Moab, Utah History
THE STORY OF SORREL RIVER RANCH
In 1903, Fred and Ida Stearns laid the groundwork for what is now Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa when they claimed a plot of wilderness along the Colorado River. The couple turned the patch of barren high-desert land into their homestead, using a single plow horse to create enough farmland to provide for the family and their livestock. The Stearns’ original two-room farmhouse still stands at Sorrel River Ranch as a reminder of our roots.
The name “Sorrel” is inspired by the specific rusty red hue found in American Quarter Horses – the color shared by the dramatic mesas of red rock surrounding our resort and spa. Much of the land surrounding our 160 acres – including the La Sal Mountains and Colorado River valley – is untouched, pristine terrain overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
The town of Moab, Utah, boasts an equally rich history. The area was settled in the late 1800s by pioneers crossing the Colorado River via the nearby Old Spanish Trail and eventually incorporated as a town in 1902. As the core of Moab’s economy shifted from agriculture to mining, the town enjoyed a population boom. Nearly 6,000 people lived in Moab at the height of its uranium mining days, and although mining has largely died out, the town has become a hotspot for tourists, movie productions and visitors seeking outdoor adventures.