Archive for the ‘Activities’ Category

Family Forward Recap

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Our Family Forward Retreat in May brought a group of expert bloggers to our property.  The weekend was filled with adventure, interesting classes, and even a helicopter ride over Zion National Park. As we’ve followed these participants on social media, we’ve gained better insight into their impressions and experiences here at the Zion Ponderosa. Here are a few their comments (as seen on their blogs).

“I’d recommend the Zion Ponderosa to anyone – it was the perfect weekend of relaxing, nature, adventure, and good times. Sound like this if for you? Who wouldn’t want an awesome and AFFORDABLE family adventure retreat that includes your whole family (Yes! For kids of all ages!)? Then check out Family Forward: Mountain Adventure.”

-Kaylynn, Among the Young

 

“We had a wonderful time being taught all weekend long…, taking tons of pictures and videos, and of course, the epic excursions that we did every day. Mine included going horseback riding, flying in a helicopter, taking a tour in a jeep unimog, and skeet shooting.”

-Valeri, Keeping Up With Us Jones’

 

 ”There are so many awesome adventures you can take but I have to say my favorite was the canyoneering. I can’t describe how amazing it felt to accomplish something I had never done before. The support of our fabulous guides and the rest of the group made it an experience I will never forget. Sometimes the only way you can see the beauty of these areas of the park is to rappel off the edge of a cliff. Hanging from a rope in such a beautiful place is an amazing experience.”

-Leanne, Organize & Decorate Everything

 

Family Forward brought together a group of very different individuals who are all united in their desire to record life, their insights, and their experiences through blogging. They enjoyed the wide range of activities offered here, and we look forward to hosting this group again.

 

Memorial Day Weekend: Kicking Off Summer Events

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend marks the official start to our much anticipated nightly events at Zion Ponderosa. In addition to our wide range of recreational activities offered, a full-time Event Coordinator plans special nightly events for all guests to enjoy. These events range from a weekly rodeo every Saturday to a movie under the stars. A complete schedule can be found here.

This year’s event coordinator, Amanda, is excited about changes in summer events due to new equipment. A new projector will greatly enhance the Monday night movie under the stars. New machines have also been purchased to make cotton candy and ice cream.

A new nightly event was introduced this past Memorial Day weekend called Sunday Ice Cream Sundae night. Guests sat on the lit patio of the Blue Belly Grill and each table was filled with interesting facts about the history of ice cream sundaes. Homemade ice cream was available to purchase for $2 with unlimited toppings. Everyone seemed to enjoy a scoop of homemade ice cream at the close of an 80 degree day in Southern Utah!

This past weekend also marked the first of 14 rodeos this summer. The night began with the National Anthem being sung by a local musician, involved three different competitions, and concluded with audience involvement of barrel racing and pole weaving.

The Start of the Rodeo

The start of the rodeo.

"Santa", the winner of our first rodeo this season

“Santa” won our first rodeo of the season.

 

With over 600 guests each night over Memorial Day Weekend, these activities were well attended. We are looking forward to a very eventful summer!

Who Needs a Map of Zion National Park When You Have This?

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Zion Winter

There are a lot of maps of Zion National Park online, but none give you a complete story on how to properly experience the wonders of this area.

Zion National Park offers a rich history filled by ancient native people, Spanish conquistadors and pioneers.  Steep sandstone cliffs tease photographers and avid rock climbers alike with spectacular view of white and red stone against brilliant blue skies.

At Zion, hikers enjoy a wide range of trails.  These hikes can be as serious as battling upstream Zion’s Virgin River or as simple as a short walk on a paved trail.  Each new turn offers an array of plants and animals that are just one part of this enchanting landscape.

As a guest of Zion Ponderosa Resort, we want you to have the experience of your life! In order to do so, you need to have an understanding of where everything is at. In this post, we will tell you about some of the best attractions at Zion and how you can get to them.

But first, let’s go over a few need-to-know facts about the park.

Things You Should Know

Zion National Park has two entrances – Kolob Canyon and Zion Canyon.  Kolob Canyon is located at the north end of the park; Zion Canyon is located at the south end of the park.

The Zion Canyon entrance is the entrance closest to Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.  The Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is located just on the other side of Zion National Park through the Zion Canyon entrance.  Click here to see a map of our location.

While Zion National Park will allow you to drive through the park via UT-9, public vehicles are not allowed to drive directly to most trailheads.  By regulating transportation, Zion National Park is able to better preserve this beautiful park and protect its amazing wildlife.

Virgin River

To enjoy the park, visitors staying at Zion Ponderosa Resort will need to park at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center (an immediate right turn after entering the park from the Zion Canyon entrance) or just down the road at the Zion Human History Museum (your first left after you enter the park from the Zion Canyon entrance).

To reach the Zion Canyon Visitor Center from Zion Ponderosa Resort you will need to travel from the east gate entrance of the park and continue on UT-9 until you reach the Zion Canyon entrance.  But don’t worry, the drive is short and stunning!

Once you get into Zion, there is no shortage of places to go and sights to see. Below, you can take a look at the Top 10 Most Popular Hikes at Zion National Park, 5 Hikes Off the Beaten Path, Horse Trails, Canyoneering Adventures, and Gear & Guide information.

10 Most Popular Hikes at Zion National Park

 From the East Gate (closest to Zion Ponderosa)

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From the Zion Canyon Visitor Center

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From the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center

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5 Hikes Off the Beaten Path at Zion National Park


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Horse Trails at Zion National Park

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Top Canyoneering Adventures at Zion National Park

Left Fork (The Subway) Top-Down Route

Start at Wildcat Canyon Trailhead for the most difficult canyoneering route or start at Russell Gulch for a slightly technical hike. This route involves several short rappels and several cold swims. It is a 9.5 mile hike that takes between 6 and 10 hours.

The Das Boot Challenge

This half-mile section of the Left Fork (Subway) trail, just upstream from the standard Top-Down Route requires technical canyoneering skills that involve several swims, rappels, down-climbs, and exposure to year-round cold water.  This is not suitable for hikers.

The Hammerhead

This route has six rappels that connect the West Rim trail with the Right Fork.  This climb is a bit wet and very technical.  The Standard route is a 60-foot/20 meter climb.  The Hammerhead route is a 165-foot/50 meter climb.  The Direct route is an 80-foot/25 meter climb.

Guides and Gear

For the adventurous hiker planning to go off the beaten path, gear is essential!  Whether you’re planning to hike The Subway or The Narrows, or you want to rent a rappelling harness and take a canyoneering class, these outdoor companies are at your service.

Zion Adventure Company offers Canyoneering and Climbing Courses, private guides, and rental packages for hiking the Zion Narrows.

Zion Outfitter offers bike rentals, river tubing rentals, and gear for hiking the Narrows at Zion.

Conclusion

As Utah’s first established national park, Zion hosts nearly 3 million climbers, hikers, backpackers, and campers each year.  Visitors to Zion have a wide range of skills from those who come to relax and take in the views to technical canyoneers and climbers.