Posts Tagged ‘virgin river’

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.

Trip Advisor ranks Zion National Park #1

Friday, July 17th, 2009

A recent survey conducted by Trip Advisor, the world’s most most popular and largest online travel community,  revealed that Zion National Park is considered to be the #1 national park in the united states.   The survey of 3,000 respondents showed Zion (#1) ahead of the Grand Canyon (#2) in the top-ten list.  

Panorama View of one section in Zion National Park

Panorama View of one section in Zion National Park

One traveler made these comments about Zion National Park:  “The stunning red monoliths and canyons of the park invite visitors to explore its beauty by camping, biking, touring by car, hiking, and more. Adventurous travelers can embark on the exciting Angel’s Landing hike and the views make the daring climb well worth it. It’s the best view in the entire park, and best hike I have ever done! Do not miss it!”

From our 4,000 acre ranch that borders Zion National Park you can see portions of the canyons that make up this spectacular destination.   The exciting thing for visitors to Zion Ponderosa is that our location on the east-side of Zion brings you closer for day-trips to Bryce Canyon National Park (75 minutes), the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (25 minutes), the Grand Canyon North Rim (2 hours) and even Lake Powell (110 minutes).  

Views over Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort toward Zion National Park

Views over Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort toward Zion National Park

Read more about the top-ten rankings of national parks in this story -


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