Archive for the ‘Dining’ Category

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.

Oasis on the Plateau

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Here east of Zion, we don’t usually see the lush greens that fill the canyon below. Zion Ponderosa is much more of a desert, with shrubby bushes and short trees filling most of the space. But this doesn’t deter our gardener. Zac has taken the responsibility of creating an organic garden here on site to provide herbs, vegetables, flowers, and more to our kitchen staff for cooking and decorating. By the end of the summer, it will form a small oasis here in the desert.

Situated just north of our mini ATV track on a little plot of land, the garden is beginning to look beautiful. It is part of a sustainability project designed by one of the resort’s intern, Thiago. Along with the garden, this new project will include a recycling initiative, Green Team, and more ways to lower the resort’s carbon footprint.

Our Oasis

Zac at our Organic Garden

The garden is still in its early stages because of the late winter we had here on the plateau. Surrounded by a log fence, the garden is divided into several sections. In the little plots, a wide range of produce has been planted. An herb spiral supports golden sage, lemon thyme, cilantro, Italian parsley, and more. Many of these herbs are almost ready to be clipped daily for our kitchen. Nearby is a row of carrots and onions – planted together to reduce pests. Carrot flies don’t like onions and vice-versa. In the next plot are six kinds of tomatoes. “My favorite is Mr. Stripey. It’s one of the heirlooms and it’s really called that,” Zac told me. Seven kinds of peppers also grow here now. Although it will be three years until they produce, we even have asparagus in our garden. Further back are beans, corn, sunflowers, and a wide range of gourds, including pumpkins. Zac has filled an old trash bin with soil to grow potatoes in.

After giving me the tour, Zac explained several of his organic methods of gardening. He was happily surprised to find that the soil here is quite good quality already and that has made this venture much easier. To further enrich the garden he uses natural fertilizers. Using kitchen scraps and horse manure from our horses he makes compost. It’s been breaking down quickly and will be ready for use in the garden in about two weeks. Until then, he is using a basic, all-purpose organic fertilizer from a local store. Some of the top-growth plants are also given blood meal to encourage more growth. The garden is watered using what Zac calls “Rabbit Poop Soup,” a mixture of rabbit poop from our petting zoo, molasses, and water.

The entire garden has been designed to use supplies already here on site. Old straw from the barn and wood chips from our wood pile are being used to hold moisture in the ground and protect produce from sitting on the ground – which can result in disease. The trellis for beans, sunflowers, and corn was found behind the recreation barn. Each little plot is lined in discarded wood. It makes for a mismatched, relaxed look that is really quite charming. Even the fence was built using old logs that an employee had at his furniture shop and was planning on discarding.

In addition to all it offers by way of produce, the garden will be a beautiful sight up on the dry plateau. Zac wants to put a bench or two up along the edge of the garden for guests to sit at and enjoy. We even have an entry arch with a sign. Be sure to stop by during your stay! Say hi to Zac and see how our garden is coming along.

New Season – New Faces

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Flora in Zion Park Utah

Spring Floral Arrangement - Zion


Zion Ponderosa
is always open with our Vacation Homes but each March we open the rest of the resort which includes our Cowboy Cabins, Cabin Suites, Western Wagons, Campgrounds, dining facilities and activity services.   It’s a big operation to prepare for the main season, but we get pretty excited about it, especially when we have some new things to announce.

NEWS – Announcing a New Chef: Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort announces the hiring of our new Chef Frances Van der Stappen.  Frances comes with an exquisite resume and accolades from those who have experienced her cuisine.   Frances will oversee the dining operations at Zion Ponderosa which include the Blue Belly Grill and Gus & Rosey’s restaurants.   Other dining services include the Narrows Cafe & Espresso Bar, In-Cabin Chef services, and catering.  Learn more about Frances and the dining services at Zion Ponderosa -  Here.

Spring Packages: We like to provide some fun incentive to visit us in the Spring and Fall, so check out our Adventure Packages page for some special offers.