Even from above, Grand Junction, Colorado takes your breath away with its stunning landscapes. Although you find yourself traveling for an hour and a half in, what most people would call, the middle of nowhere, it is truly something spectacular to behold that awakens your senses and curiosity. Once you reach your destination, you will discover the Gateway – to knowledge, stunning sceneries, the most crazy adventures and extravagant accommodations. Welcome to Gateway Canyons!
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Gateway Canyons Resort and Spa – A review of this Luxury Resort in Colorado
Gateway Canyons is a resort in Colorado that has been voted #1 in the state and #12 in the world by Conde Nast Traveler. And you wonder, “what makes it so special” and you want to learn more? Dreams in Heels visited and I am sharing the answers.
Discovery Channel Founder, John Hendricks and the history of Gateway Canyons
Gateway Canyons was founded by Discovery Channel Founder, John Hendricks. As a child, Hendricks’ father would tell him tales of the beautiful red rock country in Colorado. It took him a while to finally see it with his own eyes, but when he and his family first came to Gateway, Colorado in 1995, they were moved by the beauty and history of the area, as well as the spirit of its community. Mr. Hendricks knew that he was home. But he also felt compelled to share this special place with others. Soon Mr. Hendricks began the design for a sustainable, outdoor recreation resort that would highlight the beauty and take advantage of the endless adventures capable in this amazing location!
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Gateway to Adventure, Luxury and Edu-travel
Gateway Canyons is located in Unaweep Canyon, one of the most unique red rock canyons in the world. The word Unaweep is a Native American term meaning “canyon with two mouths.” It is thought that the ancestral Colorado and Gunnison rivers may have cut through the soft red sandstone of the Uncompahgre Plateau, exposing stone dated to Precambrian times.
This is said to be the only canyon in the world that is drained by two creeks: East Creek and West Creek, sending water off in opposite directions. During your stay at the resort, you receive an edu-travel experience. You will meet their Curator of Curiosity, Zebulon Miracle (that is his real name!), who can set up time to speak with you about the wonders of this area, which touts special recognition in Colorado geology. Mr. Miracle will take you to explore sites that contain elements of more than a hundred million years of geological record, including fossils of dinosaurs and early amphibians. At night, Gateway Canyons offers a session from the Adventure Center to see the constellations – Venus, Jupiter and Saturn – all clearly visible in the evening sky. What a magical experience! Even the rooms at the resort are named after the constellations. Dreams in Heels’ hacienda casita was named Libra, and next to us was Orion.
The room and amenities at Gateway Canyons
Upon entering your room (in this case, Dreams in Heels’ hacienda casita) you will find the comfort of home combined with hotel luxury. From the open living room area, the amazing art on the wall, the giant TV, the table with beautiful fresh flowers, the large comfortable bed and the two bathrooms (with indoor and outdoor shower/bathtub).
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Outside there’s a fire pit on the patio that turns on via wall switch (no need to worry about wood for the fire) and of course the gorgeous and peaceful red canyon in the background. Dreams in Heels even had furry friends visiting most mornings: a cute bunny and a colorful bird. We all took the time to enjoy a breath of fresh air.
Most activities are in walking distance or you can arrange for a golf cart to pick you up compliments of your concierge.
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The food: The Restaurants and bars
Entrada, offers a great power breakfast and then a varied menu selection for dinner. You can choose to eat poolside is a nice brunch option and Paradox Grille which is also open for lunch and dinner.
Colorado Beer Craft Tasting at Paradox Grille
One of the highlights on Friday afternoons is Paradox Grille’s Colorado Beer Craft tasting. Even if you are not a beer connoisseur, you may be converted.
