Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Zion Park Mountain Biking

Monday, November 18th, 2013

While mountain biking is not allowed on the dirt single track trails within Zion National Park, there are numerous world-class mountain biking trails outside of Zion National Park.   Zion Ponderosa has several single track-trails that dissect our 4,000 acres, and dirt roads lead to such places as Jolley Gulch. Outside the park boundaries there are many single-track mountain biking trails that cross challenging terrain and lead to dramatic view points.

Zion Park Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking enthusiasts gaze over the north rim of Gooseberry Mesa

Perhaps the best known place to ride mountain bikes is Gooseberry Mesa, which is rated by many as Utah’s best mountain bike trail system.  Gooseberry Mesa sits to the west of Zion National Park and offers a series of rim trails with hardened dirt surfaces and a great deal of slick rock.

How to get to Gooseberry Mesa from Zion Ponderosa:  Travel through the Park east entrance and pass through Springdale on the west side, and go to Old Bridge road in Rockville.  Cross the bridge and follow the road to the right (west) about one mile and the road will split.  Follow the road uphill to the left (south) and at the top of the hill look for the road labelled Gooseberry Mesa (right).   Go west on the Mesa to the various trail-heads and parking areas.

Gooseberry Mesa

Gazing out from the north rim of Gooseberry Mesa

Gooseberry Mesa trails criss-cross the mesa and also circle the entire rim of the mesa.

Observation Point – Utah’s Best View!

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Many experts claim that Utah’s best scenic view is Observation Point at Zion National Park.  This overlook stands you on the edge of a 2,200 foot precipice and offers a view across a major portion of the main canyon within Zion National Park, and far into the distance beyond the park boundaries.  Zion National Park is 30 miles in length and 15 miles across at its widest point, and Observation Point, at an elevation of 6,521′ is likely the best place to capture the grandeur of this vast expanse.

Observation Point at Zion

A view from Observation Point at Zion National Park

Most visitors to Observation Point at Zion endure a challenging four mile climb and 2,148′ ascent, from the Weeping Rock area in the bottom of the canyon, but there is a better way.

Observation Point Hiking Trail

Walking the forest trail to Observation Point from Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

From Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort’s property there is a park boundary trail-head that follows a more gentle rolling course across the Zion National Park plateau and through the forest to Observation Point.  This 3.5 mile walk (each direction) winds through the forest bending slightly northwest and then back to the southwest toward the overlook.  Approximately two miles into the hike, you’ll encounter views into a side canyon that are quite spectacular, but only serve to whet the appetite for what lies ahead.

Zion National Park Canyon

Viewing the canyon on the west, just before arriving at Observation Point.

In the last half of a mile, the course descends south to the canyon rim and then bends west before turning south again toward Observation Point at Zion.   In the last 200 yards you’ll ride the edge of the rim and encounter views into the back of the main canyon toward the Narrows, but the real view then opens up at Observation Point as you exit the forest of scrub oak, pines, and high desert foliage.

Observation Point at Zion National Park

A view over the rim at Observation Point

Sandstone layers of white, grey, ochre, and various hues of red color the striations that break out before your view.  To the left the canyon sweeps open in horseshoe fashion.  To the south the Virgin River winds through the fins and buttresses that have been eroded over eons.   To your right the main canyon cycles north and toward the narrows section of Zion Park.

Observation Point Viewers

A couple from Canada sits on the rim taking in the views at Observation Point

Plan to spend some time on the rim just soaking in all the views, and unlike others that you may encounter, enjoy the fact that you didn’t have to hike from the valley to Observation Point.

Observation Point - Best View in Utah

A young woman enjoys the solitude of this majestic vista at Observation Point.

The length of this hike from Zion Ponderosa is approximately one hour and fifteen minutes (each direction) for adults moving at a reasonable hiking pace.  Adjust your expected time based on the ability of those in your hiking group.

Zion National Park

A hiker rests on the rim to take photographs at Observation Point.

Groups are limited to sizes of no more than 12 people on trails such as this within Zion National Park.  Bring water, snacks, and appropriate other hiking supplies, and don’t forget your still and  video cameras.  Early morning is a good time to start on this hike so you can enjoy the softer light on the formations when photography is also best.  Learn more about Zion National Park.

Recent Photographs and Publicity

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Recently we hosted a photographer by the name of Hillary Fox at Zion Ponderosa.   She spent some time shooting some excellent photos of our facilities and our setting, and she also provided her perspective of her experience on various social media outlets.

Enjoy some of the photographs below and links to the publicity:

Zion National Park boundaries - Zion Ponderosa

Sunset over our the resort pool, and hot tubs.

Zion Ponderosa

A view across the main meadow and lodge area at sunset.

Looking across the pool toward Zion National Park

Looking across the pool toward Zion National Park

The Blue Belly Grill Restaurant

The Blue Belly Grill Restaurant

Read these posts about Zion Ponderosa at Zion National Park, on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Trip Advisor, and a post on an online travel publication:
Southwest USA Travel – Post
Google Plus – Post
Twitter – Post
Facebook – Post
Yelp – Post
Trip Advisor – Post

Learn more about Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort at Zion National Park.