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Last Updated on February 2, 2024 by Sarah Puckett
When Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa reached out to us to ask us to visit their luxury property on the Colorado River in Moab, Utah, it was an obvious “yes” from us! We’ve been to Moab twice previously, both times to visit nearby Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. We were excited to spend time exploring a new-to-us area of Moab near Castle Valley, where there are many hiking and outdoor adventure opportunities!
Disclaimer: Sorrel River Ranch hosted us at their property in exchange for this blog post and social media content. All opinions, as always, are our own! If you decide to book a stay at Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa after reading our review, we’d be so grateful if you used our affiliate link! We’ll receive a commission at no extra charge to you, which helps us keep this page running. Thank you for your support!
About Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa
Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa is a luxury resort accommodation located 30 minutes driving from downtown Moab, Utah. When Sorrel claims to be a luxury resort, they mean it and they have the resume to prove it! Sorrel has been named in the Top Ten Luxury Wilderness Lodges in the USA by Luxury Travel Magazine, is a recipient of Forbes Travel Guide’s Four-Star Award, holds a Fodor’s Choice Gold Award for “Sense of Place”, and is included among the “Fifty Best Luxury Adventures in the World” by Adventures Temple Guidebook.
United Airlines also featured Sorrel in their Hemispheres in-flight magazine for the resort’s solar power initiatives, and luxury lifestyle magazine Coveteur listed Sorrel among their best places to book a cozy cabin.
Sorrel River Ranch’s Property
Sorrel River Ranch has 59 guest rooms including eight balcony studios, eight family suites, and a ranch house set amidst 240 acres of Utah ranch land. We could hardly believe our eyes when we pulled up to the ranch. The property is simply spectacular.
The ranch sits on the banks of the Colorado River and is surrounded by vibrant red rock mesas in all directions. It is truly one of the most picturesque properties we’ve ever seen. As we were driving down UT-128 along the river, the first thing that struck us was how secluded and remote this part of Moab is.
While downtown Moab feels busy in comparison, the area around Sorrel is truly the wild west. This area is surrounded by public lands (Bureau of Land Management), so you won’t find many other resorts or businesses in this area. It’s a perfect base for wilderness adventures with hiking trails, white water rafting, rock climbing, off-roading and more available within walking distance of the Sorrel resort property.
When you first arrive on the ranch, you’ll pass the garden on your left and JJ’s Mercantile on your right, and just beyond the mercantile (open seasonally), you’ll see horses grazing near the stables. We definitely recommend checking out the stables and farm, where you can get close to the horses, walk with chickens, and visit the resident goats and pigs.
If you’d like to visit the garden, you can schedule a tour of the resort. Many of the ingredients at the restaurant and the garden dinners are grown on site!
In the same building as registration are casual seating areas, a guest library, and games. Everything has a stylish, rustic vibe, reflecting its southwest setting.
Outdoor Spaces and Pool
Throughout the outdoor spaces of the property are chairs for sitting by the river. There’s also a recreation area with a tennis court, a hot tub, a swimming pool, and riverside patio tables and chairs.
Rooms at Sorrel River Ranch
We stayed in one of the king River Studios on the Colorado River side of the property.
When we arrived at our room, two Sorrel reusable water bottles, plus housemade chips and salsa, were waiting for us in the kitchen! The kitchen area of our room had a sink, a minifridge stocked with water and house-made salsa, a Keurig coffee maker and pods, a microwave, and a small dining table. It’s also stocked with coffee cups, silverware, and plates for 2 people.
Adjoining the kitchenette is a space with two wardrobes containing Sorrel robes and slippers, between which hangs a full-length mirror.
The living space sits in front of the kitchenette and has a couch and coffee table. A book on the table details Moab’s Hollywood Western movie history, which was interesting to read and see what was filmed near the ranch! We also loved the fresh sunflowers on the table!
The bathroom was one of our favorite parts of our room! The claw-foot tub has jets and Sorrel provides luxury bath salts for the ultimate relaxing experience. The walk-in shower had great water pressure and temperature. Two sinks and a large mirror gave Tim and I plenty of space to get ready in the bathroom at the same time.
We had a king bed with end tables and lamps on either side, and a flatscreen TV hanging on the wall in front of the bed. The bed was comfortable and the bedding was nice. Our only minor critique is that a mattress pad or cover between the mattress and fitted sheet would have been nice and have felt more luxurious.
The porch was my second-favorite part of our room. We had rocking chairs and a small table on our porch with a view of the Colorado River and red rock mesas. This was a wonderful place to sit and unwind while watching sunrise and sunset.
One of the best things about Sorrel is that they cater to adventurous luxury travelers, and there are over a dozen activities you can book and do right from Sorrel. We had the opportunity to do two activities during our visit: an offroad UTV tour, and an early morning horseback ride among the mesas.
