By far, one of the top outdoor experiences of my life, was experienced recently at Sand Hollow State Park in Utah.
Sand Hollow State Park is a state park located outside Hurricane, Utah encompassing a 1,322-acre reservoir and an extensive off highway vehicle recreation area on Sand Mountain.
Previously, I had only been on an ATV just a few times in my life and I was understandably just a little nervous wondering if an advanced/beginner like me could survive out in the open sand dunes and rugged desert wilderness. When I heard about climbing rock and cliffs, I felt my hands sweat a bit. But once we began our ATV & Jeep Adventure Tour under the expert care and instruction of our competent tour guide Rob, I had every confidence that I would be safe and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime, although I was being pushed just outside of my comfort zone.
I’ve traveled around the world and done outdoor adventures and excursions of all types and this ranked in the top five outdoor tour excursions of my lifetime.
The equipment that ATV & Jeep Adventure Tours provided was top notch. We were properly outfitted and prepared before we ever started. But for a company with top safety ratings and 20 years experience, who would expect less?
The next few hours, our experienced guide took us over dunes, into box canyons, and over vistas that were absolutely breathtaking and unforgettable. No wonder San Hollow State Park is a word-class ATV destination drawing visitors from all over the globe.
A family from Germany was part of our small group, and although they spoke no English, and I only speak French or English, we all shared a bond by the end of the day. Their two teen daughters eventually let their guards down, and in the end, had every bit as much fun as their parents did.
The majestic serenity and expansive landscapes we covered were out of a magazine or documentary. The play of light and shadows on the dunes and sand was just spectacular as afternoon sun changed the landscapes constantly.
As a desert lover and student for many decades, I managed to answer all the questions correctly when our knowledgeable guide would stop to point out flora, fauna, geological formations and earth science related novelties, while quizzing us on various note-worthy spectacles along the way. My husband and the German folks joined me in my appreciation of the mystery and magnitude of the desert by the end of our ride, when it became evident they were as enamored as I always am by the desert and its unforgiving allure.
By about the middle of our adventure, our small group was traversing challenging landscapes in a beautiful synchrony as we swept over the vistas and Rob asked, based on our newfound skill set, if we would like to partake in some actual sand ballet. This proved to be the highlight of our excursion as we road in formations over virgin sand and dunes hugging the bowl or funnel as we throttled through the adventure in a perfectly timed ballet and symphony. Think water ballet on sand.
This whole spectacular experience culminated with provided snacks and water overlooking the desert’s ablaze sunset which cast its eye-watering colors of splendor across the dunes, creating shaping and shadows worthy of a postcard or painting. We even had a panoramic view of the town of Hurricane below.
We stayed in nearby St. George, Utah in the brand new My Place Hotel. St. George has exploded into a city over recent years. I had not visited in over ten years and was amazed at the growth of a once small town. My Place provided the perfect hub from which to start our ATV adventure day with breakfast in bed, a charging station for cars, beautiful bedding and linens, and amenities included a gorgeous, sparkling-clean spa and pool complete with awesome water features for kids.
Our room had a full kitchen, great tea and coffee and the staff extended outstanding hospitality. It was just a minute or two from numerous great area restaurants and shopping, and could not be beat for convenience, cleanliness, and value.
There could not have been a more perfect day nor a better place to soak our tired but happy muscles after an unforgettable day on the dunes before heading to our next adventure.