Heart of Forgiveness Retreat

The  20th Annual Zion Canyon Retreat:

 The Heart of Forgiveness

with  Gregg Unterberger, M.Ed., LPC

and Colleen Vanderzyden, Medium & Intuitive Life Coach

November 4-7, 2021


Every spiritual and moral tradition in our world tells us to forgive.

But nobody tells us how.

It seems impossible. Someone did something horrific to us or to someone we love and we feel consumed by a resentment or hatred that all but burns us up inside. Perhaps, even worse, the person we hate is ourselves! “How could we have done that? What were we thinking?” And we collapse into shame and self-loathing.

There is a way out, to freedom and peace though forgiveness without becoming a doormat or putting ourselves at risk. For nearly 20 years people have come together in the sacred space that is Zion Canyon, to use cutting edge psychology, pragmatic spiritual principles and the kindness of group support, to transform hearts and return participants to a place of clarity and peace, unencumbered by hatred or shame.


Join us for four days in Springdale, Utah, in Zion Canyon, surrounded by 3000- foot brilliantly colored walls at the height of the fall color change as we press deeply into these questions. We will meet about four hours each day allowing you ample spare time to explore the majesty of Zion in your car or on foot, shop the quaint, unique shops of Springdale, play golf, or simply lounge in the hot tub. The workshop will be at the new La Quinta Inn and Suites, just minutes from the National Park. We think you will find the awesome splendor and mystery of Zion a powerful ally in your psychological and spiritual journey.


***Due to the ongoing Covid situation, proof of vaccination is required BEFORE you register. Text or email a photo of your proof to Gregg Unterberger at 512-663-4155, gregmerlyn@aol.com.


Logistics: The cost of the workshop itself is $495.00. Pay all now   

A 250-dollar nonrefundable, but transferable, deposit holds your space. Pay deposit  


If you need more information or you would rather pay in a different manner than by using the above purchase buttons, call Gregg directly at 512-663-4155.


***Due to the ongoing Covid situation, proof of vaccination is required BEFORE you register. Text or email a photo of your proof to Gregg Unterberger at 512-663-4155, gregmerlyn@aol.com.


Other costs are on your own, however, the area is quite reasonable. We recommend that you stay onsite at the La Quinta Inn and Suites, La Verkin though this is not mandatory. A limited number of rooms, full breakfast included, are reserved at a special discounted rate. The easiest way to reach Zion is to fly into Las Vegas and then enjoy the scenic two hour drive to La Verkin. A limited number of partial scholarships are available for those genuinely in need. Space is limited. 



Retreat Location: La Quinta Inn and Suites by Wyndham, La Verkin, Utah
There is a block of rooms reserved until midnight Oct. 27 at discounted rate of $100/night plus tax. Reservation can be cancelled with no charge up to 48 hours in advance. Room includes free parking and breakfast.

Call La Quinta directly to make a reservation: 435-635-3111. Do not press one for reservations. Click through to the Front Desk and tell them you are with the Heart of Forgiveness workshop (Unterberger Group) to get a discounted room.

Thursday, Nov. 4 – 6:30-10:00pm
Friday – Sunday, Nov. 5-7 – 8:30am-1:00pm (afternoon/evening for processing and exploring Zion)

Contact Gregg Unterberger directly if you have questions:   gregmerlyn@aol.com  (512) 663-4155


FAQ and more info about getting to and from the workshop, where to stay, and what to do.

What city should I fly into? 
The workshop will be held in the sister cities of Hurricane/La Verkin, Utah at the brand new La Quinta Inn and Suites, just minutes from Zion Canyon National Park.You may, of course, travel by car to the workshop. By air, the most direct way to reach the workshop is to fly into the St. George Regional Airport in St. George, Utah, rent a car and enjoy the scenic 30 minute ride to the workshop. 

For most people, it’s more affordable to fly into Las Vegas, Nevada, and then enjoy the breathtaking drive to La Verkin, which takes a little over two hours. For the budget-minded, we suggest shopping flights on Allegiant, Alaska, Frontier and Spirit; they are very competitive but their prices often do NOT include checked bags, carry-ons and seat selection fees. Southwest Airlines are slightly more expensive but allows your bags to “fly free”. Make sure you do that math on the low-cost carriers that charge for extras so you know you are comparing apples to apples, as it were. 

