Posts Tagged ‘zion canyon’

Zion National Park

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Thinking of visiting Zion National Park.   Let me outline some very compelling reasons why you’re thoughts are leading you in the right direction.

View of Zion National Park main canyon

View of Zion National Park main canyon

1- Center of Scenic Wonders:   Zion National Park is located in an area that offers the greatest concentration of natural scenic wonders in the United States (perhaps the world).  Try to identify an area that has more national parks, along with numerous national monuments, state parks, forests, lakes and rivers, all within a one-day drive.   In fact, within two hours of Zion National Park you’ll find Grand Canyon, Lake Powell (Glen Canyon, Grand Staircase National Monument, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park, and there’s more.

Hiking in Zion National Park

Hiking in Zion National Park

2- Trip Advisor #1 Rated:   Trip Advisor recently rated Zion National Park as the #1 National park destination in the United States, even over the Grand Canyon.   There may be several reasons for this, but Zion is much easier to access and to experience than the Grand Canyon, and frankly the views are more beautiful.   Is the Grand Canyon also great?  You bet, that’s why it is rated #2.

3- World Class Hiking:   There are miles and miles of trails to hike in Zion.  Many of these trails have been paved for the comfort and access of everyone, even handicapped individuals.  There are also many unpaved back-country trails to access.   You have your choice of easy walking trails to strenuous ascents that lead to incredible views.   But even the person who seeks a casual walk to get a great view will enjoy the easy trail to Canyon Overlook, just above the Zion tunnel.   The walk into the Zion Narrows is rated one of the best hiking experiences in the world and Angels Landing trail is just as magnificent.  The adventurous person will enjoy Canyoneering in Zion National Park

Moon Over Zion National Park

Moon Over Zion National Park

4- Weather:  The base of the main canyon in Zion National Park sits at 4,000 feet above sea level, and this elevation makes for cool mornings and evenings in the summer and mild winters.   Zion is spectacular in winter months and the views of formations are even more visible without the leaves on the cottonwood trees along the Virgin River.   It rarely rains in Zion and skies are blue and vivid over 300 days per year.   But if it does happen to rain while you are there, count yourself lucky, because you are likely to see 20 or more waterfalls cascading over the canyon walls.   Zion Ponderosa Ranch resort sits on the eastern border of the park at an elevation of 6,500 feet.   Summer nights are beautiful here and you’ve never seen more stars in the sky than above Zion Ponderosa.

5- Size:  Zion is large enough that you can find a quiet spot for yourself, even in the busy summer months.  Just do a little research or ask our guides about the secret places where few people ever go.   Zion National Park is 30 miles in length and over 15 miles across at its widest point.

Canyoneering at Zion National Park

Friday, October 16th, 2009
Canyoneering in Zion National Park

Canyoneering in Zion National Park

Canyoneering:

Most people have never heard the term canyoneering.    In fact the dictionary doesn’t even recognize the name.   So what does it mean?   Essentially canyoneering is the art or experience of exploring and traveling through canyons.   The similar term of canyoning is used outside the United States to describe this experience.

Wading through pools of water in slot canyon

Wading through pools of water in slot canyon

Canyoneering participants are most often walking, down-climbing (sometimes with ropes) and negotiating technical obstacles in canyons that often contain flowing water or in some cases, remnant pools of rainwater.    With these pools and/or waterfalls, there is often also the need to swim.

There are few places in the world that offer a more magnificent canyoneering opportunity than Zion National Park.  If fact, look-up canyoneering in Wikipedia and the first photo you’ll see (10-16-09) is one of Mystery Canyon in Zion National Park.

Why is canyoneering in Zion National Park so unique? The answer is that the canyons in Zion are comprised of sandstone that has been stained by oxidizing iron.   The many hues of white, ochre and red sandstone provide a colorful experience not found, in such abundance, anywhere else in the world.   Mix in the pine trees, scrub-oak and cottonwood trees that cling to the rock crevices and line the canyons, the blue-sky far overhead, and you have an remarkable color palette.

