Luxury Tent Camping at Utah’s Ulum Moab

Just about an hour from the Utah-Colorado border, Ulum Moab enters its second season as a life-affirming, soul-nourishing experience.

Ulum Moab luxury camping tent interior
Photo courtesy of Ulum Moab.

Some journeys are mere trips, while others become transformative experiences. A weekend retreat to Ulum Moab falls firmly into the latter category. It’s a long but easy drive from Denver to get there—a straight shot west on I-70 over the Utah border, then hang a left and roll into Moab. I made the trip with a friend last fall to catch the tail end of the resort’s inaugural season after the heat of summer abated. What we found when we arrived defied expectations.

Perched on the edge of civilization, Ulum isn’t a campground, although there are tents—50 of them, each measuring 360 square feet plus a private 70-square-foot deck and all intentionally integrated into the natural landscape to maximize privacy as well as the spectacular views. Surrounded by towering rust-red sandstone cliffs on three sides and carefully integrated into the stunning desert landscape, Ulum Moab isn’t a “glampground” either; the term “glamping” feels too quaint for this fusion of luxury and wilderness. Ulum is its own luxurious ecosystem— the first of its kind in a new brand from Under Canvas, known for its high-end tented camps at the doorstep of national parks in the West. Ulum is a testament to what happens when you let Mother Nature hold the reins of design, without skimping on all the luxe comforts.

Speaking of those comforts, Ulum is awash in them. In each of the tented suite accommodations, you’ll find a king-sized bed donning Parachute linens, a lounge area outfitted with West Elm furnishings (including a queen-sized sofa bed), a wood-burning stove and an evaporative cooler to keep you comfy in the wide-ranging desert temperatures, and an en-suite bathroom complete with rain shower and polished concrete sink. Pendleton blankets, plantbased Aēsop bath products, Turkish cotton robes from Parachute, and other creature comforts round out the luxurious touches of this elevated experience. Step out onto the private deck and gaze upon the outskirts of Canyonlands National Park, which brushes up against Ulum’s 200-acre expanse.

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In other words, it’s a delightful retreat where you can stretch out after a day spent on a private canyoneering experience set up through the property’s Adventure Concierge that had us hiking over ancient sand dunes at dawn on a steep climb up to the rim of slot canyons hidden by massive sandstone monoliths. A rush of adrenaline surges on the 110- foot rappelling descent and leaves my body shaking, so I follow that dopamine back to the resort for happy hour. It’s best experienced in one of the outdoor lounge areas cascading from the resort’s multipurpose hub. Housed in a low-profile, color-matched concrete building, this social center is home to the lobby, lounge, and restaurant and hosts a range of complimentary programming that runs the gamut from guided yoga sessions and crystal sound bath meditations to tea blending and jewelry making. Floor-to-ceiling windows seamlessly invite the surrounding scenery in. Every night, a gourmet s’mores bar complete with artisan chocolates and marshmallows call guests to gather around the fires to trade stories and offer tips from their adventures. Nearby, three plunge pools welcome you to take an invigoratingly cool morning dip or to relax your muscles in the warm waters as you gaze at the star-blanketed dark sky in the evening.

Ulum Moab clubhouse food
Photo courtesy of Ulum Moab.

Eat & Drink

Breakfast is served in the clubhouse and on the terrace. There’s also a cafe tucked in the corner if you want to grab some coffee and snacks or a boxed lunch to go. Guests can enjoy happy hour and a harvest-driven dinner in the same beautiful spaces. The menu centers on approachable, quality, and seasonal cuisine with Southwest-inspired flavors. Ingredients are sourced from nearby farms, orchards, and ranches and prepared in multiple ways to result in flavorful food (and drinks) with a deep sense of place. Craft cocktails infused with local flora such as sage, juniper, and prickly pear complement dishes like short rib tacos, smoky Idaho trout, and chili-rubbed cauliflower. It’s all best enjoyed al fresco with a side of extraordinary views.

Moab landscape
Photo by Stephanie Wilson

Explore

Set amid spectacular desert terrain far from anywhere, Moab, Utah, is a hotspot for adventure seekers of all types: mountain bikers, river runners, four-wheel drivers, hikers, rock climbers, and general adrenaline junkies. Ulum Moab looks out at the surreal colorful landscape of Canyonlands, the largest national park in Utah. Twenty miles of paved roads wind through the park’s Island in the Sky district, perched atop a towering 1,500- foot mesa. From the elevated vantage point, panoramic views stretching 100 miles in any direction reveal the wind-sculpted buttes, craggy red-rock monoliths, and Technicolor cliffs of canyon country. At the nearby Arches National Park, over 2,000 natural stone arches are just part of the natural attraction.