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The variety of options will surprise you. Dreams in Heels’ favorite picks are: A Very White Rascal is the only one that contains yeast (and it is pretty light); Great Divide Nomad (German Style Beer) is a very old bohemian style beer (a little more bitter, but still tasty), and one that’s not on the tasting list (but you can order a bottle for two), and not to be missed is the Transatlantique Kriek: it’s combination of sour flavor with a touch of sweetness is said to be the result of its spending 2 years in a barrel in Belgium, prior to its arrival in Colorado, before a brewmaster finishes creating the beer (which includes using sour cherries).
Activities and adventurous things to do at Gateway Canyons Resort
Make sure to participate in many of the audacious activities Gateway Canyon has to offer.
Remember that these adventures can be tailored based on your interests. It is a great place for first experiences and even for once in a lifetime memories. Don’t be surprised to be filled with childlike wonder and curiosity!
Dreams in Heels explored everything from arranging a simple drive (how does driving a convertible Bentley around sound to you? – actually, you can pick from a selection of luxury cars), taking a helicopter tour ride around Colorado and Utah (since the Gateway is conveniently situated on the border of both), UTV rides, Pro-Baja Trophy Trucks ride along experience, Horseback riding (Dreams in Heels’ horse was so sweet and named Sugar!), Auto Museum Collection Tour, mountain biking, hiking, and the list just keeps going. Among our favorites are the Auto Museum Collection, the UTV ride and the Pro-Baja Trophy Trucks experience.
The Auto Museum Collection must be mentioned as it captures 100 years of American automotive history. Of course, it is quite impressive. It contains many historic and rare automobiles and as we all know, they just don’t make ‘em like they used to. The design, the colors and special, distinctive details made many cars comparable to a piece of art.
Among the presentation is a one-of-a-kind 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car (Our Favorite one!), which is considered a rare American icon. John Hendricks purchased this classic car in 2005, after intense auction bidding, for $3.25 million. Among the cars, you will also find: a 1906 Cadillac Model H Coupe, Duesenberg, Auburn, Cord, and Cunningham marques alongside rare models from Packard, Cadillac, Pierce Arrow and many others. The museum is open daily from 10:00am – 5:00pm, except on rare holidays.
The Adventure Center offers UTV and ATV guided tours. Dreams in Heels’ selection of the UTV experience was a bumpy, muddy and exhilarating ride around off-the-beaten paths! Get ready to put your helmet on and get dirty! You get to explore countless vistas on ride up. The best part was visiting the John Brown Canyon/Dolores Point Mesa, which provides exceptional views of the zone. Follow the river as it wraps its way across the state border into Utah and enjoy panoramic views of Dolores River Canyon, the Gateway, the towering La Sal Mountains and even, in the distance, the Spanish Valley. You will not be able to take a bad photo from up there!
As far as Dreams in Heels is aware, the Gateway is the only place on the world where you get to ride along with an experienced former Nascar race drivers in a pro-baja truck. The truck can go up to 140 mph but for the safety of the guests, they limit the speed to 85 mph. It is an amazing experience, better than any roller coaster! For those that fall in love with this experience, you can also arrange driving lessons. It is all part of the Driven Experiences’ customized program that combines aggressive styling with advanced off-road technology, to deliver an adrenaline-charged driving experience like no other. Dreams in Heels especially appreciated the fact that the Hendricks family is involved, as the President of Driven Experiences is Andrew Hendricks, the son of Mr. Hendricks. He has over 5+ years of championship road racing pedigree in Grand Am’s Mustang Challenge Series and Continental Tire Grand Sport series as a factory driver for BMW. We also got the opportunity to interact with his partner, Jeff Humberson, who has over 20+ years of professional championship motorsports racing experience. All we have to say is wow, what a Dream Team!
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After (or even before) arranging your experience, make sure
to include some spa treatments, especially from the selection of relaxing and
therapeutic massages, all in rooms with such amazing, soothing views. The glass
is one-sided, where you can see out, but nobody can see in (thank goodness).
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Overall, if your dream is to experience an exciting,
luxurious getaway, look no further than Gateway Canyons. It’s really a treat
for all of your senses! Visit gatewaycanyons.com for more details.
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