NEW YORK -- Although thousands drive through Sedona on their way to
the Grand Canyon, few of them see the destination the way niche
operator Global Fitness Adventures shows it to them.
"They stop at the T-shirt shops, but they rarely veer off into
the wilderness," said Kristina Hurrel, director of Global Fitness
With Global Fitness Adventures, clients hike miles from the
beaten path. They travel with Native American guides who show them
the destination from the perspective of a culture that sees the
mid-Arizona destination as an ancient sacred site.
According to Maureen Quinn, a bank vice president who took the
trip, "We went really deep into the canyons where we couldn't have
gone on our own. We were doing five to 15 miles a day on different
trails but our guides really knew what they were doing so I felt
Adventures specializes in trips that focus on hiking, luxurious
accommodations, gourmet organic food, yoga, tai chi, spa
treatments, massage, meditation and cultural immersion.
"Our trip to Sedona creates more change in our clients than any
other trip we do, by far," Hurrel said, whose firm also offers such
destinations as Bali, Bhutan and Kenya. "That's the amazing thing
about this area."
The firm's packages are not for everyone, but many who take the
trips come back for more, Hurrel said, and many bring new clients
"Agents usually find us by accident," she said. "But after
they've sent clients to us, [the clients] come back raving."
The itinerary includes five to 15 miles a day of hiking --
adjusted to clients' abilities -- on trails that reach elevations
of 2,500 feet and offer views of the red cliffs and canyons below.
Hikes are slowly paced with plenty of quiet time between
activities. Groups are small, usually 12 to 14 people.
The company always talks with clients before finalizing bookings
to make sure they are a good match with the style of travel.
"We don't let travel agents send just anyone," said Hurrel. "Our
clients are people who want an adventure, become healthier and to
immerse themselves in cultures.
"Ours is not just a normal spa trip," she said. "It's something
that pushes [clients'] edges."
Accommodations are in houses in Oak Creek Canyon. Set near Oak
Creek, each house has two bedrooms and baths, a living room and a
The six-night trip is priced $3,000 per person, double, with a
March 15 departure priced at $2,200. The other departures are April
13 and 20 and Oct. 5 and 12.
For more details, call (800) 488-TRIP or visit www.globalfitnessadventures.com.