Archive for the ‘Climbing’ Category

So Much To Do, So Little Time

Monday, October 28th, 2013

At my recent family reunion at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, I knew I would spend time at Zion’s National Park. What I didn’t expect was to spend so much time away from it.

Big E on the Extreme Trampoline

Big E on the Extreme Trampoline

I love the natural beauty of the National Parks, but my feet and my young children can only handle so much hiking.

That’s what was great about Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort; it had a huge variety of activities right on site. Horseback riding, rock climbing, paint ball, miniature golf, UTVs, ATVs, skeet shooting, riding the zipline and extreme trampoline jumping for the kids were all available.

Mini Golf

Mini Golf

The forty two members of our family reunion group were occupied from morning until night for a full day.

My husband’s favorite activity was riding the trails on Zion Ponderosa’s UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle) which has seating for six. We strapped our tots in the back and set off dodging scrub oak and pine boughs to find the most beautiful overlook areas.

UTV with the whole family

UTV with the whole family

It was so fun, we decided to take a guided tour from the recreation barn later the same day. Our guide led the way on his four wheeler to what felt like a secret access point to Zion National Park. There he told us the tragic story of how Jolley Gulch got its name from a settler man who jumped to his death after pushing his wife and kids over the edge. Although the story is quite sad, the views of Jolley Gulch were amazing.

Little g in the Swing

Little g in the Swing

At the end of the day, we relaxed in the pool, happy with the myriad of activities we had tried that day. We were so close to Zion and Bryce National Parks, but I was perfectly content staying where I was.

 

Susan Strayer is an outdoors woman with two kids, a garage full of gear and a house in the mountains. Read more at www.mountainmomandtots.com.

 

Family Reunions are Strong at Zion Ponderosa

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

In the summer of 2011 we hosted several family reunions in Zion. However, we love to host all kinds of groups. Business or religious groups can escape from their busy lives and land here for a retreat; our conference room, catering, and private bonfires make for excellent conventions. Couples of all ages can make an unforgettable retreat here and get cozy in one of our exquisite cabin suites, receive a couple’s massage, and take a horse ride together, while witnessing some of the world’s most beautiful terrain.  However, some of our favorite groups are the family reunions. These reunions consist anywhere from just a few people up to almost 200! With our tenting, RV sites, cabins, and luxurious vacation homes each group can have a different experience.  Click to learn more about our family reunions.

Utah Family Reunion Location

Family reunion enjoy spending time together on our Sunset Jeep Tour

Family reunions that come to Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort always have a blast at our regular amenities; from the two-tiered pool to magnificent hikes, from the ping-pong and pool tables to the volleyball and basketball courts, each family makes their own fun.  However, there’s much more to do! The best days were when one small child was too scared to take the leap and shoot down the zipline and the parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and grandparents shouted words of encouragement from below – with enough support the child always jumped and raced back to go down again. These moments brought the families closer together and made memories that last forever.

Family Reunion at Zion Ponderosa

Family reunions thoroughly enjoy themselves at Zion Ponderosa!

Besides the zipline, family reunion participants enjoyed horseback riding, ATV tours, several types of jeep tours, mini-golfing, canyoneering, and the best – paintball games! All of these excellent recreation activities were perfect for families to spend time together and even battle each other! At the end of each long, exciting day many families piled into our large, white-canvas tent to enjoy a special meal prepared for just their family. Then, each member could mix and mingle while enjoying a savory meal.

We’re located next to Zion National Park and one of our best activities that let family reunions spend more time together and experience something new were our Dutch Oven Dinners + Wagon Rides. After an authentic Western wagon ride, families were met with the barbeque aroma and got to eat next to a beautiful ravine. So many enjoyed the slow-cooked meal they came back for seconds or even thirds. After their bellies were full and a good time was had by everyone, our General Manager, Michael Kane, would tell his thrilling story of seeing a mountain lion and our Customer Service Intern, Clarissa Thatcher, would tell exciting stories about Butch Cassidy. Each person left satisfied and in high spirits.

Dutch Oven Dinner and Family Reunion

Family reunions love to bond at the Dutch Oven Dinner + Wagon Ride!

Many family reunions enjoyed our evening activities, planned by our Event Planning Intern, Megan Bird. With activities ranging from bonfires to barn dances, from night games to stargazing parties, and from rodeos to night hikes, there was always and activity that added a little extra adventure to the family reunion.  Adventure awaited each family reunion and each group made their own memories – we were glad to be there to help make them!

If you’d like to know more call us toll free at (800) 293-5444 or visit our website Zion Ponderosa.

Canyoneering at Zion National Park

Friday, October 16th, 2009
Canyoneering in Zion National Park

Canyoneering in Zion National Park

Canyoneering:

Most people have never heard the term canyoneering.    In fact the dictionary doesn’t even recognize the name.   So what does it mean?   Essentially canyoneering is the art or experience of exploring and traveling through canyons.   The similar term of canyoning is used outside the United States to describe this experience.

Wading through pools of water in slot canyon

Wading through pools of water in slot canyon

Canyoneering participants are most often walking, down-climbing (sometimes with ropes) and negotiating technical obstacles in canyons that often contain flowing water or in some cases, remnant pools of rainwater.    With these pools and/or waterfalls, there is often also the need to swim.

There are few places in the world that offer a more magnificent canyoneering opportunity than Zion National Park.  If fact, look-up canyoneering in Wikipedia and the first photo you’ll see (10-16-09) is one of Mystery Canyon in Zion National Park.

Why is canyoneering in Zion National Park so unique? The answer is that the canyons in Zion are comprised of sandstone that has been stained by oxidizing iron.   The many hues of white, ochre and red sandstone provide a colorful experience not found, in such abundance, anywhere else in the world.   Mix in the pine trees, scrub-oak and cottonwood trees that cling to the rock crevices and line the canyons, the blue-sky far overhead, and you have an remarkable color palette.

Some canyoneering experiences require many rappels (with ropes), and therefore also necessitate that at least one or two people in the group have strong skills with rappelling.   The good news is that Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort offers skilled guides to take you on a canyoneering adventure, so that you won’t need to acquire rappelling knowledge.    There are canyons to explore that require just the ability to scramble over or down obstacles or rocks that are 10 to 20 feet high.   In these cases, a simple strong rope and some basic skills and agility will suffice.

Gazing up at the sot canyon walls that rise vertically to great heights

Gazing up at the sot canyon walls that rise vertically to great heights

Zion National Park offers some of the world’s best slot canyons for canyoneering exploration.   Places such as The Narrows, The Subway, Orderville Canyon, Mystery Canyon, Englestead Canyon and others offer various levels of adventure and challenge.

In Zion National Park it is often best to start at the top of the canyon and hike down.   Zion Ponderosa offers shuttles to pick you up at the end of your canyoneering adventure.   You may also choose to enter the Narrows from the bottom and walk up-river as far as you choose and then turn around and come back down.   With this method you can leave a car outside the park and return via Zion National Park shuttle (during main season).

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Visit our canyoneering page by clicking here to learn more about the special slot canyon adventures that we offer.