We met our guide for our UTV tour outside the Adventure Center, next to registration, at 5:30 pm for our golden hour ride through Lower Onion Creek. Tim and I shared a UTV with Tim driving the majority of the trip. I did drive a portion of the way back, though, which was fun since it was my first time driving a UTV or any kind of offroad vehicle. Our guide led the way through a canyon of red rocks and spires and pointed out unique geology along the way, like a highly sulphuric area and a lone tree growing out of a rock. We loved splashing through the creek and banking the curves. This was such a fun way to experience the unique landscape.
Just before the turnaround point on this out-and-back offroading trail is an overlook where you can see one of Butch Cassidy’s hideouts where he came after his famous bank robbery in Telluride, Colorado. We’ve noticed Butch Cassidy-related places are a whole THING in Utah, so especially if you’re into western lore be sure to look for the hideout or ask your guide to point it out!
The next morning we got up early for a guided 90-minute horseback ride in the foothills under the mesas. After saddling up our horses, our guide led the way off the ranch and onto the horse trail. We were surrounded by incredible scenery and the morning light illuminated the red buttes and mesas. Our guide shared information along the ride about the area’s geology and history, as well as horsemanship and life on the ranch. This was the most beautiful horseback riding experience we’ve had! It seriously felt like being in a western movie!
Though we’ve had a few horseback riding experiences in the past, we still consider ourselves below beginner level when it comes to the skill of horseback riding. We appreciated that our guides catered the ride to our skill level. Sorrel also offers an introductory lesson as well, which is a good option if you’ve never ridden before and are nervous about a trail ride.
If you’re visiting Sorrel in summer, we recommend timing your hikes with sunrise when it’s still cool outside. On our June visit, it was regularly near or over 100 degrees outside in the afternoons. The extreme heat can make hiking midday and afternoon dangerous in the summer months. This is a very remote and dry area, which increases your risk of death. It’s important to know where you’re going and be prepared with plenty of water, snacks, and sun protection like a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. You should also tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return, regardless of what time of day you choose to hike!
Every morning at 7 am, Sorrel hosts a guided walk up Sorrel Ridge. You can also hike this trail on your own anytime. The Sorrel Ridge trail is 1.4 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of 298 feet. You can find more information about this hike on All Trails.
The 6.8 miles Fishers Towers trail is a great option if you want a longer hike. This trail will take you past towering rock spires and towers that give the trail its name!
Other activities available
We only had time for the UTV and horseback riding tours during our stay, but there are many more options you can choose from. You can take a Jeep tour, visit Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, go rock climbing and canyoneering, hit the water on a rafting or kayak trip, and even take scenic flights or go skydiving. Be sure to check out the offerings at the Sorrel spa as well!
How to Book Activities
Activities at Sorrel River Ranch can be booked with your reservation online or onsite at the Adventure Center just outside of reception. We recommend making your arrangements in advance, though, so you can ensure the availability of the specific activities you want to do!
Dining at Sorrel River Ranch
On the bottom level of the reception building is Sorrel’s Epic bar, where you can get tasty cocktails and local beers. We tried their house-made blackberry syrup cocktail and a sweet and spicy mango margarita. Both were delicious!
We ate all of our meals at the River Grill onsite (with the exception of the special garden dinner – details below!). On our first night, we enjoyed dinner outside by the river. Everything was delicious, from the Cottonwood Roasted Beets and chicken liver mousse appetizers to the venison medallions and Kobe strip loin we ordered for our main dishes. We also tried two desserts, both decadent and delicious: the molten chocolate cake and the caramel pot de creme.
For breakfast, we recommend the granola, breakfast sandwich, and especially the smoked salmon plate. The salmon is smoked at Sorrel River Ranch and cut thick. They use a unique technique that results in smoked salmon quite unlike what you get at most bagel shops and groceries!
On our second evening at Sorrel, we were invited to join the Garden Dinner. This five-course event in the garden was not only beautiful but an opportunity to learn more about the farm and garden at Sorrel and how they produce the ingredients used in the evening’s meal. We enjoyed quinoa salad, roasted vegetables, salmon, chicken, beef, and peach cobbler, set in the lovely greenery of Sorrel’s garden. If you visit during the summer months when they offer the Saturday night garden dinners, we highly recommend reserving a spot!
Final Thoughts on Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa
We really enjoyed our stay at Sorrel River Ranch! The activities were a ton of fun, the food was amazing, and the property views cannot be beaten. We especially enjoyed the remote location away from downtown Moab, which has become known for its busy tourist scene. If you’re looking for an adventurous but luxury getaway, and the price is within your budget, Sorrel is a lovely place to stay!