Posts Tagged ‘utah’

Trails, Trails, Trails

Friday, December 13th, 2013

As an early Christmas present, my husband bought our very own Utility Vehicle, a Polaris RZR 4 1000, thanks to our recent stay at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.  Now, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort didn’t buy us a UTV (although we would’ve appreciated it) but it was there that James first fell in love.

My husband's early Christmas gift.

My husband’s early Christmas gift.

On a vacation in August we rented a UTV to explore some of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort’s amazing trails. We liked it so much we came back in the fall to ride some more. 

 

A UTV differs from an ATV in several technical ways, but the one that is most important to me is the number of people who can ride. A typical ATV or 4 wheeler can only hold one or two people, but in a UTV up to six people can ride safely. It was big enough we brought our kids in the back. They didn’t love it as much as their daddy, asking to play on our phones and go back to the mini golf course, but I’m sure with time they will enjoy it more.

UTV with the whole family

UTV with the whole family.

The Recreation Barn offers guided ATV and UTV tours in addition to hourly or daily rentals. If an all terrain vehicle isn’t your transportation of choice, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort also offers Jeep and Wagon Tours.

 

The resort has an extensive system of trails with access to vistas of Checkerboard Mesa, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Jolley Gulch. With over 200 miles of ATV and UTV trails, there’s sure to be something interesting to see.

View of Jolley Gulch in Zion National Park arrived at after an hour UTV ride and a fifteen minute walk.

View of Jolley Gulch in Zion National Park arrived at after an hour UTV ride and a fifteen minute walk.

 

If you’re interested in access to a new side of Zion National Park, try it from the seat of an ATV or UTV. Off road vehicles are not allowed in park boundaries, but the views from the surrounding areas are amazing.

 

Read more of Susan Strayer’s mountain mom adventures at www.mountainmomandtots.com.

Changing Seasons at Juniper Spa

Friday, October 1st, 2010

The winds of autumn brought a new massage therapist to our Juniper Spa – Darren Christensen.  Actually, Darren is a returning staff member of Zion Ponderosa Ranch and knows the resort, activities, and people well.  He’s happy to be back here and the area with the fresh air, beauty, and the magic of the mountains.

During his first tour at Zion Ponderosa, Darren experienced a minor injury of a pulled muscle.  This led him to the Juniper Spa where the massage therapist worked on his injury.  To his surprise, the work helped him sleep that night and he woke up the next morning without pain.  This was where the idea to follow this path began.  As he pursued this new career, he found that Jeremy, the massage therapist here at Zion Ponderosa became a mentor and helped him through school when he was a student at Utah College of Massage Therapy.

Following his graduation in October of 2007, Darren flew to Hawaii to begin his career in style.  On Maui he worked for both The Whaler Maui Resort and the Napili Kai Beach Resort.  In 2008 Darren returned to Utah where he began working with a few chiropractic offices in the Salt Lake City area.  Through this work he found a passion and desire to serve others through massage that offers relief of pain and aids in healing.

After our peak season came to an end and our Juniper Spa massage therapist moved on, our manager contacted Darren and invited him to return to Zion Ponderosa.  He accepted and arrived here just over a week ago.  With a servant’s heart, Darren dove into work the day after he arrived.

To complement our fall lodging specials, during the month of October Darren is offering the Warm Desert Stone Massage for $99 and a special couple’s massage combination.

Fall into Juniper Spa this autumn!

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.