Archive for the ‘Things To Do’ Category

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.

 

So Much To Do, So Little Time

Monday, October 28th, 2013

At my recent family reunion at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, I knew I would spend time at Zion’s National Park. What I didn’t expect was to spend so much time away from it.

Big E on the Extreme Trampoline

Big E on the Extreme Trampoline

I love the natural beauty of the National Parks, but my feet and my young children can only handle so much hiking.

That’s what was great about Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort; it had a huge variety of activities right on site. Horseback riding, rock climbing, paint ball, miniature golf, UTVs, ATVs, skeet shooting, riding the zipline and extreme trampoline jumping for the kids were all available.

Mini Golf

Mini Golf

The forty two members of our family reunion group were occupied from morning until night for a full day.

My husband’s favorite activity was riding the trails on Zion Ponderosa’s UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle) which has seating for six. We strapped our tots in the back and set off dodging scrub oak and pine boughs to find the most beautiful overlook areas.

UTV with the whole family

UTV with the whole family

It was so fun, we decided to take a guided tour from the recreation barn later the same day. Our guide led the way on his four wheeler to what felt like a secret access point to Zion National Park. There he told us the tragic story of how Jolley Gulch got its name from a settler man who jumped to his death after pushing his wife and kids over the edge. Although the story is quite sad, the views of Jolley Gulch were amazing.

Little g in the Swing

Little g in the Swing

At the end of the day, we relaxed in the pool, happy with the myriad of activities we had tried that day. We were so close to Zion and Bryce National Parks, but I was perfectly content staying where I was.

 

Susan Strayer is an outdoors woman with two kids, a garage full of gear and a house in the mountains. Read more at www.mountainmomandtots.com.

 

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)