Archive for the ‘Night Sky’ Category

Summer in Zion

Monday, May 30th, 2011
Zion Park Cactus - Flora

Cactus in the Zion Park area

The rain has finally rolled away and left a freshly cleaned plateau behind. Here, above Zion National Park, the grass is bright green and the Ponderosa Pines brace against the wind that pushed the clouds away. Even that wind, warm and rich with the smell of summer, is now calming to a gentle breeze as it settles in for the hot, dry months ahead.

Summer in Zion reveals a world of beauty and adventure. Driving through the park, I saw blooming cacti and grazing bighorn sheep. Even as the streams dry up, the local wildlife is easily visible. Just yesterday I saw a big wild turkey strutting coolly across the road up near our vacation homes. These moments of connection with nature are a cherished memory anyone can make here at Zion Ponderosa. Even the least adventurous guests will feel closer to nature as they wander the paths of the ranch and soak up the summer.

The ranch is perfectly positioned to get the very best of Zion’s summer. From our high elevation, guests can walk into the park through several backcountry trails. Right now, the path from Jolly’s Gulch down to Canyon Overlook is marked by a stream. At one point, you can look out from the top of a waterfall. Later in the summer, the water dries up and leaves a stunning cliff-top view for hikers into the park.

Views of the Zion National Park region

Views from Zion Ponderosa

Another joy that summer in Zion brings is the clear night sky. This week, on a warm evening, I walked out to our paintball field, less than five minutes from the lodge. Even that near the lodge and cabins, the sky was clear and the stars were bright. Visible with the naked eye were the bears Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, Draco the Dragon, and Cassiopia. I even saw a shooting star.

Everywhere you turn here at Zion Ponderosa there is a new wonder to be found. A new smell on the air or a new view to gaze upon can surprise you even after days of walking the property. Take a moment each day you spend with us to look around you. Breathe deeply and slow down. In this place of beauty, find the sight, smell, or sound that most touches you. That memory can be cherished for years to come. Keep it and hold it.

Welcome to summer in Zion.