When the puff of white dust settles, a mountain stands before Emily Dillport and Ashima Shiraishi, each masters of seemingly disparate crafts. For climber Ashima Shiraishi, the rust-colored boulder baked for centuries by the Arizona sun presents as a puzzle. It's one where the right combination of gravity-defying moves, strength, concentration, and a pinch of luck will get her up and over this ancient rock in the High Sonoran desert, rewarding her with vast views of the magical saguaro and blue palo verde-dotted landscape. With each deep breath and placement of her chalked hands, she feels a deeper connection with nature. "Every rock you put your hands upon is a new visceral experience that can't be replicated anywhere else in the world," says Shiraishi. "It puts my existence into perspective and reminds me that I'm part of this vast ecosystem." Across a few canyons, in an immaculate hotel kitchen, chef Emily Dillport's bouldery piles\u2014edible mounds made of oranges, Minneola tangelos, and red grapefruit picked fresh from The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain's on-property orchard, plus prickly pears, the native desert delicacy foraged from cactus paddles\u2014are also a problem to be solved. Should they become a citrus dressing to top kale salad or a gel for the nopales gumbo? Or maybe their destiny is the morning muffin basket or the lobby bar's daily mixology class. As with Shiraishi's climbing routes to a peak, the ways Dillport can use the produce are almost infinite\u2014and all the possibilities reflect the enchantment of this place. "I want every guest to enjoy a delicious experience, but the most important thing for me is to see guests get magic out of the ingredients from this area, to awaken a sense of wonder and encourage them to bring that back to their home," says Dillport. And isn't that the sign of a successful vacation, after all? To go somewhere different, to learn something, to feel something, to be changed for the better, and ultimately to capture some remnant\u2014the aroma just after a desert rain, the sweetness of a prickly pear margarita, the joy of sinking an impossible hole-in-one\u2014that you can call upon when you just can't get away and want to recapture that feeling of escape? The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain can help whether you want to blaze a new path across rocky ridges as the lavender light of dusk consumes the Arizona horizon, see what a master chef creates with that tart harvest, or simply step back from the demands of everyday life and slide into luxury without limits. "Every destination has a unique gastronomy to it, and the culinary scene in Tucson dates back 4,000 years when they first started harvesting the native ingredients we use today," chef Dillport explains. "When I approach a new culture and their food, I take a step back, listen to the locals, and learn what is important and about the ingredients there." When creating dishes for Dove Mountain's five dining and drinking concepts, Dillport elegantly infuses regional culture into the cuisine. Turquesa Latin Grill , for example, draws from Arizona's rich LatinX culinary heritage. And Dove Mountain's seasonally driven flagship, CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar , relies on the bounty of neighboring farmers. "The majority of our local ingredients like prickly pear can be foraged in the desert," says Dillport. "When you forage for them, it gives you a unique appreciation for those ingredients\u2014especially knowing that the indigenous people that were here thousands of years ago harvested the exact same way." And lest you forget where the delights came from as you savor pan-seared scallops with an elote puree, homemade chamoy, and a cactus beurre blanc, all you have to do is gaze out the floor-to-ceiling windows or look up from the elegant patio at a desert you can almost touch. Secreted away in the mountains 30 miles from Tucson, where imposing succulents stand sentinel over untamed canyons, where sunsets and moonrises are equally magical, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain strives to cultivate a balance between the land's feral beauty and refined desires. It blends into the landscape and brings the outside in, respecting the wild that envelops it. But retreating here is far from roughing it. After all, this is not a mirage but an oasis of infinity pools, roaring fire pits, and feather beds where seamless service and attention to detail are as prized as water in the desert. Nowhere is that symmetry of desert and decadence more evident than in the holistic spa . The surrounding natural elements pop up not only in the interior design but also the treatments. Indigenous gemstones and basalt rounds massage hikers' sore muscles, endemic botanicals soothe sunburns, and poultices of indigo favored by Native American shamans melt away any stress that may have stowed away in your suitcase. It's exactly the kind of place, Shiraishi tries to find herself after a serious scrambling session. "Climbing is really about pushing your boundaries and physical limits, but to achieve that, you have to take care of your body," says Shiraishi, citing massages, saunas, ice baths, and meditative body movement as a few of her favorite post-climb rituals. That the duality of pampering and environmental and cultural provenance make this holistic haven even more special. "I like to see the way local traditions, culture, and nature are really amplified here," says Shiraishi. Tempted as you may be to stay in with the soaking tub and keep company with 400-thread count Frette sheets, the surrounding high desert playground is the true draw of Dove Mountain . The region has the beauty of a National Park (without the crowds) thanks to its sculptural boulder piles, spring wildflower sprays, and varied menagerie of cactuses, including the adorably squatty barrels and impressively towering saguaros, whose upturned arms are seemingly begging you to come out and play. Step out from Dove Mountain's back porch to commune with nature solo on 26 miles of hiking trails, or join a more organized outing to see historic petroglyphs, bike through the Tortolita Mountains, or gaze up at the twinkling majesty of the night sky while learning to identify constellations. Even the three Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses make the most of the native flora and rolling hills. And there's always Shiraishi's preferred way to enjoy the environment\u2014straight up. "Climbing in nature offers a deeper connectedness with the environment and the natural surroundings that you're embraced within\u2014it's a more visceral experience," she explains. "I was stunned by the unique environment that Arizona offers. It was really eye-opening to see that a place like this\u2014a lush living desert\u2014exists in the world." Book Your Stay at Dove Mountain Art Direction by Sonja Georgevich; Video Direction by Josh Brede; Styling by Lilli Millhiser; Styling Assistance by Tess Parker; Hair and Makeup by Mary Wright; Production by Anne Ritz and Mandi Hayes; Production Assistance by Brian Byrd and Duran Cribbs; Wardrobe courtesy of The North Face, Teva, Nanushka, and Laura Lombardi.