Hiking Zion National Park’s diverse and beautiful trails may be one of the most rewarding experiences of your time in southern Utah—and if you’re staying at Zion Ponderosa, it’s even better. Here are five reasons why!
1. Easier access to a Variety of Hikes
There’s no better place to hike Zion National Park from the top down than Zion Ponderosa. From the valley floor, Zion’s popular Observation Point is an epic 8-mile out and back trek — but Zion Ponderosa guests can skip the steep 2,148-foot strenuous climb from Zion’s canyon floor by hiking to Observation Point right from Zion Ponderosa! You’ll still be hiking several miles, but you won’t have to deal with that steep incline, and you’ll still be rewarded with the same dramatic panoramic views of Zion’s canyons.
2. The Scenery
Photographers rejoice at Observation Point’s stunning, high-elevation views of the canyon below. In fact, Backpacker magazine says that Observation Point “offers some of Zion’s best up-close canyon views and definitely the best birds-eye views in the park.” There’s no denying the picture perfect beauty in every direction here on the eastern edge of Zion. The Cable Mountain trail leads through Zion Ponderosa’s verdant pine forests, ending at a sheer cliff overlook of Zion National Park’s West Rim, White Cliffs, Great White Throne, Angel’s Landing and Observation Point. Hike across Zion Ponderosa to Pine Knoll for a stunning view of Cable Mountain and Zion National Park’s eastern edge.
3. The Weather
Zion Ponderosa sits at 6,500 feet elevation. That means cooler temperatures during the heat of the summer, and that’s a great thing when you’re hiking. Hiking across Zion Ponderosa to Observation Point at 6,500 feet makes a big difference over climbing up from Zion’s valley floor during peak summer heat.
4. The Plants and Animals
There are more than 900 species of plants and 68 different species of mammals in Zion National Park. The diversity of flora and fauna are thanks to Zion’s wide range of elevation and climates, with four different life zones within the park (coniferous forest, woodland, riparian and desert). Some of Zion’s most commonly sighted wildlife are Bighorn sheep, Mexican spotted owls, beaver, lizards, desert tortoise, California condors, bald eagles and wild turkeys. Spring especially is a great time to see wild turkeys and baby deer all around Zion Ponderosa. So even if you only hike to the edge of Zion National Park from Zion Ponderosa, you’ll still see a variety of interesting animals and plants.
5. Lodging and Amenities
At the end of a long day of hiking, it’s great to come back to a place you can call “home.” From western wagons and tents to cabin suites and luxury vacation home rentals, Zion Ponderosa has accommodations to suit your desired experience. Our vacation homes are located in the Zion Ridge area of Zion Ponderosa, and are beautifully appointed and maintained. Finish your day of hiking Zion with a soak in our resort hot tub and gravity-edge pool—while soaking in the views you enjoyed on your hike.