Get zen in 2024 at one of these 8 Arizona retreats

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Are you feeling a little tired, drained, or overwhelmed? Maybe you work indoors all day, put in relentless hours at your job, or are constantly in front of a screen. Regardless of your daily grind, it’s time to get outdoors and find some connection to nature. A nature retreat takes you out of the everyday bustle and through carefully considered activities and immerses you in a sense of wonder, renewal, and dare I say, zen.

If you read “zen” and instantly thought “Sedona,” your guess would be pretty spot on; many Arizona retreats take place in the spiritual, sunset-stunning, intoxicatingly picturesque destination known as Sedona. Its essence simply caters to the call of renewal. Of course, there are a few wonderful alternative retreat destinations for those who crave a different Arizona atmosphere.

Below are eight Arizona retreats that can get you zen in 2024. And let’s face it, with the world in which we live (please look at the politics portion of this publication), we could all use a little more zen.

Sedona Mago Retreat Center | Discover. Heal. Coexist.

Meditation, detox, mindfulness, financial wellbeing, Taoism. This retreat center offers a revolving list of retreats in the outdoors and caters to the spiritual ties that Sedona has come to represent. Grounded in mindfulness, this center focuses on getting in tune with the self. Their mission includes: “A journey of healing, love and oneness awaits you at this sacred land.” Develop a sense of mindfulness while surrounded by the natural beauty of Sedona.

Pros: Based in Tao philosophy, this center seeks to foster connection within the individual.
Cons: Grounded in spiritual practice, an open mind is imperative for full benefit.
When: Multiple opportunities monthly!
Where: Sedona
Cost: $997-$2220, depending on retreat and room type. 

Walker Wellness Retreats: Sedona Hiking and Yoga

This retreat is truly all-inclusive as it even offers transportation from the airport for the out-of-staters. The first stop on this retreat is to Old Town Scottsdale for lunch and a short shopping experience. From there, attendees are driven up to Sedona where there is luxurious lodging complete with chef-curated meals and a tentative itinerary including hiking, yoga, horseback riding, and relaxation.

What’s unique about this retreat is that although there is a carefully selected schedule for each day, all activities are reinforced as optional to the individual so daily needs and desires can be faithful to the wind.  

Pros: Everything provided is optional, so this retreat is customizable.
Cons: Not exclusively nature-centric.
When: Start dates on May 23 and May 30.
Where: Sedona
Cost: $2395-3295

Vita Pura Yoga: Sedona Yoga Retreats

Sedona Yoga Retreat offers the freedom of being in nature with the comfort of being in familiarity. This 5-day retreat includes daily breakfast and lunch, mindfulness workshops, morning yoga, hikes, and guided breathwork sessions.

The lodging is at the Hilton at Bell Rock, so you get the comfort and familiarity that has become synonymous with Hilton Hotels. The price is all-inclusive for the 2 daily meals, excursions, lodging, and workshops. This one is great if you want to enjoy a full day with the guarantee of a comfy bed to fall asleep in.

Pros: Lodging is a trusted hotel.
Cons: Price only includes 2 daily meals.
When: Several start dates include: March 17, April 14, May 5
Where: Sedona
Cost: $3,229 with a discount to add a second person

Wild Woman Desert Retreat

Breathwork, yoga, hikes, archery, nourishing vegetarian meals, and horse mirroring (yes, this retreat horses as a therapeutic tool!). While the emotional therapeutic approach of horse mirroring makes this retreat stand out, it’s the activity list that presents this trip as exciting and quite the bargain. It’s a weekend-long retreat meant to give women a chance to unplug from expectations and give into what is referred to as “The Wild Woman.” Whether you’re a mother, wife, sister, or daughter, this retreat offers all women the chance to just exist; something that’s quite uncommon in this modern world of wearing many hats.

Wild Woman Desert Retreat takes place in the high desert in Clifton, AZ, and has women from all over the world leading the various programs. It can be a great trip to free oneself from expectations and meet a new group of supportive friends.

