Serene Desert Beauty | Guided Mindful Running | Restorative Yoga | Award-Winning Luxury Wellness Resort | Gourmet Meals | World-Class Spa
Immerse yourself in the unique landscape of the Sonoran Desert during this four-day, three night all-inclusive retreat designed just for women who love to run as part of their self-care and stress management. From the moment you arrive at the award-winning Civana Wellness Resort + Spa, located just north of Scottsdale, Arizona, you’ll feel yourself start to unwind and slow down. Civana’s luxury accommodations are inspired by nature and designed to promote relaxation and restoration, making it the ideal base for our newest retreat program.
We’ve partnered with local female running guides (and members of the local trail running club) to select trails that best showcase the Sonoran Desert’s impeccable beauty, rewarding singletrack trails and unique features, such as giant saguaro cacti. You’ll cruise along soft, sandy trails that meander through gently rolling hills one day, and challenge yourself on more rugged terrain in Tonto National Forest another. While it’s not necessary to have trail running experience to participate in this retreat, you should be able to comfortably run at least 8 or so miles on the road and feel comfortable on ground that is uneven, at times rocky and exposed to steep or exposed areas for brief sections. The time on trail ranges from about 90 minutes to up to 3.5 hours, including photo stops, water breaks and such. The pace is relaxed and social, so you don’t have to be fast!
Your expert retreat leader is facilitates your overall experience, providing mindful running techniques that will help you gain confidence and comfort on these rewarding trails. We balance each day with free time in the afternoons to relax, restore and recover. You’ll have plenty of time to lounge by the pool and savor the spa massage experience included with your retreat package.
You’ll also enjoy a private yoga class designed specifically for runners, and daily gourmet meals featuring regionally inspired and wellness-focused menus. This small group experience is limited to just 15 women and will leave you feeling rejuvenated and inspired.
4-Day, 3-Night Retreat Itinerary
Thursday | Arrivals + Shake Out Run at Spur Cross Trail
After checking into your room at Civana Resort + Spa, you’ll meet your group and retreat leader in the Black Mountain Casita room for the retreat’s Opening Meeting at 2 p.m.. Come dressed ready to run as we’ll depart for today’s shake out run soon after the meeting wraps. During the meeting, you’ll officially meet your fellow retreat participants and review the retreat intention and flow with your retreat leader. At 3 p.m., you’ll have a chance to return to your room to drop off any extra items and your Run Wild Retreats Gift Bag before meeting our guides in front of the lobby area for a short drive to today’s run location.
Today’s “shake out” trail run is designed to help you get grounded and burn off any nervous energy. Your retreat leader will present the key aspects of the Power Posture as a foundation for your mindful running practice in the days to come. These techniques will be especially valuable if you’re new to trail running. Then you’ll enjoy a relaxed run on these smooth, easy trails. After the run, we’ll return to Civana, where you have plenty of free time to freshen up before we gather for dinner in the dining room. Near the end of dinner, your retreat leader will review important information for tomorrow’s run in terms of what to bring and what to wear for the conditions.
Time on trail (including stops and clinic): 90 minutes to 2 hours
Friday | Sonoran Desert Splendor + Yummy Yoga
Help yourself to the breakfast buffet any time after 6:30 a.m. You’ll meet your retreat leader at guides at 8:45 a.m. in the main lobby and load up into our charter vehicles for the drive to today’s trailhead. It will be almost mid-morning by the time we start today’s run that will take us through some of the Sonoran Desert’s most remarkable landscapes. Be prepared for trails that will at times challenge you, but also reward your efforts with stunning scenic rewards. You may even spot an iconic Crested Saguaro cacti; beware of the chollo and prickly pear along the trail sides.
At the run’s end, we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch (weather permitting) before driving back to Civana, where you’ll enjoy some relaxing free time to lounge by the pool, relax in the spa space or have your (pre-scheduled) spa treatment. Late afternoon, we’ll meet up for a private yoga class designed just for runners, and a sharing circle facilitated by your retreat leader. Some of you will enjoy a spa massage this afternoon (included in your retreat package).
