Posts Tagged ‘zion park wildlife’

Zion National Park Widlife

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Of all the animals that are possible to view in Zion National Park, perhaps the desert bighorn sheep is the most intriguing. Bighorn sheep were reintroduced to Zion National Park in the 1970′s and have adapted well to the environment on the upper eastern sections of the park.

Bighorn sheep are commonly spotted on the rock formations and along the road-side above the Zion National Park mile-long tunnel. Small groups of bighorn sheep feed regularly on the abundant vegetation and are not shy about ascending or descending the steep sandstone rock faces of the larger formations in the park.

Enjoy this short video captured recently of the bighorn sheep enjoying a leisurely day in Zion National Park. Read more about bighorn sheep here.  Follow this link to learn about other wildlife in Zion National Park.

Summer in Zion

Monday, May 30th, 2011
Zion Park Cactus - Flora

Cactus in the Zion Park area

The rain has finally rolled away and left a freshly cleaned plateau behind. Here, above Zion National Park, the grass is bright green and the Ponderosa Pines brace against the wind that pushed the clouds away. Even that wind, warm and rich with the smell of summer, is now calming to a gentle breeze as it settles in for the hot, dry months ahead.

Summer in Zion reveals a world of beauty and adventure. Driving through the park, I saw blooming cacti and grazing bighorn sheep. Even as the streams dry up, the local wildlife is easily visible. Just yesterday I saw a big wild turkey strutting coolly across the road up near our vacation homes. These moments of connection with nature are a cherished memory anyone can make here at Zion Ponderosa. Even the least adventurous guests will feel closer to nature as they wander the paths of the ranch and soak up the summer.

The ranch is perfectly positioned to get the very best of Zion’s summer. From our high elevation, guests can walk into the park through several backcountry trails. Right now, the path from Jolly’s Gulch down to Canyon Overlook is marked by a stream. At one point, you can look out from the top of a waterfall. Later in the summer, the water dries up and leaves a stunning cliff-top view for hikers into the park.

Views of the Zion National Park region

Views from Zion Ponderosa

Another joy that summer in Zion brings is the clear night sky. This week, on a warm evening, I walked out to our paintball field, less than five minutes from the lodge. Even that near the lodge and cabins, the sky was clear and the stars were bright. Visible with the naked eye were the bears Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, Draco the Dragon, and Cassiopia. I even saw a shooting star.

Everywhere you turn here at Zion Ponderosa there is a new wonder to be found. A new smell on the air or a new view to gaze upon can surprise you even after days of walking the property. Take a moment each day you spend with us to look around you. Breathe deeply and slow down. In this place of beauty, find the sight, smell, or sound that most touches you. That memory can be cherished for years to come. Keep it and hold it.

Welcome to summer in Zion.

Zion Park – Springtime

Thursday, April 7th, 2011
zion park waterfall

A small waterfall in Zion National Park

Spring is a magnificent time to experience Zion National Park, and of course there is no better place to stay in the Zion area than Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.

Reasons Why Spring is Great!

1- Waterfalls: The upper areas of  Zion National Park and the mountains to the North of Zion range in elevations from 8,000 to 11,000 feet.   Snow is melting in these upper elevations and much of this water runs toward Zion and finds it’s way into the Virgin River.   The water will be running swiftly in the river so this is not the time for hiking the Zion Narrows, but some of the snow melt may find its way over the edges of cliff faces in the form of waterfalls.  If you happen to be in Zion on a day when we catch some rare rain, then the waterfalls will be all the more impressive.

2- Foliage: Water fills the valleys with plenty of moisture this time of year and the grasses and flowers are in their healthiest stage.   Water also works it way through the sandstone in the park and filters out at strategic points causing hanging gardens of lush foliage.  With a morning dew on the grass and flowers, Zion takes on its greenest hues, and this contrasts spectacularly with the red sandstone and deep blue skies.

3- Wildlife: Birds are starting their nests, wild turkeys are roaming the valley floors, and bighorn sheep, mule deer and other larger animals are moving about in strong numbers.  The world just seems to be more alive in spring and you’ll enjoy seeing the wildlife in Zion.

4- Temperatures: The valley floor of the main canyon in Zion is just 4,000 feet in elevation.  Air temperatures usually run in the 70′s or 80′s at this time of year, and that’s great temps for walking, hiking, taking photographs, and driving with the windows down.

So there’s four good reasons to get to Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, as soon as you can make your reservations!  We have some great special rates going on for weekdays this spring – learn more