Choose Your Own Adventure

  • Photo © Erhard Pfeiffer 2008
    Four Seasons Resort Photo © Erhard Pfeiffer 2008
  • The St. Regis Aspen
  • St. Regis - Gunning over buffalo
  • Photo © Erhard Pfeiffer 2008

Years ago, a mild case of sunburn might have been the most hair-raising experience of summer vacation, but today’s globe-trotters are seeking out journeys that go far beyond surf and sand. For travelers who prefer mountains to monuments, cycling to sightseeing, and treks to tour buses, two new resort programs are aiming to infuse a heart-pumping dose of adrenaline into the average guest stay.

Set along a plateau at the base of New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe has launched a series of signature excursions that take advantage of the resort’s pristine desert setting and rich cultural history. Designed in collaboration with the local outfitter Adventure Partners, these guided trips explore the surrounding hill country on foot or by mountain bike, with sites ranging from 12th-century Anasazi pueblos and ancient petroglyphs to rushing waterfalls and roaring rivers. A full-day journey into the dramatic landscapes made famous by Georgia O’Keeffe takes guests to her Ghost Ranch residence, while half-day outing travels to El Santuario de Chimayo, a holy place built in 1813 that was thought to have healing powers. The tours are $1,090 for one or two people. Guests can also embark on self-guided journeys within the confines of the Four Seasons’ 57 sprawling acres, from hikes through native sagebrush and succulents to curative treatments at the Native American–inspired spa. (505.946.5700, www.fourseasons.com)

Meanwhile, Colorado-bound thrill seekers can try their hand at everything from fly-fishing and clay shooting to mountain biking and hiking with the St. Regis Aspen Resort’s new adventure packages. Launched in July, the three-night bespoke journeys were developed exclusively for St. Regis by the Aspen Outfitting Company and include the St. Regis Blast and Cast package (from $987 per person), which pairs fly-fishing on the Roaring Fork River with clay-target shooting, and the St. Regis Aspen Hunting Clinic (priced from $3,756 per person), a progressive workshop on pistol shooting and upland bird hunting. Complementary à la carte adventures such as mountain hikes and bike rides through Aspen’s Woody Creek Valley are also offered. (970.920.3300, www.stregisaspen.com)

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