Tonight’s dinner will be another gastronomic feast at Civana’s fine dining restaurant on site.
Time on trail (including stops): 3 – 4 hours
Saturday | Tonto National Forest + Soothing Spa
Help yourself to the breakfast buffet any time after 6:30 a.m. At 9 a.m., you’ll meet your guides and retreat leader for the slightly longer drive to today’s trailhead from which we access Tonto National Forest, we’ll savor an especially rewarding and scenic trail that involves non-stop rolling hills and sections of technical terrain that requires our mindful attention. Again, your retreat leader will offer specific mindful running techniques that will you gain comfort and confidence on this challenging trail.
At the run’s end, we’ll return to Civana by early afternoon for lunch. Today you have even more free time to enjoy all the incredible wellness services (like saltwater pools and a serene spa space or walking labyrinth) and classes Civana has to offer (and is included in your retreat package), such as daily personal growth and discovery, fitness and movement, mindfulness and culinary classes. If you didn’t have your spa treatment yesterday, it will be scheduled for this afternoon. Otherwise, the afternoon is yours. This evening we’ll drive to a nearby restaurant for a special dining experience.
Time on trail (including stops): 3 – 4 hours
Sunday | Valley of the Sun Run + Farewells
Help yourself to breakfast any time after 6:30 a.m. You’ll meet your guides and retreat leader a little earlier this morning in order to make the most of our final day together. After a short drive to Phoenix Sonoran Preserve for one of the local’s favorite runs that follows well-maintained singletrack that winds up to the top of Apache Vista and Ridgeback Overlook with 360-degree views of the Valley of the Sun. Today’s run is your ultimate opportunity to put together the mindful running techniques you’ve been practicing all weekend and fully realize your mindful running experience. Ending on a “runner’s high,” we’ll return to Civana feel invigorated rather than tired from this morning’s run.
You’ll have time to freshen up, pack up and check out of your rooms before gathering one last time as a group for lunch at the resort and the final Closing Meeting led by your retreat leader. Our program wraps up by 1 p.m., leaving plenty of time to embark on your return travels.
Time on trail: 2 hours
Start Planning Your RetreatSonoran Desert Trail Running + Wellness Retreat
• Three nights’ accommodation at Civana Wellness Resort + Spa
• Three breakfasts buffets at Civana
• Three lunches (usually picnic or casual)
• Three dinners at high-quality restaurants
• Daily guided trail runs
• Dedicated Retreat Leader
• Private charter transportation to/from trailheads
• Mindful Running Clinics
• Yoga class for runners
• Daily access to the Civana Spa
• Spa Treatment of your choosing
• Access to all scheduled wellness classes at Civana
• Trail snacks/energy food and drinks
• Run Wild Retreats gift bag
⚠️ Covid Health + Safety Protocols are in place. Read about them here.
Balance Payment Deadline: 90 days before trip start
Max Group Size: 15 women
Shared Room Package (per person): $2,895
Private Room Package (per person): $3,445
*Shared room packages have two beds. Solo travelers may choose this option and will be paired with another retreat participant.
If traveling with a friend, you may list your friend as your preferred roommate on your Retreat Participant Intake Form.
You may customize your retreat package with various add-on services by registering on one of the Trip Pages to the right.
This retreat is rated Level II, which means we recommend you have a base fitness level that allows you to run up to 8 miles at a time on roads. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you run–really!
- Daily runs at this retreat range from 5 miles to 9 miles on singletrack trails.
- Two guides accompany the group to support the different pace groups, so there’s no pressure to run faster than you’re comfortable.
- Trail running experience isn’t necessary. Your retreat leader provides trail-running tips for running in this terrain.
- You’ll encounter trails with loose rocks, and some exposure to heights. You can walk/hike trail sections as you need.
- The trail surfaces are a mix of loose sand, rock and dirt trail. Very little ground will be truly flat–you have to focus on your footing, which is why we stop often to take photos and soak up the views.
- Trail running shoes and a hydration pack that can carry at least 1 Liter of water are required.
- Learn more about how we manage run pacing here: https://runwildretreats.com/about-the-run-wild-retreat-experience/levels/