Sedona, Arizona, has long attracted travelers hoping to soak up the area’s natural beauty and feel the mystical pull of its vortexes, where energy is said to radiate more intensely. Now, at a time when we’re more desperate than ever to be immersed in nature, renowned luxury destination Enchantment Resort has unveiled Trail House, a unique adventure hub ideal for exploring the famous red rock wonderland.
It’s an understatement to call Enchantment, tucked into the rust-colored cliffs of Boynton Canyon, stunning. It’s that natural setting and the surrounding 300+ miles of easily accessed trails primed for walking, running, hiking and mountain biking that inspired resort owners and sisters Dana Tang and Tracy Tang Limpe’s vision for Trail House: a launchpad to get guests out deeper into the real magic of the box canyons they know and love.
“Dana and I both fancy ourselves to be outdoor adventure enthusiasts; she’s an avid mountain biker and I love to hike and road bike,” Tracy explains. “We believe strongly that the best way to experience Boynton Canyon is on foot or on the seat of a bike.” And the adventure epicenter they’ve created is a destination in itself.
Designed by New York City–based firm and Architectural Digest AD100 honoree Gluckman Tang Architects, the 4,100-square-foot glass, steel and stone building was inspired by the natural environs. Adobe brick reflects the red rocks, oxidized steel symbolizes the desert varnish dripping down those rocks and earthen concrete floors ground the interiors. A trellised roof of latillas (peeled pine logs commonly seen in the Southwest) weaves together the interior and exterior. Shade trees and a fire pit provide outdoor gathering spaces for swapping stories. Inside, the retail shop offers high-end apparel and top-of-the-line mountain bikes and electric bikes for day rides, while the map room sports a 12-foot video wall, a 3D topographic map table and a photo gallery serving up plenty of adventure inspiration.
Leading the way on tailored excursions are Trail House’s 28 expert guides. “Our guides are patient, reassuring teachers who are highly experienced,” notes Tracy. “Many of them helped build the 300-plus-mile trail system that surrounds Enchantment and have come to guiding from other careers and backgrounds.”
Geologists, journalists and photographers are just a few of the types of pros leading unique experiences like sunset rides, full moon hikes and birdwatching treks. And thanks to their years working with the U.S. Forest Service to chart, preserve and build the trails, many have in-depth knowledge of the terrain as well as insider insights about the geology, wildlife and heritage of this land that’s held so sacred. To further care for the canyon’s trails and ecosystems, a portion of proceeds from each guided adventure supports long-term preservation.
Every excursion delivers unreal panoramic views and beckons the spirit of adventure, even self-discovery. Tailored, themed hikes span from meditative morning trail yoga to the rugged Hangover Experience (named for the strenuous climb and cliffs, not too many margaritas) to an artistic night sky photo walk, where Instagram-worthy moments can be snapped under the stars. For mountain bikers, experts offer lessons and signature rides, including the Native American Teachings Excursion that showcases traditions and practices of the Apache.
“Mountain biking is a sport where people push themselves out of their comfort zones — and with the support of our Trail House guides, guests come away feeling a great sense of accomplishment,” says Tracy, who dubs herself a nervous mountain biker. New to the sport, she’s pushed herself with the help of those trained experts to conquer the physical challenge while enjoying the sensory experience on the trails.
For Dana and Tracy, Trail House is a vision realized. It gives Enchantment guests the opportunity to get out of their comfort zone before returning to relax in their casita, sip a prickly pear margarita by the pool, or visit storied Mii Amo spa (which will reopen in 2022 after a refresh). It adds to not just the resort’s offerings but to “the soulful experience” of Sedona altogether, as Tracy puts it. “You have to ride in Sedona to understand how meaningful and enriching the experience can be,” she concludes.