resort
    Courtesy of Gateway Canyons Resort

    While the resort is big—225 acres—the environmental footprint of the lodges, museum and other buildings is small. The Kiva Lodge only has 38 units spread out around a courtyard pool. Both the premium and the deluxe rooms are spacious, with big comfortable chairs set before a kiva-style gas fireplace and a wet bar. The downstairs premium rooms have tiny courtyards with private hot tubs. The Grand Kiva suites have two bedrooms and a full living room. (Gateway Canyons also has a smaller, more basic lodge, which is being remodeled into more upscale accommodations.)

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  • 04 of 06

    Adventure Activities

    Horseback riding between two fences at Gateway Canyons Resort
    Courtesy of Gateway Canyons Resort

    The experienced guides at the resort’s Adventure Center know the region well and take active guests out for sports in the surrounding countryside. Fly-fishing, hiking, mountain biking, climbing or rappelling on the canyon's high cliffs are just a sampling of what's offered. Extreme junkies can even take the Class V climb to the peak of the Palisade formation. Want to stretch your sea legs? Try kayaking, tubing or rafting on the Delores River, a five-minute walk away. Bonus: Cruiser bikes are free to use and moderate to long trail rides and equestrian lessons start from the Stables at Gateway.

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  • 05 of 06

    Resort Dining

    A burger and fries at Gateway Canyons Resort in Colorado
    Courtesy of Gateway Canyons Resort

    The focus is on fresh, imaginative, and local fare in the resort’s five eateries. Think bison carpaccio and Colorado rack of lamb at The Entrada, the resort’s finer dining spot; buffalo burgers and crispy chicken biscuit sandwiches served from a vintage airstream at Duesey’s Diner, an on-site food truck; and smoked chicken tortas and prickly pear margaritas at The Cantina, a bar, and grill.  

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  • 06 of 06

    In the Area

    Colorado's Unaweep Tabeguache Scenic Byway
    ECV-OnTheRoad/CC/Flickr

    Gateway Canyons Resort is in the middle of one of the most scenic drives in Colorado: The Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway. The highway is carved through high canyons, follows deep river beds and passes sheer sandstone cliffs. Historic sites along the way include the remnants of the Hanging Flume, which brought 23 million gallons of water daily from the San Miguel River to operate the hydraulic mining equipment at the Bancroft Placer gold site.

    Within a two-hour drive, visitors will find some 18 wineries in the Colorado Wine Country region. Most are at the base of the Colorado National Monument.