Archive for the ‘National Parks’ Category

Zion National Park – Top Ten Things To Do!

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

This list of the Top Ten things to do in Zion National Park will give you some ideas for what will be best for you and your traveling companions.

Top Ten Things to Do at Zion National Park

1- Scenic Drive: The drive between the east and west gates of Zion National Park on highway 9 is a great drive, but the drive up into the main canyon at Zion, the so-called scenic drive, is quite spectacular.   Access this drive by going down into the park and turning right after you have passed the tunnel and descended to the canyon floor:

2- Overlook & Zion Tunnel: From the east gate, just before you get to the Zion tunnel you will find two areas where you can park your car.   From here you can climb a short set of stairs and walk to the west toward an overlook of part of the main canyon.  This is the easiest hike in the park that allows you to see from the top-down.

3- Narrows Trail: At the top of the main canyon there is a mile-long paved path that is called the Riverside Walk.  This trail leads deeper into what is called The Narrows section of the park.  At the end of the paved trail you have the option of walking in the river as far up The Narrows as you wish.   Check for details on water levels at the park information center.

4- Zion Narrows: The Zion Narrows is a 16 mile long section of the Virgin River that varies in width but is where steep rock faces form the sides of the river.   This area is quite surreal and is one of the most unique hiking experiences in America.   You can start at the bottom on the Narrows Trail and go up, but some intrepid hikers will start at the top and hike down.  The upper trail-head for this hike is most easily accessible from Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.

10 Things To Do At Zion National Park

Standing under the overhang where water exits the sandstone at Weeping Rock

5- Weeping Rock: During the main season, you can ride the shuttle to various points of interest.  One of the best is Weeping Rock where the water seeps down from the upper plateau, through the sandstone, and exits in a rock alcove.   In the spring or during a rain storm you’ll also see a waterfall here.

6- Emerald Pools: This is one of the most popular hikes in the park and leads from the Virgin River (mid-canyon) to two different pools of water up against the cliff faces.  This is a mildly strenuous ascent that leads to a point where waterfalls may also be visible at certain times of year or after a rain.

Angels Landing

From Angels Landing hikers can see the road for the scenic drive in the valley below.

7- Angels Landing: Perhaps one of the most dramatic and exciting hikes in America.  Visitors ascend mid-canyon along the face of a rock cliff, and then enter a narrow upper canyon before ascending on a back-and-forth section of trail called Walter’s Wiggles.  Beyond this you will traverse a narrow fin with a drop-off on both sides (1,000+ feet) and then ascend the last section of the hike along a spine that leads to the top of Angels Landing.

8- Observation Point: From Zion Ponderosa you can walk across the plateau to Observation Point, or you may begin a much more strenuous four-mile hike from the bottom of the park near Weeping Rock.  This hike takes you to one of the highest views of the main canyon.

Bighorn Sheep Zion

Bighorn Sheep are prevalent in Zion National Park and commonly seen.

9- Wildlife Viewing: Year-round you may be able to view deer, wild turkeys, and large birds such as eagles, condors, hawks, and ravens.  Bighorn sheep also inhabit the park’s upper east side (above the tunnel) and it is quite common to see these large animals near the road.

10- Court of the Patriarchs: One of the more remarkable views is found just after you enter the main canyon (on your right).  Here you’ll find a stopping point with a short walk (100 yards) to a view point for three large formations referred to as the Court of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).

We hope you enjoyed reading about the Top Ten Things to Do at Zion National Park.  Read more about Zion National Park – here!

Zion Ponderosa Spring Opening Coming Soon

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

While our vacation homes are open year-round, our main operations including smaller cabins, dining, recreation, and other services open March 11, and a record number of guests are already scheduled to enjoy time with us this year.

Spring Vacation in Utah

Flowers spread across the grassy areas of the Zion plateau.

With Easter coming in late March guests wanting to stay at Zion Ponderosa, during this weekend, may want to make reservations now, as this is frequently a time that we fill all of our lodging options.   Visitors love the early spring in Zion as the flowers begin to bloom in the canyon, and early grasses and leaves begin to bring green back to the area.  These vibrant colors contrast beautifully with the red rock, and provide a magnificent setting in Zion National Park.   Later in the spring we’ll see the color return to the plateau region around Zion Ponderosa.  Learn more about flora at Zion National Park

 

Zion Vacation

At 6,500 feet in elevation, Zion Ponderosa is approximately 2,500 feet above the Zion National Park main canyon floor, and this elevation change offers different temperatures from the valley floor.  In summer months this is a very good thing as we  offer much cooler temperatures on the plateau.   Summer nights at Zion Ponderosa are spectacular with cool breezes and clear night skies.

The 2013 season is almost here, and we encourage you to get your reservations now for what should be a great year of outdoor adventure and scenic splendor.  (Enjoy special package rates…more…)

Overlooking Zion

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

As those that have visited Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort will know that we are located at the top of Zion National Park.  The beautiful mountains and valleys surrounding the resort are absolutely breathtaking.

The pictures below were taken above the resort overlooking not only Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, but the beautiful sites of Southern Utah and Zion National Park.

Southern Utah Views

Can you spot Checkerboard Mesa and Zion Ponderosa?  Click on the images to see larger views.

Checkerboard Mesa & Zion Views

Interestingly enough this view point is about 100 yards from where the new cell phone tower is located which now provides cell phone use throughout the area for most providers.

Come enjoy this beautiful scenery with us!

Overlook of Zion National Park

View from ZPRR of cell tower mountain