Archive for the ‘Bryce Canyon’ Category

All Utah National Parks – OPEN!

Monday, October 14th, 2013
Utah National Parks Open

A view of Zion Canyon and the valley floor from the trail that leads to Angels Landing

By now the word should be becoming more wide-spread that Utah government officials negotiated a deal with the federal government to pay the bill to re-open the national parks.  The agreement is to fund parks and monuments for at least 10 days, and it seems clear that Utah won’t let the parks close again while the federal government wrestles with their financial issues.

Zion National Park Reopened

Formations on the east side of Zion National Park reflected in a natural pond.

For visitors from around the United States, and from all over the world, that had been planning for months and years to visit the region, the word that the parks were open came as very welcome news.  Here at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort we saw a few cancellations but also picked up reservations from people who couldn’t get into the park.

Zion Canyon

Zion Canyon Utah

Zion Ponderosa is a destination ranch resort with six lodging types, a restaurant on-property, and with 20+ activities for guests.  The aforementioned amenities along with the fact that we border Zion National Park with 4, 000+ private acres still makes us an attractive vacation experience, despite the government shut-down of the national parks.  Even with the park closures visitors were able to venture out to experience the myriad other attractions in the region.

Zion Park Utah

A view from the saddle of the Angels Landing trail in Zion National Park

Utah is home Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and a host of national monuments, and visitation to these attractions has never been higher.  The strong numbers of visitors has been due in large part to the excellent marketing work, by public and private tourism operations, to spread the word about Utah’s great scenic attractions.   Approximately 70% of the lands in Utah are under federal control and so when the federal government has a shut-down, a rare occurrence, then it does change the dynamics of visitation to Utah, and this did have a serious economic impact on the state.

Zion Park Open

Looking back toward formations in Zion National Park from the road that leads through the tunnel.

We’re glad to see the parks open again, and invite you to continue to enjoy all the serenity and adventure that is offered at Zion Ponderosa, and to experience the magnificence of Utah’s national parks and monuments.

Read more about Zion National Park.


Flying Monkey Motorcyclists Gather at Ponderosa

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Recently we had the great honor of hosting the Flying Monkey Adventure Riders at Zion Ponderosa.   This group  traveled the scenic roads and back-roads in southern Utah, passing attractions such as Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, the Grand Canyon, and more.

Here’s a photo of the group’s most recent visit to Zion Ponderosa.   Below the photo  you can read a note from one of the group leaders that was addressed to our general manager – Michael Kane.

Motorcylce club enjoys ride at Zion

The Flying Monkey Adventure Riders group poses in front of the lodge at Zion Ponderosa.

“Hello Michael:

I just wanted to say Thank You again for making all of us Flying Monkey Adventure Riders happy this past weekend. I have had nothing but positive feedback in regards to the event and more specifically your facility. Everyone absolutely loves Zion Ponderosa and we can’t wait to get back next year!!!

THANK YOU! ”      - Jesse Kimball

Flying Monkey Adventure Rally

Flying Monkey Adventure Rally

Contrasting Zion Canyon and Bryce Canyon

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Many people coming to stay at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort have the opportunity to enjoy the scenic diversity of this region.   If you’ve spent time on our web-site you know that our ranch sits literally on the border of Zion National Park.   The good news is that Bryce Canyon National Park is just 75 minutes away and makes a perfect half-day or full-day excursion while staying with us.

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon Hoodoos colored by oxidizing minerals in rock

Bryce Canyon is quite different from Zion in that most of Bryce sits between 8,000 and 9,000 feet in elevation, while the most accessible parts of Zion are within the 4,000 to 6,500 feet elevation range.   Anciently this entire region was part of the bottom of a great lake.   Zion represents layers of sediment that were deposited in the lake much earlier than Bryce Canyon.     The layers of sediment that comprise Bryce Canyon National Park are predominantly limestone while Zion is mostly sandstone.

The harder limestone in  Bryce Canyon is eroded by water entering the cracks of the stone and then freezing and breaking.   This creates hard chunks or small boulders that break and fall away.   Zion is eroded in a much smoother fashion by flowing water or by wind.    In both cases it is rare to ever see the erosion effects actually occurring.    Flash floods in Zion National Park offer one time when you can see erosion in full-swing.  This usually occurs when rain comes heavily in one area for several hours and the water gathers on Zion’s upper reaches and flows into narrow slot canyons.   Within a matter of minutes the quickly accumulating water can rise to levels of over 40 feet, insde a slot canyon.  This rare occurring event represents a time when you will not want to be nearby.    At Bryce Canyon you’ll find that melting snow and heavy rains have less of an immediate impact.

Bryce Canyon is actually a series of rock amphitheaters on the eastern edge of a large plateau.   You can drive along the rim and stop at many points along the 20 mile road that traverses the Bryce Canyon plateau area.   You may also walk down inside the amphitheaters among the rock formations called Hoodoos.     Willdlife such as deer, porcupines, coyotes, mountain lions (cougars), and many types of birds inhabit this region.   It is not uncommon to see mule deer on your visit to Bryce Canyon.

How to get to Bryce Canyon:     Leave Zion Ponderosa and go five miles southeast on the Northfork Road.   Turn left at Highway 9 and follow this 14 miles to Mt. Carmel Junction.    Turn left on highway 89 and go north approx. 35 miles to Scenic Highway 12.  Turn right and follow this through Red Canyon and onto the plateau (approx. 10 miles).  Turn left at highway 63 (watch for signs).   Go south two miles to the Bryce Canyon National Park entrance.