By Teresa K. Traverse Photos Courtesy of OpenSky
Experience Open Sky’s Glamping Resort & Things to Do In Greater Zion
It’s a crisp, sunny afternoon in southern Utah, and I’m in heaven. I’m rocking back and forth in a crescent-shaped wicker lounger on an outdoor patio with expansive blue skies and canyon walls dotted with greenery around me. The breeze is gently blowing and I’m watching a bird on a nearby tree. I’m wrapped up in a plush and cozy bathrobe after taking a long, warm outdoor shower. I’m at OpenSky, a glamping resort located just outside of Greater Zion. OpenSky opened in 2021. It’s a heavenly place situated at the top of a hill just off the unpaved Dalton Wash Road.
At Open Sky, you never forget where you are. The glamping resort’s lodges feature a wrap-around patio, showcasing the views of the gorgeous scenery. The walls and roof of the pods are covered in canvas resembling a luxe safari tent. The expansive windows show off the stunning landscape and open skies. High canyon walls dotted with greenery and surrounded by mountains offer a private experience for guests. The French doors inside open to a soft king-size bed where I enjoyed two peaceful nights of sleep. The bedroom also featured two nightstands, a plush chair and table with a coffee maker and other breakfast foods and a small gas fireplace in the corner that warms the room during chilly desert nights.
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The bathroom was another true highlight. The heated slate floors felt smooth and comfortable beneath my feet in the cool evenings. The deep sink was complemented by a large glass shower with window panels on the upper-half of the walls that look out at the mountainside. OpenSky’s amenities are exclusive to guests and you can expect plenty of quiet time.
Our final evening at OpenSky kicked off with Champagne and a decorative charcuterie board in the Star Seeker Superior II. Perched at the top of a steep hill, this luxurious lodging option features two bedrooms, an expansive outdoor patio showcasing the sweeping views of the area, a copper soaking tub and a cedar hot tub outdoors. This camp’s most impressive feature? The sky lounge, which features a glass ceiling with a bed underneath perfect for stargazing. The resort’s Star Seeker Superior II takes glamping to a new level.
When you’re not cozying up inside your room, OpenSky has a spectacular dining program. The resort’s on-site restaurant, Black Sage, is open for dinner every night except on Tuesdays. Reservations are required. Much like OpenSky itself, the menu draws inspiration from the natural environment. We sat on their stunning outdoor patio and enjoyed some of Black Sage’s excellent cuisine. This glamping resort’s menu changes seasonally, our meal started off with the sophisticated, yet fun Mineral Springs Beef Nachos. They featured blue corn tortilla chips, hatch chili nacho cheese sauce, corn salsa, tomato avocado salsa, fresh jalapeños, red onions and cilantro. The dish was artfully drizzled with chipotle crema. These hearty, spicy and texture-rich nachos proved to be irresistible.
For my main course, I devoured the Utah Trout—served with an ancho tomato reduction, a fresh lemon slice, a buttermilk grit cake, corn salsa, charred citrus and cilantro oil. The fish was cooked and seasoned to perfection. We finished dinner with a slice of truly decadent cheesecake resting on a pool of chocolate and topped with a delicate dollop of whipped cream.
On my last morning at OpenSky, I decided to forgo the complimentary breakfast in the main lobby tent and instead curl up with the ultimate campfire treat: s’mores. The staff left a kit inside my room. I tried to savor every bite of the crisp graham crackers, soft, sweet and golden-roasted marshmallow and the cool, slightly melted Hershey’s chocolate as I relaxed outside in a truly breathtaking location.
If you are looking to venture off from the glamping resort, there are activities to do in the Greater Zion area that are sure to embrace your adventurous side.
Zion National Park
OpenSky is about a 25-minute drive from the main entrance of Zion National Park—Greater Zion’s main attraction. Angel’s Landing, the most famous hike in the area and perhaps best known for its striking rock outcropping with chains you have to hold on to climb. Angel’s Landing requires permits. Another famed hike is The Narrows, which will lead you through a narrow canyon carved out by the Virgin River. For a more low-key experience, you can take the shuttle and wander around at various stops to soak up the natural beauty of this magnificent sandstone canyon. I took an e-bike tour through the main canyon with Zion Adventure Company where we enjoyed stunning views and an easy ride.
Snow Canyon State Park
If you fly into the St. George Regional Airport—roughly one hour from Zion National Park—a quick trip to Snow Canyon State Park in the nearby city Ivins is a must. Only one hour from OpenSky, this state park is breathtaking. You can look forward to plenty of sandstone canyon views. You can hike, bike, horseback ride and rock climb at this state park. If you’re short on time, just drive up and down this stunning canyon that offers gorgeous views all around.
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Mountain Biking and Hiking
OpenSky is just down the road from the Whole Guacamole Trailhead, a pristine mountain biking trail. The property also has a handful of on-site hiking trails if you’d like to get in some exercise without venturing too far away.
Take a UTV to Toquerville Falls
The landscape of Greater Zion is impressive and another one of the area’s many gems is Toquerville Falls. This waterfall is only accessible by off roading. I took a guided group tour with Mad Moose and had a great time seeing sweeping vistas and bouncing around in a UTV.
All in all, this trip to the OpenSky glamping resort was truly one I will never forget.