Mud Season Getaways You Shouldn’t Miss
by Hilary Oliver
Spring can be a tough season for outdoorsy, adventuresome ladies. The skiing and snowboarding conditions deteriorate rapidly, but most of the trails for hiking and mountain biking aren’t dry yet. And the whole time, the days are getting longer, flowers are poking up and adventure—ahem, spring—fever is setting in big time. The answer? Head to the desert. Here are three of the best places to sneak off to for a spring getaway with a little adventure mixed in.
Come for the yoga hikes. Rumor has it, Sedona is home to several “vortices”—special locations where energy concentrates and people have reported experiencing special inspiration. Whether you’re looking for a spiritual experience, or just one of the most scenic places possible to take your yoga practice, Sedona is the place to go. Several yoga instructors offer guided vortex hikes and guided practice, but you can pack up your mat and hit the trail up the striking red rock formations on your own, too.
Stay for the hot air balloon ride. Once you’ve enjoyed the grounding experience of hiking through Sedona’s colorful rock formations, watch the sun creep over those gorgeous canyons from far above in a hot air balloon ride to get a once-in-a-lifetime view of the entire valley.
Camp on National Forest land outside of town. If you’re on a budget and don’t need fancy facilities, head out to camp in Coconino National Forest.
Come for the mountain biking. If you’re itching to take your mountain bike out on a dry trail, this is the place. Want flowy, non-technical, gravity-fed rides? Head to 18 Road. Want more techy ledges and drops? Cruise over to Horsethief Bench.
Stay for the hiking. If you need a rest day, take it at the nearby Colorado National Monument, where you can hike narrow desert sandstone canyons and peep huge formations up close on trails like No Thoroughfare Canyon and Devils Kitchen.
Camp on BLM land at 18 Road. Cheap or free camping is available on BLM land near the 18 Road trails. But make sure you check out the rules before you go—if you’re staying in one of the primitive sites, rangers will check to make sure you bring your own portable toilet setup at the free sites.
Or stay in comfort at an Air BnB. Near the riding, and with all the comforts of home, this Air BnB host offers the best of both worlds.
Come for the rafting. Nothing shakes winter off like a river trip: the warm sun, the refreshing water, the relaxed “river time.” And the Colorado River near Moab offers some of the most spectacular desert scenery without the commitment of a month-long trip. Check out the Fisher Towers overnight with Red River Adventures.
Stay for the skydiving. If you need a little more thrill than the relaxing pace of a river trip, check out SkyDive Moab. They offer tandem jumps for first-timers as well as flights for experienced jumpers. The best part? You’ll be jumping out over some of the most spectacular canyon country on the planet.
Camp near town at Sand Flats. Near downtown Moab, but still nestled among sandstone fins, the Sand Flats campground is beautiful and convenient. But since they’re first-come-first-served, they can fill up fast on weekends during the spring and fall. So get there early, stake out your site and enjoy some quality desert camping.
Or stay in luxury at the Red Cliffs Lodge. Perched under red rock cliffs with a view of the Colorado River floating by, this spot is prime for a relaxing escape from the daily grind. Enjoy a wine tasting at the adjoining Castle Creek Winery, go horseback riding, or just unwind in the pool.