November is truly a perfect month to visit this region of the Southwest at the border of Arizona and Utah, with Thanksgiving weekend being particularly ideal.
• With a stunning, secluded backdrop and your every need met, the Amangiri is the place to really connect with family, explore unlimited outdoor activities and of course, feast!
• The national parks are amazingly empty over this holiday weekend and the choices are vast from Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley to the many slot canyons and The Grand Canyon (the list literally goes on and on) in this area.
Use the Amangiri as a luxuriously comfortable, private and secluded base from which to soak up all of the beauty of the surrounding national parks.
You can hike to the bottom of an often snowy Bryce Canyon come Thanksgiving morning and not see another hiker for hours—having this national treasure all to yourself and your family/friends is real holiday treat.
The drive from the resort is an easy 2.5 hours with beautiful views of the sunrise over the mesas that dot the route. Ask for buttery croissants, pecan wood smoked bacon and other treats to enjoy in the car. The Amangiri has a signature mint and sage infused lemonade that tastes especially delicious after a long hike so ask for a thermos (it will stay cold this time of year in the car!).
If you start out around 5:30 you will reach Bryce with enough light to start your hike. On Thanksgiving morning, you might be lucky like we were and not find another car in the parking lot at Sunset Point overlook.
Bryce is particularly beautiful in the snow, but to hike the slippery canyon you will need poles and crampons so do invest in proper gear before you attempt it. For this small investment, the reward is tremendous.
There are many trails to attempt. We chose the Navajo trail to the famed Peek-a-Boo loop, a route which began at Sunset Point. This affords the most stunning view of numerous brilliant hoodoos, towering spires and copious vistas of the Bryce amphitheatre. But, most importantly, the Wall of Windows is incomparable from below.
The trails can lead you through tight passages that break into glorious vistas and remote sparkling fields of snow to enjoy in absolute silence.
After an intense day in Bryce (or any of the surrounding parks) nothing is better than arriving back at the Amangiri at twilight, ravenous and ready to indulge in their many culinary treats.
At this time of year, a 4-night stay in the Amangiri affords complimentary meals. The Thanksgiving dinner is comfort food at an elevated level.
Our Thanksgiving meal included:
• A cheese & charcuterie plate with smoked parmesan, aged blue goat cheese, bresoala, calabrese salami and tartufo
• Butternut squash soup with cinnamon sugar toast croutons and braised Utah sweet ham
• Tuscan greens with pickled mint, maple pinenuts, blue cheese, Prosecco poached pear, pancetta, light buttermilk and a shallot vinaigrette.
• Harvest Platter: Smoked butter herb turkey, Heritage Utah Berkshire ham, parsnip and Yukon mash, wild rice, currant and chestnut stuffing, granny’s turkey gravy, three sister succotash, green bean squash and sweet corn, cranberry horseradish sauce, brown sugar butter
• Pumpkin cheesecake!