Archive for the ‘hiking’ Category

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.

Angels Landing Trail – The Thrill!

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Angels Landing is one of the best known unique hiking trails in America. We’ve seen a lot of pictures and video of Angels Landing and the trail that leads to the top of this remarkable sandstone fin, but we’ve never seen a video as good as this one.

This video captures the real views and the dramatic sensations that come from hiking Angels Landing. We invite you to watch this and then plan your next great vacation to Zion National Park and Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.  Read about The Top 10 Things To Do in Zion.

The other best view in the park is Observation Point which is actually quite a bit higher than Angels Landing. Check out some pictures and video of that great hike which is best accomplished from Zion Ponderosa.

Observation Point – Zion National Park

Monday, December 30th, 2013

A while back we posted some photos about Observation Point in Zion National Park.  The easiest way to get to Observation Point is from Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, and this road access is open to the public anytime of year. Here’s a short video clip from that same hike that we did recently to Observation Point.

Remember that there can be some snow in the winter at this elevation, and it may be a good time to snowshoe or cross country ski to Observation Point.  Be aware that snow is not consistent at this elevation, in winter months, and you can expect either zero inches of snow on up to one or two feet, depending on the year.  Either way, this is a great overlook to experience even in winter months from the trail-head at Zion Ponderosa.

The other way to Observation Point in winter is from the bottom of the park, and the trail is not recommend during this time-frame.

Summer or winter, remember the best access to Observation Point is from Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort on the east side of the park.  Read more about it here.