Explore: Experience Zion’s highest heights, hidden canyons, good tidings

The view from Observation Point which can be accessed from the property of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, Mount Carmel, Utah | Photo courtesy of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, St. George News

SOUTHERN UTAH – It is no great secret that time spent in nature is time well spent and one can do no better than a trip into Utah’s famous Zion National Park where visitors can experience the outdoors in all its glory from its protected wildlife to its highest heights and its narrowest canyons.

John Muir, the famous naturalist and preservationist once wrote:

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

Zion is also a great place to experience adventure and maybe cross a few things off your bucket list as well.

Whether it is peace or excitement or a little bit of both, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, which sits on 4,000 pristine acres at the eastern border of the park, has the capability to cater to both the soul searcher and adventure seeker in you.

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Listed as one of the best national park day hikes by Backpacker Magazine, Observation Point ascends over 2,000 feet from the Zion Canyon floor on a strenuous though well maintained trail.

Views from Observation Point in Zion National Park can be accessed from the property of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, Mount Carmel, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, St. George News
Views from Observation Point in Zion National Park can be accessed from the property of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, Mount Carmel, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, St. George News

The four-mile, one way trip offers one of the best views of Zion National Park and sits nearly 1,000 feet above Angels Landing – arguably the park’s more famous hike on the canyon’s west side.

Visitors wanting to take in the extraordinary views of the trails endpoint without the strenuous hike from canyon floor to cliff peak can access the same view from the Zion Ponderosa property.

A 3-mile (one way) walk across the plateau will lead visitors to Observation Point, Zion Ponderosa’s Director of Marketing Mark Wade said, where they can enjoy sweeping views of the park’s canyon and its towering sandstone cliffs.

Access more trails from Zion Ponderosa:

  • Cable Mountain
  • Deer-Trap Mountain
  • Echo Canyon
  • East Rim
  • Orderville Gulch

The resort also offers shuttle service to and from the park, Wade said.

See Zion from the saddle

Horseback riding tours are a popular activity for guests of the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, Mount Carmel, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, St. George News
Horseback riding tours are a popular activity for guests of the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, Mount Carmel, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, St. George News

Horseback rides in and around Zion National Park are steeped in history. According to Zion Ponderosa’s Web page early Mormon settlers hired Native American guides to take them on tours through the park. Today Zion National Park remains one of Utah’s most popular parks for guided rides.

Once home to a pioneer logging camp, the property at Zion Ponderosa is the perfect place for a scenic and exciting horseback ride on an old pioneer trail or horseback riding road and at 6,500 feet of elevation the views are sure to be extraordinary.

Bucket list worthy adventures

Imagine yourself traversing one of Zion’s hidden slot canyons: On either side of you, you see the kaleidoscopic sandstone walls and hear them, if you listen carefully, whisper the stories of how they were carved. You rappel deeper into the canyon’s mysteries simultaneously conquering your fears and putting an emphatic check mark on your bucket list.

“We guide some of the best canyons on the edge of the park,” Wade said.

Guests of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort enjoy a canyoneering experience, Zion National Park, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, St. George News
Guests of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort enjoy a canyoneering experience, Zion National Park, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, St. George News

Canyoneering is a growing adventure sport that could very well have its roots in Zion. The region’s many slot canyons, masterfully created by water and wind, make Zion the perfect place to take this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Take a look at Zion Ponderosa’s other high-adventure offerings.

Rest for the weary

At the end of a long day of adventuring there are few things more satisfying than a good meal, a massage and a dip in a pool.

Zion Ponderosa has onsite dining, spa services and an infinity edge pool to give rest to the weary traveler … until the next day.

About Zion Ponderosa

Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort offers a full-scale adventure experience from all-terrain vehicle and Jeep tours, climbing walls and zip lining to guided canyoneering trips, easy day hikes and swimming in the two-tiered infinity edge pool with slides.

Other amenities include dining, spa services and, coming soon, single-track mountain biking trails as well as bike rentals right on property.

Guest accommodations at the resort range from basic tent and recreational vehicle camping to large and luxurious cabins complete with jacuzzi tubs.

Need more ideas for your Zion getaway? Visit Zion Ponderosa’s blog to see a list of popular hikes and activities.

Resources

Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

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