Posts Tagged ‘national park’

Happy Holidays from Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

This past year was the first time I had heard of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, and now it’s one of our family’s favorite places. As 2013 comes to an end, it’s great to look back on all the fun from this last year.

Ragnar Trail Relay – April

The Ragnar Relay hosted by Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort this last April was an event never to be forgotten. And it’s coming back! Zion Ponderosa will be hosting another Ragnar Trail race April 24-26, 2014.

Ragnar Trail Relay

Ragnar Trail Relay is coming soon to Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

 

 

Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks – June

Summer is the busiest time of year at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, and for good reason. The weather is warm, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park are close, and the activities offered on site are above and beyond anything else in the area. It’s a beautiful place to be.

View of Zion National Park main canyon

View of Zion National Park main canyon

 

 

Family Reunion – August

At our family reunion this August, all 52 of us had a blast at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. We hiked and biked in Zion National Park, rode UTVs, horses and climbed the rock wall and got massages. We even watched a Rodeo and danced the night away at a Barn Dance. It was a great vacation and tons of fun.

Hiking with tots at Zion National Park

Hiking with my kids at Zion National Park.

 

 

Couples Getaway – October

My husband and I enjoyed a quiet fall break by spending a weekend at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. The changing colors at Zion National Park were amazing as well as catching the sunset from the porch of our Cabin Suite.

We were lucky the US government shutdown of National Parks ended October 16, 2013 just a few days before we came, but even if we hadn’t been able to see Zion National ParkZion Ponderosa Ranch Resort had plenty of activities to keep us busy.

The sunset from the porch of a Cabin Suite.

The sunset from the porch of a Cabin Suite.

 

Thank you for sharing part of 2013 with us. We hope to see you all again soon. Happy Holidays from Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.

Susan Strayer is an outdoors blogger who lives near Sundance, Utah. Read more at www.mountainmomandtots.com.

Observation Point Trail from Zion Ponderosa

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

View from Observation Point.

Observation Point is one of my favorite hikes in Zion National Park.  Although the park is full of stunning vistas, various levels of hiking trails, and an abundance of water and vegetation, Observation Point remains my favorite.  Why?  Well, accessing it from our property here at Zion Ponderosa makes it easy and the hike is filled with diverse landscaping and spectacular views.

When hiking this trail from the park shuttles, it takes about 4-5 hours roundtrip and it’s best to begin early in the morning to begin your ascent before the sun bakes you.  I chose access from the east boundary of the park, which eliminates hiking up the mountain, but does not compromise the experience in any way.  In fact, about halfway to Observation Point there is a great spot to sit, rest, take photos, and soak in the beauty of the canyon to the right.  I especially like this spot just after dinner because the sun is beginning to set and the colors in the canyon awe me each and every time.  Another benefit to accessing the trail from our property is that it takes about 3-4 hours roundtrip.  When you have limited time on your vacation and want to experience the most you can, saving time on the hike is golden.

View of Zion Canyon and the Virgin River in Utah.

The hike is more like a long walk, which makes it great for all ages and skill levels to enjoy.  On the way back I passed a couple with three young children wearing flip flops, on their way to Observation Point.  The kids were all armed with water bottles, something I highly recommend you take – at least two per person.  Although you walk through a forest and some shady spots, most of the trail is open to the sun.

Don’t forget your camera when you go on this or other hikes because you won’t find this kind of beauty in any photo studio.  If you are interested in portraits with everyone in the group included, our photographer finds these assignments some of her favorites!

Portrait photography at Zion Ponderosa.

Once you arrive here and settle in to one of our vacation homes, cabins, your RV, or tent, visit our Adventure Guides in the Recreation Barn to help plan your activities, whether it be one of our hikes, canyoneering, ATV rides, horseback riding – or whatever you can imagine, our team is here to make your visit to Zion Ponderosa full of unforgettable moments.

Contrasting Zion Canyon and Bryce Canyon

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Many people coming to stay at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort have the opportunity to enjoy the scenic diversity of this region.   If you’ve spent time on our web-site you know that our ranch sits literally on the border of Zion National Park.   The good news is that Bryce Canyon National Park is just 75 minutes away and makes a perfect half-day or full-day excursion while staying with us.

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon Hoodoos colored by oxidizing minerals in rock

Bryce Canyon is quite different from Zion in that most of Bryce sits between 8,000 and 9,000 feet in elevation, while the most accessible parts of Zion are within the 4,000 to 6,500 feet elevation range.   Anciently this entire region was part of the bottom of a great lake.   Zion represents layers of sediment that were deposited in the lake much earlier than Bryce Canyon.     The layers of sediment that comprise Bryce Canyon National Park are predominantly limestone while Zion is mostly sandstone.

The harder limestone in  Bryce Canyon is eroded by water entering the cracks of the stone and then freezing and breaking.   This creates hard chunks or small boulders that break and fall away.   Zion is eroded in a much smoother fashion by flowing water or by wind.    In both cases it is rare to ever see the erosion effects actually occurring.    Flash floods in Zion National Park offer one time when you can see erosion in full-swing.  This usually occurs when rain comes heavily in one area for several hours and the water gathers on Zion’s upper reaches and flows into narrow slot canyons.   Within a matter of minutes the quickly accumulating water can rise to levels of over 40 feet, insde a slot canyon.  This rare occurring event represents a time when you will not want to be nearby.    At Bryce Canyon you’ll find that melting snow and heavy rains have less of an immediate impact.

Bryce Canyon is actually a series of rock amphitheaters on the eastern edge of a large plateau.   You can drive along the rim and stop at many points along the 20 mile road that traverses the Bryce Canyon plateau area.   You may also walk down inside the amphitheaters among the rock formations called Hoodoos.     Willdlife such as deer, porcupines, coyotes, mountain lions (cougars), and many types of birds inhabit this region.   It is not uncommon to see mule deer on your visit to Bryce Canyon.

How to get to Bryce Canyon:     Leave Zion Ponderosa and go five miles southeast on the Northfork Road.   Turn left at Highway 9 and follow this 14 miles to Mt. Carmel Junction.    Turn left on highway 89 and go north approx. 35 miles to Scenic Highway 12.  Turn right and follow this through Red Canyon and onto the plateau (approx. 10 miles).  Turn left at highway 63 (watch for signs).   Go south two miles to the Bryce Canyon National Park entrance.