Pros: This retreat offers a unique therapeutic tool that is rare to find elsewhere.
Cons: It’s for women only (maybe not a con for everyone).
When: February 22-25
Where: Clifton, AZ
Cost: $999

Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center Connect, Refresh, Renew

Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center has offerings for just about anyone. Some of March’s wilderness retreats include gourding (membership required), recovery, and spirituality. The center also hosts private retreats and seems to add new retreats regularly. In Carefree, AZ (north of Phoenix), the iconic desert landscape makes for a beautiful, nature-centric setting and is a good alternative to Sedona. 

Pros: There are several styles of retreats that are inclusive to a wider variety of people, and although retreats normally entail lodging, there are also “commuter rates” that start at just $50.
Cons: With revolving events, there is a constant flow of different energies.
When: Multiple events each month
Where: Carefree, AZ
Cost: $300-$480+

Santo Tomas Retreats: Rim View Chateau 

Daily yoga, several outdoor excursions, massage, and vegan meals: This stunning retreat center offers a well-rounded experience that caters to mind, body, and spirit, all while in the Northern Arizona town of Page.

Excursions include exploring some Northern gems in Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon while the retreat grounds include sound healing, cooking demos, fire pits, and hammocks. The accommodations are at a 7 bed 4 bath 4300 sqft retreat home limited to 7-8 people. This retreat is meant to be intimate.

Pros: The price is truly all-inclusive with meals, lodging, massage, and a variety of activities.
Cons: The strict vegan diet may not be for everyone.
When: September 20-23
Where: Page, AZ
Cost: $2275 +

The Savanna Hermitage 

For the experienced mindfulness practitioners among us, The Savanna Hermitage is an exclusive solo retreat space. There is an application process to get permission to join, which shows how this space exists strictly to strengthen one’s already strong relationship with mindfulness practices. Prices range from a 3 to 30-day experience, and acceptance of your application grants you permission to practice with the land for that time. This is an introspective wilderness retreat.

Pros: Affordable and independent, this is a great place to strengthen your practice
Cons: Exclusively for experienced practitioners only and requires an application.
When: Ongoing
Where: Pearce, AZ
Cost: $80-$400

Co-Op Survival

If you’re a military caregiver, this retreat is for you. A military caregiver is a family or friend who has taken on the role of caring for a disabled veteran in their life, and while this is noble, it can be incredibly isolating. Co-Op Survival seeks to alleviate the isolation of the military caregiver by gathering people who are going through similar experiences and offers not only an annual retreat but frequent service-oriented events and focused gatherings as well.

The yearly retreat is a weekend-long camping trip in the pines with service-oriented events and lighthearted fun. Pictures of last year’s retreat show s’mores, bonfires, and hiking.

Pros: More than a retreat; If you’re a military caregiver, this group is meant to foster community.
Cons: Limited to who may attend.
When: Applications open in May
Where: Flagstaff
Cost: Unspecified 

Some Additional Tips

Although they can be on the spendier side, retreats offer the convenience of including lodging, activities, and more often than not, meals. This convenience is incredibly helpful for someone who’s feeling stuck or overwhelmed by the bustle of the daily grind, as choosing the date is often the only planning needed to join a retreat. Picking a retreat means picking the most peaceful and least stressful way to get away from it all.

If you’re more thrifty and don’t mind acting as your own travel agent, consider using your favorite retreat from this list as inspiration. From there, you can organize a trip that includes lodging of your choosing, trails of your skill level, and a yoga studio local to the area. Self-planning can cater to your needs mentally, spiritually, and financially, as long as you can find the time to do so. Here are a few inspirational places to consider setting up camp and exploring independently for your own retreat-like independent zen:

Whether you join a retreat or plan your own getaway, be sure to get into the great outdoors this spring and fall. Connection with nature is incredibly important in finding peace and meaning in life; as Ralph Waldo Emmerson might advocate, it is time to trans(zen)d. 

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  • Trinity Murchie

    Teacher, writer, and traveler, Trinity lives in a small town and enjoys gardening, cooking, and exploring all things bizarre. Catch her at local ruins exploring haunted histories, in quaint towns with creatives, or at the farmers markets hunting for unique ingredients. Wherever you catch her, be sure to say hi; she’ll want to hear your story, too.

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