Archive for the ‘National Parks’ Category

Scouts Put Out Fire Near Zion National Park

Friday, November 8th, 2013
Scouts Put Out Fire Near Zion National Park

Conner with his award

Conner Weller, a 15 year-old scout from Oregon, has a received a national scouting award for his efforts in helping to put out an emerging forest fire near Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort this past summer. While camping in the area with his troop Conner noticed the fire that had engulfed a tree and some area around it. He immediately went for help and to find water, and the fire was successfully extinguished.

Michael Kane the general manager of Zion Ponderosa Resort credits Conner with saving the forest on the east side of Zion National Park, and on Zion Ponderosa property, from severe fire damage.

Conner was awarded the National Certificate of Merit, an award that is given for unusual heroism, bravery or skill. View a television news story about Conner here.

Fall Getaway

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Fall Getaway by Susan Strayer

Zion National Park in Autumn

Zion National Park in Autumn


My husband’s brithday is in October and this year we decided to celebrate with a two night stay at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. We’d been there earlier in the summer, but I was excited to see Zion National Park with fall colors. James was excited to ride the trails on the Ranch’s UTV.

Staying in a Comfortable Cabin Suite.

Fall Getaway at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

When we arrived at our cabin suite, I could already feel my muscles relax in anticipation of our vacation. The rustic style of the cabin suites, combined with the kitchenette and separate seating area made me feel right at home. We could’ve stayed in any of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort’s six lodging options, but the cabin suite was the perfect choice.


We started our stay with dinner at the Blue Belly Grill. James had “the tastiest Bleu Bacon Cheesburger he’s ever had” and I had delicious Spicy Vegetarian Pasta. We enjoyed the food so much, we made a point to eat there again the next night.

Dinner at the Blue Belly Grill was delicious.

Dinner at the Blue Belly Grill was delicious.


In the morning we played mini golf before heading out on the trail. The Utility Vehicle we rented could seat six and easily handled the bumps of the numerous off road trails surounding the Ranch. We made our way to Jolley Gulch and Pine Knoll Observation point where we could see Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and way in the distance the north rim of the Grand Canyon. James loved it so much, I’m sure owning a UTV will be in our future.


Riding the trails in a UTV at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

Riding the trails in a UTV at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

We loved the UTV ride, but could’ve also gone horseback riding, ATVing or Rock Climbing thanks to all the activities Zion Ponderosa ranch offers. The weather in October was perfect, unlike the sweltering heat of the summer, the air was warm with a cool breeze.

Zion National Park in Autumn

Zion National Park in Autumn


The rest of our time was spent exploring the area’s National parks. Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is located on the eastern border of Zion National Park, so of course we went there to see the fall colors. In October, the summer crowds have all disappeared so the park was relaxing and beautiful. The next day we decided to drive just over an hour to Bryce Canyon National Park to see the hoo doos there. Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort’s unique location between the two made it a great place to stay, and the beautiful fall weather made it the perfect time to visit.


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.