Archive for the ‘Horseback Riding’ 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.

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.

 

Best Recreational Activities

Saturday, June 16th, 2012
Zion Park Canyoneering

Rappelling in a slot canyon near Zion Park

 

No other resort or ranch has more recreational activities than we do here in the region.  We have Zip Line, Horseback Rides, ATV Tours, Jeep Tours, Bungee Trampoline, Climbing Walls, Mini Golf, Children’s Horse Rides, Skeet Shooting, Paintball, and last but not least of all Canyoneering.

Our premier activity is Canyoneering. The term canyoneering was invented in this region due to the large number of slot canyons.  Our trips take you to some secret but nearby slot canyons.

Our ATV Tours are exhilarating ways to experience the east side of Zion National Park. We have a variety of trails with a variety of difficulties. Our guides will only take you on the trails that you feel comfortable on and you will views to places such as Checkerboard Mesa and Jolley’s Gulch on these amazing tours.

If you have little ones, you don’t have to worry about missing out on these great opportunities. We have a Kid’s Camp that allows you to leave your kids with our camp counselors where they will be able to go down the Zip Line, Bungee Trampoline, Climbing Walls, and Children’s Horse Rides all within a very reasonable cost. This way you can take part in the adventures that await you here at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.

Zion ATV Tour

ATV riding at Zion Ponderosa

 

Aside from our guided tours and other activities that you cost money, we have many free-to-use activities like pool tables, ping pong, foosball, horse shoes, and many others. Our two tier swimming pool is one of the crown jewels of the resort. You can easily see the sunset over Zion from the top tier and hot tub. The pool also has two water slides and plenty of space to soak up a tan.

Zion Ponderosa Pool

Swimming Pool and Jacuzzi at Night

As was stated before, no other place in the region has as many recreational activities as we do. Our prices are very reasonable when you compare them to other places as well, so this is the best place to have an adventure and enjoy this beautiful area.  We invite all to come here and share the love of Zion with us.