Have you ever wanted to visit some place completely undiscovered – and unexpected? Gateway Canyon in western Colorado may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Nestled in the Palisades south of Grand Junction — a region of striking desert relief and untamed beauty — the Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa has quickly become one of the top-rated resorts in the world according to Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure.

Just as a sommelier curates the best wines for a restaurant’s wine list, Inspirato curates the best destinations and luxury travel experiences for our members including several under-the-radar gems like this one.

Here are a few of reasons why we love this secluded spot.

Unrivaled Encounters of the Sandstone Kind

The sandstone canyons and mesas of the Colorado Plateau are the closest thing geology has to an “open book.” One glimpse can reveal the patient work of erosion and uplift, which has made this part of the United States so utterly beguiling.

At Gateway Canyons, you are in the middle of it all, and to afford you a better view, the resort offers air tours via helicopter. Would you rather see it up-close from ground level? The resort’s expert staff also provide UTV tours, guided hikes, and single-track mountain biking.

Wild Adventures from the Saddle

Gateway Canyon

Ranching has a long and storied history in the area, and guests can enjoy all manner of fun-in-the-saddle at nearby Palisade Ranch. Take a scenic trail ride, join an old-fashioned cattle drive, or take a “cowboy lesson” and learn how to lasso.

A Resort for Car Enthusiasts

The highways of western Colorado were seemingly made for car commercials: they are scenic, empty, and filled with tons of curves to put an automobile through its paces. At Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa, guests can tour the backroads of the Uncompahgre Plateau or swing by the resort’s auto museum, which features more than 50 rare cars, including a 1954 Oldsmobile F-88.

Pool, Spa, Repeat

After a busy morning of touring the desert canyonlands, take a dip in one of the resort’s many pools before thoroughly unwinding at The Spa at Gateway Canyons. Customized treatments, massage therapy, luxurious rooms, and a highly trained and courteous staff makes this Spa one of our favorites.

Romantic Dinners in the Desert

As the sun sets, the air of this high-altitude desert cools just enough to make al fresco dining at Entrada ideal. Sit on the terrace of this lovely restaurant (one of five at the resort) and watch the stars come out. Far away from any city, you’ll be amazed at how many you’ll see.

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