Our City + State

The Weekenders | Canvas + Cosmos

2/19/2015 | Jess Downer
Big Bear Photo Co.

The striking southern portion of our state has long offered a much-welcome weekend alternative to those living in Utah's more populous areas. There's no shortage of remote, solitudinous acreage to be explored and, for many, the opportunity to get off the grid is precisely why the region remains so appealing. That said, there are also plenty of options that marry relaxation, quiet, and stunning red rock with comforts that extend beyond freeze-dried food and camping pads.

Moab Under Canvas certainly manages to do so with aplomb. 

TAKE A BREATH...IT'S TIME FOR "AIRPLANE MODE."

MOAB, UT, 4 hours: Tucked in a breathtaking pocket of Utah (what pocket isn’t?), Moab is the gateway to some of the most spectacular desert marvels this country has to offer. It’s just a handful of miles from two national Parks (Arches and Canyonlands), each of which could require weeks to adequately explore. What’s more, a brief drive in any direction from Moab will have you lounging on the beach of a river, weaving your way through fields of boulders, or perched on a cliffside soaking up desert vistas. Spring is the perfect time to enjoy it. Wake up to brisk mornings, but strip down the bare essentials by lunch time. Then huddle ’round a toasty campfire in the dark.

Check In: Moab Under Canvas13784 US-191, Moab, UT — This is the epitome of affordable luxury right here. With tipis at $89 per night and Deluxe Safari Tents at $289, such a unique experience is rarely so accessible. Tipis come stocked with cots, bedding, and charm, and the range of amenities goes up from there: beds, wood-burning stoves, a private in-tent restroom, or your own deck with a front-row view of Arches…you pick. Available for everyone, regardless of tent choice: access to outdoor cooking facilities, a fire ring, well-kept restrooms, a hot cup of coffee in the morning, and the friendliest and most helpful staff on the planet.

LET'S NOT COMPLICATE THINGS.

Eat Out: The only “out” you’ll be eating at is under them stars. You could drive 10 minutes into Moab and have an array of options available to you…but why would you do that when you have an open fire, a cast-iron skillet, and a firestorm of afternoon light reflecting off the sandstone cliffs around you? Just pack up old, green Coleman nice and tight with plenty of ice, meat, snacks, and beer. Instructions: open, prepare, enjoy.

Spend Pesos: No need, friends. If you’re going to spend some extra pesos, spend them on the details to make your stay one to remember. In our case that was home-sewn napkins with fabric sourced from fabric.com, metal mugs from Amazon, and plates made from small, used pizza tins. God is in the details.

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