Some canyoneering experiences require many rappels (with ropes), and therefore also necessitate that at least one or two people in the group have strong skills with rappelling.   The good news is that Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort offers skilled guides to take you on a canyoneering adventure, so that you won’t need to acquire rappelling knowledge.    There are canyons to explore that require just the ability to scramble over or down obstacles or rocks that are 10 to 20 feet high.   In these cases, a simple strong rope and some basic skills and agility will suffice.

Gazing up at the sot canyon walls that rise vertically to great heights

Gazing up at the sot canyon walls that rise vertically to great heights

Zion National Park offers some of the world’s best slot canyons for canyoneering exploration.   Places such as The Narrows, The Subway, Orderville Canyon, Mystery Canyon, Englestead Canyon and others offer various levels of adventure and challenge.

In Zion National Park it is often best to start at the top of the canyon and hike down.   Zion Ponderosa offers shuttles to pick you up at the end of your canyoneering adventure.   You may also choose to enter the Narrows from the bottom and walk up-river as far as you choose and then turn around and come back down.   With this method you can leave a car outside the park and return via Zion National Park shuttle (during main season).

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Visit our canyoneering page by clicking here to learn more about the special slot canyon adventures that we offer.

Zion National Park Lodging

Monday, October 5th, 2009

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Choosing Zion National Park Lodging:

Zion National Park lodging choice over a hotel or motel

Zion National Park lodging choice over a hotel or motel

This post is an explanation of why selecting Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort as your Zion National Park lodging experience is the right decision.   First let’s review the lodging options at Zion Ponderosa.

1- Camping / RV Park. We have many guests who would rather bring their RV or tent and stay with us because of the full package of dining and activities we also provide.

2- Cowboy Cabins. These inexpensive cabins will sleep up to six and are the equivalent of staying in a Zion National Park motel except that the bathrooms and showers are in nearby facilities, but all cabins have a front porch for enjoying our beautiful mornings and evenings.

3- Cabin Suites. These nicer cabins will also sleep 6 and are the equivalent of staying in a Zion National Park hotel, but you have your own place with with full bathrooms, air conditioning and a great view from your own front porch.

View from the porch of a cabin suite near Zion National Park

View from the porch of a cabin suite near Zion National Park

4- Vacation Homes. We have 20 different vacation home rentals (cabin style) which are generally the equivalent of staying in a deluxe Zion National Park hotel suite.   There are many sizes, and varying degrees of amenities.  Just pick the one that suits your needs.   These are great for groups of friends or families who want to be together.   These can be quite economical when spreading the cost over a larger group.

So there a simple overview of why Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is the choice when selecting your place to stay for Zion National Park lodging, hotels, motels and resorts.

What other reasons can we offer for choosing us as your Zion National Park hotel, motel or lodging option?

a- Dining. During the main season we offer excellent fine dining at the Blue Belly Grill.   Our guest rave about this fine dining experience.   It makes their choice for Zion National Park lodging even easier.    Through all the months we are open, we all offer buffet and À la Carte dining at Gus & Rosey’s Buffet.   The quality of this option is also excellent.

Two-tierred swimming pool - gravity edge at Zion Ponderosa

Two-tierred swimming pool - gravity edge at Zion Ponderosa

b- Activities. When you’re choosing your Zion National Park hotel or lodging, you really want to have options for things to do.  Consider, as compelling evidence, our large two-tierred gravity edge swimming pool and a host of other activities such as horseback riding, ATV tours, climbing wall, zip-line, paintball, rifle range, and more.    At Zion Ponderosa we offer more on-property activities than any place in Utah.   We even offer some excellent packages that make these activities quite inexpensive.

c- Proximity. Our location on the border of Zion National Park and just 75 minutes from Bryce Canyon National Park, makes us a convenient place to unpack once and spend many days.   The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument begins just 25 minutes away.  We are situated on the upper side of Zion National Park among the Ponderosa Pines at 6,000 feet and just minutes from the official east gate of Zion National Park.

So this provides just a few clear reasons why choosing Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort as your Zion National Park lodging is the right choice.   We invite you to call and ask questions about availability and the many reasons whey you’ll enjoy staying with us.   800-293-5444