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OutpostX Breaks Ground: Sci-Fi Glamping Offers Domes, Caves on Terraformed Desert Oasis

A new luxury glamping experience called OutpostX is opening in southern Utah. It aims to immerse guests in an extraterrestrial world filled with spa amenities, and otherworldly lodging options.

Cave Villa at OutpostX; (photo/OutpostX)(Photo/OutpostX)
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Deep in the Utah desert, near the iconic Zion National Park, a fantasy-like oasis is being built for glamp-happy adventurers. Situated on a 100-acre property, on an extraterrestrial-looking dried-up lake bed, OutpostX is not your ordinary adventure stay. Sure, it will have luxurious amenities like rock spas, mud baths, in-ground trampolines, private rock saunas, and jacuzzis. But its otherworldly vibe is reminiscent of a sci-fi film. Waking up at OutpostX might feel like being on an alien planet.

And that’s exactly what Travis Chambers — the OutpostX creator — envisioned from the outset. Chambers worked in the film industry for over a decade, building strange and unique $100,000 film sets for big-budget sci-fi movies. Now, he’s pivoted into hospitality with his company, Chambers Stays. And he’s brought everything he learned from the film industry with him.

OutpostX represents his vision: a sustainable, fantasy-like dream stay in a bizarre and wholly unique landscape, styled after the fictional movie sets Chambers used to work on. He said it merges a sci-fi film set with a sustainable mission.

“We need more destinations that spark our imagination and evoke a sense of play,” Chambers told GearJunkie. “I hope [OutpostX] will inspire people to revisit the possibilities of their life by getting to be someone else for a few days. I hope people will dress differently, talk differently, connect with themselves and others, and go home a changed person, more excited about life and the world.”

OutpostX: The Setting

Entrance to OutpostX; (photo/OutpostX)

If you’ve been to southwestern Utah, you know the area is akin to a Martian landscape. The region is defined by its barren desert expanses, huge red rock bluffs, and sprawling canyon networks. It’s like a place pulled straight out of “Star Wars” or “Dune.”

The lakebed where the OutpostX lodges are being built (what Chambers called “the Playa”) is huge. In the summertime, it’s dry and cracked. And in the winter, it freezes over, creating a psychedelic-looking marble sheet of ice.

OutpostX; (photo/OutpostX)

For outdoor recreationists, this area is a playground. World-class mountain biking awaits all around. Not far away, the Iron Hills Trail system was recently designated as a National Recreation Trail. And about an hour-and-a-half drive from OutpostX, guests can access Zion National Park.

OutpostX: The Amenities

Cave Lux at OutpostX; (photo/OutpostX)


The lodging complex is home to 10 units (so far) exhibiting four different stylistic architecture concepts. There are the Cave Lux and Cave Villa units, which, as their names imply, look like homes built directly into a boulder.

The Cave Villa and Lux lodges feature skylights and slide-outside beds for stargazing during the warmer months. The Lux has a kitchenette, a pull-out couch, and panoramic windows.

Zen Dome at OutpostX; (photo/OutpostX)
The Zen Dome Lodge; (photo/OutpostX)

Then there are the Zen Domes and Sky Lodges. The Zen Domes look like a geodesic terrarium ideal for stargazing and cloud watching. They have a bathroom with one-way mirror walls so you can enjoy the beauty of the surrounding landscape and night sky, even when you’re brushing your teeth or using the toilet.

And the Sky Lodges look like they were imported straight from Indonesia — and the design kind of was. Chambers drew upon his experiences in Bali modeling the treehouse-style buildings to offer elevated panoramic views of OutpostX and everything around it.

Sky Lodge at OutpostX- find glamping near me; (photo/OutpostX)

Other Amenities and Sustainability

Of course, there will also be communal areas where guests can mingle and enjoy the experience together. The shared spaces will include a 300-square-foot spa with a hot clay bath, a private rock sauna, cold plunges, and waterfall-fed jacuzzis.

There will also be a bonfire circle area, an outdoor clay bath spa, pottery throwing wheels (using on-site clay), in-ground trampolines, an Earth Lodge communal fire stove, and a stocked refrigerator with whole foods.

Spa at OutpostX- find glamping near me; (photo/OutpostX)

This entire development is being built to be as sustainable as possible. It’s a selling point that Chambers is clearly proud of and excited about.

“The project is fully off-grid with solar, septic, and well. Our units are a low footprint and a much lower carbon footprint than traditional construction,” Chambers said. “We’ve taken a big first step towards demonstrating what a minimalist experience feels like, and a big step away from sprawling resorts that dominate the landscape with hundreds of tons of concrete and steel and take you away from nature rather than immersing you in it.”

And he added the forest they’re eventually going to grow out there will offset the carbon emissions for the entire project.

Terraforming the Desert

Spa at OutpostX; (photo/OutpostX)

Chambers and his team have a three-phase construction plan for OutpostX. First, they’re building three cave units, one fantasy unit, four domes, and two sky lodges.

It won’t be until the second phase that they build the transparent bio dome spa with the sauna, hot tubs, clay baths, and cold plunges.

The third and final phase will be to terraform the landscape. Eventually, Chambers says he plans to dig a reservoir with a delta outflow. That will branch out into an area where he plans on growing an entire forest. They’ll be implanting carbon to create mycelium in the soil and will combine fast-growing trees (like hybrid poplar) with slow-growing trees (like oak trees).

The goal is to protect and preserve moisture with existing surface water and permaculture techniques, which will hopefully attract wildlife to the area.

“We’ll plant trees that grow five to eight feet a year,” Chambers said. “So we’ll have a forest within two years.”

And eventually, Chambers has plans to use the geothermal water (that’s just 1,000 feet down) to create a smaller version of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon Hot Springs.

“It is an experiment on what can be done in the desert in a sustainable way that protects the aquifer to make an oasis,” Chambers said.

When Can You Go and What Will It Cost?

Zen Dome interior at OutpostX - find glamping near me; (photo/OutpostX)

The Indiegogo campaign for OutpostX launched on June 6 for VIP reservations. If you purchase a night (or several) while the campaign is on Indiegogo, your stay will be 10-25% off. The campaign has already raised over $853,000 as of this writing.

According to OutpostX, it’s well on its way to becoming “the most funded hotel campaign on the platform.”

The nightly prices vary depending on which style of the lodge you book. The Fantasy Cave Lux is $1,100 a night, the Cave Villa is $690 a night, the Zen Dome is $490, and the cheapest option is the Sky Lodge at $350 per night. Again, you can get significant discounts on those prices if you book on Indiegogo before the campaign ends.

Phase 1 construction on OutpostX is nearly 70% complete. It will open to guests starting in August 2023.

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