Experience

Westworld: Utah

Here at Black Tomato, we were hooked on the sci-fi thriller Westworld and, if you’ve ever seen the show, we think you’ll agree that all that stunning scenery is enough to send your wanderlust into overdrive. Luckily, our trusty travel experts have put together the ultimate 11-day trip to set jet you off to some of the show’s most famous locations. From Moab to Monument Valley, we’ll have you driving, hiking and horseback riding through the striking scenery of Southern Utah, before a touch of glitz and glamour in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. But this is more than just a stunning American road trip (naturally). We’ll also be treating you to the most exclusive experiences that will leave you feeling centre-stage – quite literally too as you visit Melody Ranch Studio, better known as Sweetwater.

Your escape into the small screen begins a mile high in the city of Denver. Fly into the highest state capital in the US where you’ll pick up an SUV for the rest of this scenic adventure. But don’t worry – just because you’re starting a mile high, it definitely doesn’t mean it’s all downhill from here.

The Original

From Denver, it’s a leisurely five-hour cruise through Colorado’s National Forests to Moab in Utah. Moab is where it all begins for Westworld – literally, the pilot episode was filmed here. So it’s only natural that this is where your Western escapade kickstarts, we’ll even have you cruising down the same stretch of Route 128 as the Westworld guests arrive on the train. From your base at Sorrel River Ranch, you’ll have Moab at your fingertips. Whether you fancy a spot of canyon rafting, a hummer safari, a game of bocce ball on the lawn, or simply a laze by the pool – you are the Guests and the storyline is yours to customise. So be as lazy or as energetic as you like, you’re in Westworld after all.

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In the morning, you’ll take to the skies in a fixed-wing Cessna for a bird’s eye-view of Moab and Canyonlands National Park, before saddling up in the afternoon with your very own Hosts – cowboy-trained quarter horses and professional wranglers. You’ll venture deep into the Wild West, along the Castle Valley trails made famous by the original star of the Western screen, John Wayne. Tomorrow, it’s onto the Navajo Mountains of Monument Valley on a private tour alongside a Navajo Indian guide. Boasting 1000ft high sandstone rock formations, a minefield of mesas and buttes and natural amphitheatres, all with a coating of rich Navajo culture, it’s easy to see why location scouts are drawn to this area.

Sleep like a star on set

From a cavernous valley to the famous Grand Staircase, in the morning you’ll head off to Escalante where you’ll spend a night like a movie star in a star-studded airstream with all-out décor that will transport you to sets of the likes of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Some Like It Hot and Viva Las Vegas. Emerge from your top-notch trailer ready for a hike through the dreamy landscapes of the Grand Staircase, where you’ll visit ancient Rock Art sites and magnificent mushroom-like hoodoos. The highlight though? It’s got to be the deserted town of Paria. Now a well-known movie backdrop, you half expect a ball of tumbleweed to slowly blow across the ghostly streets – that or to be challenged to a duel.

Panoramas-aplenty

The Wild West gets luxurious out at Canyon Point the next day, as a three-hour drive through Southern Utah’s National Parks brings you to the stunning Amangiri hotel. From the private patios of your room to the four via ferrata, get up close and personal with Canyon Point’s majestic rock formations. Ladder rungs, fixed cables and expert guides ensure your safety whilst the surrounding valley ensures dramatic perspectives. Then, from one amazing perspective to another, it’s an early start the next morning as you board a hot air balloon and head up into the air to watch dawn break across Lake Powell, Navajo Mountain, the Vermillion Cliffs and the Grand Staircase.

Your final show-stopping National Park is Zion, where you’ll spend a day hiking, canyoneering and rappelling through slot canyons to your heart’s content. Back at Zion Mountain Ranch that evening, it’s just you, the National Park – and a roaming buffalo herd. Tomorrow, you’ll swap the original American dream for the land of excess as you drive across the state border into Nevada and down one of the most famous streets in the world – the Las Vegas strip. We haven’t brought you here for the casinos though, but for an off-road driving adventure through the red-hilled Valley of Fire.

Lights, Camera, Action

Whilst by now we’re sure you’ll agree that Southern Utah is the ultimate Western filming location, sometimes you just need a handy soundstage or backlot, and that can only mean one thing – Hollywood. So to cap off your Westworld adventure with a sprinkle of glitz and glamour, you’ll head off to LA and into the iconic Beverly Hills where we’ll get you on set with behind-the-scenes access as you horseback ride through Paramount Ranch and Melody Ranch Picture Studios. You can’t help but feel that you’re starring in the show itself.

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