Moab, Utah History
The Story of Sorrel River Ranch
In 1903, Fred and Ida Stearns claimed a plot of wilderness along the Colorado River and laid the groundwork for what is today Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa. The couple turned the patch of barren, desert land into their farmhouse, 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 – a color shared by the dramatic 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. In 1902 the settlement became the town of Moab. Mining opportunities in the area resulted in a population boom; 6,000 people lived in Moab at the height of the uranium mining period. While mining has largely died out, the town has become a hotspot for tourists, movie productions and visitors seeking outdoor adventures.