When winter’s ample rainfall blesses the Arizona, the desert becomes a velvety green playground. And, a kaleidoscope of wildflowers carpet the desert floor delighting both photographers and active travelers alike. This spring, wrap your luxury vacation in adventure at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain near Tucson, Arizona.
Just a few miles northwest of Tucson, the Tortolita Foothills provide an environment that’s ripe for adventure at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. Over twenty miles of trails in the high Sonoran desert offer hiking for every level of fitness. Wake up to a “rise-n-shine sunrise stretch” on a moderate hike in Wild Burro Canyon. Or tackle one of the other trails, including Alamo Springs, Cochie Springs, Lower and Upper Javelina or Wild Mustang. All total, treks range from 2.5 to 9 miles, with an elevation that begins at 2,700 ft. in Wild Burro Canyon and rises to 4,100 ft. along Wild Mustang Trail.
With over 600 species of plants, the desert will take on a whole new meaning. In spring, purple lupines, gold poppies, blue larkspur or the yellow blossoms of the brittle bush color the path. Birdwatchers will have a field day catching glimpses of hummingbirds drinking from the feathery blossoms of baja fairy dusters while Harris’s hawks glide in sweeping circles overhead.
At Alamo Spring, mortar holes in the rocks provide proof that someone arrived long before you. Prehistoric people pounded mesquite logs into the holes, crushing mesquite pods in the process, so that they could harvest the seeds for a rich dietary source of protein. Of course you don’t have to hike to discover signs of pre-historic life. Ask the spa staff to point out the Hohokam petroglyphs on the boulders near the spa’s outdoor pool.
Hiking isn’t the only adventure at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. Mountain biking and off-road jeep excursions into the desert offer alternative means for an adrenaline rush. Looking for a cowboy experience? The hotel partners with the White Stallion Ranch to offer horseback riding adventures and ranch activities. If you’re idea of outdoor fun involves chasing a little white ball, try out the 27-hole course that Jack Nicklaus designed.
What about the luxury part of this experience? After a few hours of adventure, return to your accommodations at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain to relax by one of the pools. Those lounge chairs sitting in the water at the infinity pool will soak away sore baby boomer muscles. Or, savor the end of the day with a glass of wine on the patio as a Native American flutist serenades you from the boulders of Wild Burrow Canyon. Later, dine at Core Kitchen and Wine Bar where Chef Joel Harrington adds flavors from the Sonoran desert to American favorites.
Have you experienced adventure at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain? Share your fun by posting a comment. When I toured the property for a look-see, I made a mental note to book a getaway soon.
Photos courtesy Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain.