In the heart of the American Southwest is one of the nation’s most picturesque and rugged landscapes: the Grand Circle. This vast region includes five of the most popular national parks—Bryce Canyon, Zion, the Grand Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Canyon lands—and features breathtaking scenery and awe-inspiring rock formations. Situated among this rugged beauty is Camp Sarika by Amangiri, a uniquely rustic yet luxe resort-within-a-resort that makes the perfect home base for exploring the area.
A UNIQUE STAY
Located in Canyon Point, Southern Utah, Camp Sarika is nestled within a protected valley, offering sweeping views of the awe-inspiring Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument. Part of the renowned Amangiri resort—and with access to all the resort’s amenities—Camp Sarika is a collection of 10 upscale tented pavilions nearby. Each pavilion comes with an extensive outdoor terrace and a plunge pool, providing travelers with a private sanctuary to immerse themselves in the mesmerizing surroundings.
Dining-wise, the Camp Sarika Restaurant welcomes guests to savor Southwestern-inspired cuisine, showcasing local and seasonal produce. With an open kitchen featuring a rotisserie grill, guests can witness the cooking process with the rugged mountains in the background. For a taste of Native American-inspired cuisine with global accents, The Dining Room offers an exquisite dining experience with breathtaking desert views.
“The experience at Camp Sarika by Amangiri was transformative,” says Racquel Piscitelli, Serendipity’s senior director of operations, who recently visited. “The resort allows you to truly immerse yourself in nature and its beauty. You’re surrounded by exquisite mountains, you’re looking up at an open sky full of shooting stars and you’re doing activities like hiking the mentally and physically challenging Via Ferrata—all without worrying about anything else.”
WHAT TO DO
Camp Sarika’s strategic location offers access to a plethora of outdoor activities and excursions, perfect for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:
Explore the National Parks
There’s so much to take in, it’s hard to know where to start here, but suffice it to say there’s something for everyone. For instance, Bryce Canyon National Park is renowned for its otherworldly hoo- doos—tall, slender rock spires that paint the landscape in shades of orange, red and pink. Stargazing here is very popular, as the crisp air of the high plateau allows the stars to shine unobstructed. (It’s even possible to see the Milky Way on clear nights!) Zion National Park, on the other hand, is a place of immense canyons, emerald rivers and cascading waterfalls. It’s famous for the Narrows, a slot canyon where the Virgin River carved its path, surrounded by towering cliffs.
At Capitol Reef National Park, be sure to check out the colorful cliffs and domes, including the famous Waterpocket Fold, a massive wrinkle in the earth’s crust that stretches for nearly 100 miles. Travelers can spend hours hiking among the towering monoliths and slot canyons. Canyonlands National Park is a place of sheer canyons, mesas and buttes sculpted by the Green and Colorado rivers. A highlight here is watching the sunrise at Mesa Arch, where the rising sun colors the desert landscape in hues of gold and amber. And of course, the Grand Canyon is one of the most famous and visited of the national parks, with highlights including hiking along the rim as well as deep in the canyon.
There is no shortage of outdoor activities here—on land and water—many of which can be booked directly through the resort. For instance, discover the turquoise waters of Lake Powell aboard a high-speed motorboat through twisting slot canyons and hanging gardens.
Head out for a hike
Hiking is huge here, and you’ll find a range of hiking trails with varying intensities, leading to picturesque viewpoints and sites of interest. For the more adventurous, Via Ferrata’s fixed climbing routes offer thrilling experiences. There are also guided walks through the mesmerizing slot canyons. Guests can also horseback ride through the desert, following an extensive trail system that caters to experienced and beginner riders alike.
Take to the skies
Once you’ve got land and water covered, it’s time to fly. Air tours are popular, and you can book a private tour of Grand Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park or Monument Valley, all of which offer a unique perspective of these majestic landscapes. Or, wake up early for a sunrise hot air balloon ride that provides extraordinary views.
Experience local culture
Immerse yourself in the cultural and natural wonders of Monument Valley, located within the Navajo Nation Reservation. Through the resort, you can also experience a number of cultural activities, including making dream- catchers.
Relax and recharge
The main resort is home to the Aman Spa—a 25,000-square-foot wellness haven, with a water pavilion plunge pool, heated pool, multiple treatment rooms, and yoga and Pilates studios. At Camp Sarika specifically, you can enjoy a treatment at one of their two spa suites.