Kid’s Camp

June 7th, 2014

zion-parkid's camp

Since Memorial Day Weekend Kid’s Camp has been back up and running at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. This child care service is offered Monday-Sunday until Labor Day Weekend. Children ages 4-11 are able to participate in kid’s camp while their parents go explore.

While at Kid’s Camp, children participate in a variety of recreational activities led by three full-time Kid’s Camp counselors. Activities include swimming in our pool, childrens’ horse rides, experiencing our climbing wall, ziplining, the bungee trampoline, and at least one educational lesson.

Lessons are prepared by the counselors and include topics such as Native Americans, desert habitats, and geology. They are aimed towards helping the children better understand the environment around them and more fully appreciate their experience in Southern Utah. Amanda, a Kid’s Camp counselor this year, described their lessons as follows: “We want to make sure the kids are getting some sort of an educational component specific to the area where they are staying”. While learning in a fun environment, kids are able to form new friendships and enjoy adventures throughout the day.

Kid's Camp Counselors

Kid’s Camp Counselors

Register your child for Kid’s Camp by visiting our recreation desk no later than 5:45 pm the day prior to attending. Costs are five vouchers for a full day and three vouchers for a half day of camp. For more information, refer to our website.


The Hidden Meaning Behind the Zion Name

June 2nd, 2014

The name Zion is often used to describe a place appointed by the Lord where his followers can live and serve God. Scripture refers to Zion as the “City of Holiness” and a “city of refuge” where the Lord protects his people from the evils in the world.

Zion Panorama

The Naming of Zion Canyon

In the 1850s, Mormon missionaries from Salt Lake City became the first white settlers along the Virgin River in southwest Utah where they grew cotton and other crops. By the late 1850s, these settlers had pushed north into what is now known as Zion Canyon.

Before the missionaries became permanent residents in the canyon, they first needed to know if the terrain would allow them to continue growing their crops. A Mormon missionary named Nephi Johnson set out to explore the canyon and to compile a report on the agricultural possibilities.

Johnson’s report was favorable for permanently moving into the canyon, and in 1861 the first Mormon established his farm on the canyon floor. Within the next year, several other families moved into the surrounding area which is now known as Springdale.

Isaac Behunin

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In 1963, Isaac Behunin built a one-room cabin near the current site of Zion Lodge and began farming tobacco, sugar cane and fruit. It was Behunin who named the canyon Zion, saying, “These great mountains are natural temples of God. We can worship here as well as in the man-made temples at Zion, the biblical heavenly ‘City of God.’”

Brigham Young traveled from Salt Lake City to view the canyon. He agreed that it had immense natural beauty but didn’t think any place on earth should have the name Zion. After Young’s announcement, the settlers began calling the canyon, “Little Zion” or “Not Zion”.

The Transformation from Zion Canyon to Zion National Park

Years later, in 1908, a federal land survey was conducted at the canyon, and a proclamation was issued naming it a new Monument. Then, in 1909, President Taft declared the canyon a National Monument.

Shortly after becoming a National Monument, a National Park Service was created and lodging and roads were added. During this expansion period, a member of the American Civic Association requested to change the name to Zion Canyon, which was approved.

In 1919, the Monument was declared a National Park and the name Zion National Park became its official moniker. Nowadays, it is the busiest of Utah’s five national parks. It is home to dozens of hikes, scenic views and fun activities for all sorts of visitors.

Zion is a word that has a lot of meaning for different people. Is there anything that you know about the word that we didn’t cover here?


Quiz: What Hike Should You do Today?

May 29th, 2014

Zion has hikes for everyone, from families with young children to experienced hikers. It’s no wonder that people from all over the world flock to Zion to take advantage of the hiking opportunities.

So with all of the hikes to choose from, which one is best for you right now? Answer these 10 questions, and we will suggest a hike that matches up with what you’re looking for.