Archive for the ‘Night Sky’ Category

Zion Park in Autumn

Monday, August 26th, 2013

The Fall season is coming and it is perhaps the best time to visit Zion National Park, especially when you can stay on top of the park at Zion Ponderosa.   At 6,500 feet in elevation Zion Ponderosa offers beautiful day-time temperatures and cool nights when the stars gazing will be fantastic. (Check out our special fall rates)

Zion in Autumn

Fall foliage will soon light up the higher elevations of southern Utah.

The changing of colors of the leaves will begin soon, up here on the plateau, and then work their way down in elevation to the canyon floor in late September and early October.   We all know Zion National Park is Utah’s number one national park attraction, partially because of its stunning and dramatic color, but that color get’s taken up another notch in the fall.

Zion National Park in Fall

Leaves scatter across a path in the Zion National Park region.

Photography will be at its best this fall, and Zion is even more spectacular if you are lucky enough to experience a rare rain-storm while visiting the park.   With a good amount of rain, the canyon becomes a waterfall haven for as long as the rain is falling.  After the rain, the colors in the park are even more rich and vibrant.

Visit Zion National Park

Waterfalls stream from canyon walls in Zion National Park

You’re likely to see beautiful weather when you come, but if you see a little rain, take advantage of the grand experience.   No matter when you visit this fall, you’ll find it to be one of the best times of year to visit Zion National Park and Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.

Zion Canyon Colors

Zion Canyon offers dramatic variations in color.

(Learn more about Zion Flora)

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…)

Evening Activities

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Memorial Day weekend was super busy up on the resort. Tents were everywhere, all the cabins and homes were full, and the recreation barn was constantly moving. But the busyness only made the ranch more enjoyable. Throughout the day, happy shouts and screams from children echoed over the grass. There was never a slow moment. We even started our evening activities, which will continue throughout the summer.

Soon to be running several times a week, we gave our outdoor movies a test run this Friday. How to Train Your Dragon was a huge hit. The littlest kids can appreciate the story, but the adventure and character development of Hiccup and his friends entertains adults as well. We even have a popcorn machine that will be set up nearby! I really can’t think of anything more fun for the whole family than an outdoor movie with popcorn and soda pop on a warm summer evening.

Watching the families this Friday reminded me of my own family’s outdoor movie parties. Sitting in the warm evening with the chill of night just barely hinted at, we would gather on the back porch with blankets and select one of our favorites. Our outdoor movies give that opportunity to everyone staying at the resort. Bring your blankets and breathe the summer night in deeply as you sit back for some great entertainment.

Fireside activity at Zion Ponderosa

Guests gather around a fire for stories and poetry. Click image to for larger view.

This weekend also marked the beginning of our weekly rodeos. Not only do we have a great group of wranglers to demonstrate the poles and barrels, experienced riders in the audience can participate. Several times through the evening the announcer introduced guests from Las Vegas, Salt Lake, and elsewhere as our newest riders. Dreams of being a cowboy can come true at our rodeo. And if you have no such aspirations, it’s at least worth coming to see the Dolly Parton Race – which rather defies description and therefore must be experienced.

We even started my favorite evening activity – stargazing. Just after ten, our group left the lodge. We had timed our maiden hike perfectly. The moon was gone, the air was just a touch chilly, and the sky was clear and dark. Up at the water tower, we lay on the ground and looked up at the show above us. Cygnus, Ursa Major, Hercules, Draco, and more were beautifully clear. Our greatest challenge was not seeing too few stars – rather it was seeing too many. Identifying a single image in the sky coated with sparkling gems was a well-loved challenge.

Gazing at that wide expanse gives a new perspective on life. Out here in the desert, it is easy to feel like we have so much space. We are so spread out and involved in the world we live on. That may be true, but seeing the stars from billions of light years away and realizing that some of them are whole galaxies reminds me that we really aren’t that big. We are so lucky to live on this world and be able to look out at worlds without number that lie far beyond our reach. Every once in a while you can see something from that distant elsewhere touch our world as meteors fall through the atmosphere. The night sky truly shows another world.