Desert Wonderland: Amangiri is the perfect place for a family sojourn
Words by Eve Glover
Amangiri is a hidden jewel deep in the desert of Canyon Point, Utah. You can charter a private jet or helicopter or drive postflight to this stunning, secluded luxury resort that is just three miles north of the Arizona border, and a four and a half hour drive to Las Vegas.
Looking out at Amangiri’s backdrop of massive and exhilaratingly high, one hundred and fifty million-year-old sand colored rock formations makes you feel like you are in a different dimension and time. An abundance of large jackrabbits, smaller rabbits, various species of birds, and roadrunners that sprint at lightning speed are some of Amangiri’s unique inhabitants. Some nights you can hear the battle cry of an elusive bobcat in the distance. It’s as though you have suddenly awakened in a dream and found yourself lost in an exotic fairytale or on a Hollywood movie set. It is no wonder the 80’s blockbuster thriller “Broken Arrow”, starring John Travolta and Christian Slater, was filmed here.
The resort itself is so ultra modern and minimalistic, it looks almost futuristic with its clean lines, white stone floors, and private lap pools with floating steps. Yet because it is architecturally designed with natural materials such as wood, stone, and leather, it seamlessly blends into its indigenous Navajo setting. Amangiri appropriately means “peaceful mountain” in ancient Indian Sanskrit. There is a quiet stillness around the resort that is palpable and has a calming effect. Sometimes your heartbeat is the only sound that interrupts the silence.
One wouldn’t think that such a private, serene place like Amangiri would be ideal for families, but at this resort it’s customary to expect the unexpected. In the midst of solitude, there are enchanting adventures and captivating journeys to be had. There is an actual ancient Navajo cave on Amangiri’s property called Broken Arrow Cave. Children can get a glimpse of what Navajo Indian life was like when they see prehistoric tools, pottery shards, arrowheads, and etched pictographs of symbols that were the earliest forms of writing. Walking into the cave is like being transported right back to that mystical time thousands of years ago.
One of the most highly requested tours at Amangiri is the Three Canyon Tour. A Navajo guide leads guests to a few of the most dramatic and iconic canyons of the southwest. Curvaceous, imposing canyon walls that twist around are made from rock, heat, wind, rain, and ocean water. Photographers flock to these caves to capture the awe-inspiring, innate beauty and resilience of nature.
Another hugely popular destination is Lake Powell, which is just a 10-minute drive from Amangiri. Families can camp, kayak, swim, jet ski, and build sand castles out of red sand. Seashells from ancient times can be found along the shore. Horseback riding at Amangiri takes guests along scenic ridges and canyons of the sandy desert. Children as young as four years old can ride their own ponies, or sit in back of a parent on a buddy seat placed on the horse. Canyon Crossing Via Ferrata is Amangiri’s simplified rock climbing area. Suspension bridges are never higher than twenty feet from the ground, so you don’t have to climb to great heights to see a spectacular view. The main swimming pool at Amangiri has a shallow end that is well suited for children. The entire pool is built around a huge, one hundred and sixty five million-year-old boulder, which is immersed in the water. There is such love and reverence for nature at Amangiri, that it becomes a part of everything so as not to disrupt it. This outlook makes Amangiri all the more special and beautiful.
Open walls in the suites at Amangiri make room for expansive views of the breathtaking canyon landscape. You can wake up gazing at boulders and mesas set against a sky recklessly ablaze with a fiery red, hot pink, and golden sunrise that seems to come right into the room. A defined border around the window elegantly frames the view; it’s like looking out at a preselected photo perfect to add to your family album of unforgettable memories.
Address: 1 Kayenta Rd, Canyon Point, UT 84741, USA
Phone: +1 435-675-3999