We will begin the workshop at 6:30 PM at night on Thursday, November 4, 2021, at the La Quinta Inn and Suites by Wyndham, La Verkin, Utah. If time off is difficult, it may be possible to schedule your trip so that you will only have to take off on Thursday and Friday, since we start Thursday evening and wrap up on Sunday, November 7, at 1:00 pm. Theoretically, you can drive back to St. George or Las Vegas and catch a late flight home on Sunday evening. 

What gets tricky is that Las Vegas is in a time zone that is 2 hours earlier than Texas, which is in Central Time, but Utah is only 1 hour earlier than Texas. This means you will, in effect “lose an hour” from Vegas time as you drive into La Verkin.

If you fly into Las Vegas, you will want to arrive by about 1:30 pm Las Vegas time on November 4, at the very latest, to allow time for getting your luggage, arranging your transportation and accounting for driving time to La Verkin.

On the other hand, this same time change gives you a bit more leeway on the return drive to Las Vegas. You will “gain an hour” as you drive from Zion back to Vegas. You may also choose to fly in a day or two early and spend the night in Vegas or give yourself an extra night or two at the La Quinta to enjoy the canyon before or after the workshop. There’s plenty to see!

How do I get to the workshop from the Airport?  You will want to rent a car and/or carpool with others to the workshop from Vegas or St. George, UT. From Las Vegas, take I-15 north to Highway 9 east to La Verkin. The last 90 minutes or so of the trip is spectacular as you drive through the Virgin River Gorge and up into the Kaibab High Plateau. Feel free to call me and I will endeavor to help you get “hooked-up” with others to carpool.

Where should I stay? You may stay right onsite for the workshop at the new La Quinta Inn and Suites, a TripAdvisor “Certificate of Excellence” award winner, the #1 rated hotel in the city, garnering 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. We have a block of 10 rooms reserved until midnight, October 27, 2021, at a discounted rate of about 100.00/night (each night varies slightly), plus tax, a real bargain for either single or double occupancy.You reservations are cancellable with the hotel at no cost up to 48 hours in advance. In season, nice hotel rooms in the Zion Canyon area can run up to $250.00/night or more.  

Included in the room rate is free parking and a free bright side breakfast daily, offering pancakes, waffles, scrambled eggs, omelets, sausages, cereals, pastries, biscuits and gravy, and more. Those desiring a lighter breakfast can take advantage of fresh fruit and yogurt, served with unlimited coffee and tea. Guest rooms include deluxe pillow-top beds, refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, hair dryers, and irons with ironing boards. Accommodations are completely non-smoking and feature 40″ HD flat-screen TVs featuring a wide range of high-definition channels, and free high speed internet. La Quinta’s coin-operated laundry facilities, business center, and fitness center are open 24 hours a day. You may also relax at the outdoor pool and hot tub. There is also a 24/7 sundry shop in the lobby for your convenience.

Call the La Quinta at (435) 635-3111 directly. Your reservations are cancellable with the hotel at no cost up to 48 hours in advance. DO NOT PRESS ONE FOR RESERVATIONS. 

Click through to voicemail to the FRONT DESK and tell them you are with The Heart of Forgiveness workshop (Unterberger group) to get your discounted rooms. (If you call La Quinta’s national reservations they will have no idea what you are talking about!) There are, of course, pricier and a few slightly less expensive accommodations in the area. You are not required to stay onsite. Outdoorsy types may wish to consider camping at the nearby Zion River Resort, just seven minutes from the La Quinta, with camping and RV sites on the Virgin River with showers, bathrooms, and hot tub and pool on site.  If you choose not to stay at the La Quinta, we highly recommend that you stay in the immediate area, either in La Verkin or its’ sister city, Hurricane, (pronounced “HER-kin.”) Staying in  St. George or Springdale is not suggested as the drive to and from the workshop site may make attendance cumbersome. 

I cannot guarantee available rooms at the La Quinta Inn and Suites at a discounted rate after October 27,  2021. There is the possibility that the rooms blocked for the workshop will fill in advance of the deadline. I urge you to make your room reservations ASAP. We have, on occasion, sold out of discounted rooms when we have offered this workshop in the past.

What is there to do in the area? The sister cities of Hurricane/La Verkin are known as the “Gateway to Zion.” A breathtaking 20 minute drive up from La Verkin via Hwy 9 takes you into quaint town of Springdale and the entrance to Zion Canyon National Park. There is a 35.00 per car fee that is good for one week. Veterans and Gold Star Families are free.You need not be an athlete to enjoy the beauty of the canyon! Hikes range from easy paved stretches along the Virgin River to strenuous climbs only for the experienced and everything in between.

You can also enjoy the canyon and the town of Springdale by free shuttlebus, on horseback, on rental bikes, even take four-wheeling or “canyoneering” expeditions in the area. Although you will need a car to get from La Verkin to Springdale, free natural gas-powered busses run continuously throughout the day in Zion Canyon Park loop, and there’s even a free bus loop in the town of Springdale. 

Springdale is filled with affordable shopping in rock stores, Native American jewelry and crafts, quaint boutiques, art galleries and charming shops. There are no less than nine golf courses within an hour’s drive of Springdale, including the Ted Robinson designed Sunbrook, rated the #1 in the state by Golf Digest.  Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon and Snow Canyon are all less than 3 hours away, if you get bored with the spectacle of Zion.

What’s the best hike? The one you feel comfortable on! There are no bad hikes in Zion.

Where should I eat?
In Hurricane/La Verkin – Locals frequent the Main Street Cafe, known for tasty burgers, generous breakfasts and butternut squash ravioli. You can dine on the patio if the weather’s nice! Fish and Chips in the desert? Yup, try Triple TJs, a nondescript local haunt in a strip center that’s short on atmosphere and long on value. This is the place for big helpings of spare ribs, chicken fried steak and Reuben burgers at affordable prices. The Stage Coach Grille, while a bit pricier, offers a limited menu featuring gourmet seafood and steaks  in a more upscale environment. 

Hurricane also features a number of fast food restaurants offering pizza, burgers, tacos and Chinese food. There’s a good selection of restaurants in the La Verkin area to choose from including River Rock Roasting Company, Lupitas Mexican Food, China Buffet, JB’s Restaurant, Sonny Boy’s BBQ, Alfredo’s A Mexican Food, and Baristas Restaurant; all of which are located less than 4 miles from the hotel.

In Springdale – Springdale, the small town at the entrance to Zion features over a dozen restaurants, many of them inexpensive, most offering vegetarian options and nearly all of them really good! In general, count on under fifteen bucks for breakfast or lunch, and about twenty for dinner. 

For killer coffee and fresh baked goods try Deep Creek Coffee Company or Elements. Try Oscar’s Café for a legendary monster garlic burger or pesto quesadillas or MeMe’s Cafe for fresh sweet and savory crepes and great salads. First rate steaks and some pretty fair Mexican food can be had at The Bit & Spur. Pub grub and local microbrews are featured at the Zion Canyon Brew Pub. For a more upscale meal, try the new King’s Landing Bistro or The Switchback Grille offering gourmet entrees, fresh fish flown in daily, and outstanding desserts. Or enjoy microbrews and fresh seafood at Flannigan’s Inn. 

How’s the weather? November is generally cool, but pleasant with normal highs in the mid 60s  and overnight lows in the 40s. Snow is unheard of this early in the season. Zion averages about an inch of rain each November with precipitation about four days out of the month in the form of fleeting rainstorms. A good idea is to bring layers of clothing. Obviously, as we get nearer to the actual dates you may call the Inn or check weather websites to get a more accurate picture. In general, we discovered early morning and late evening actually in the Canyon to be quite cool, as the steep walls offer a lot of shade. After about 10:00, the sunshine gets into the canyon floor and warms things up a bit.

What should I bring? Bring comfortable, casual clothes to wear during the workshop. We try to set the temperature to please everyone, but each of us has their own individual “thermostat,” so please bring a jacket to the workshop space if you know you chill easily. A journal or notebook and pens will be useful. On the trails, good hiking boots are a real godsend. At the very least, you will want to bring a good pair of walking shoes. Although there are some nicer restaurants in Springdale and Hurricane/La Verkin, none of them have dress codes and are used to hikers coming for meals in t-shirts and shorts while others come “dressed for dinner.”  Bring a bathing suit, in case the weather’s nice and you want to hop in the pool or hot tub. Pack those prescription meds in your carry-ons! Don’t forget your hiking gear: floppy hats, sunglasses, fanny or back packs, sunscreen, moleskin (to cover blisters) bug spray, thick socks, windbreakers, water bottles (we are in the High Desert!)  and one of those cheesy plastic ponchos that folds up nice and small are really nice if you get caught in the rain! If you forget something, don’t worry, Springdale and La Verkin has nearly everything you could need for the great outdoors.