Checking into Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort: The Ultimate Full Service & Adventure Filled Accommodations In Zion National Park
No where will you find such a diverse, high concentration of natural wonders like you will at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort
Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort sits on the edge of all the wonders throughout southern Utah, you’re surely not going to be disappointed.
Not only that, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is filled with a wise array of adventures that are right on the property. Which totally takes the ease out of trying to locate, plan for, navigate shuttles, and more. Fortunately, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort takes care of most of it for you!
ZION PONDEROSA RANCH RESORT’S LOCATION
Beautifully enough, this resort is nestled in the eastern part of Zion National Park and nearby an astounding amount of National parks and Monuments..
Here’s what I mean:
Zion National Park (border of park)
Bryce Canyon National Park (75 minutes)
Grand Canyon National Park (120 minutes)
Pipe Spring National Monument (45 minutes)
Cedar Breaks National Monument (55 minutes)
Grand Staircase National Monument (30 minutes)
Lake Powell (105 minutes)
Wowzers, is it ever in the perfect spot to be able to go off and explore the nearby National Parks and then come back and nestle in.
PS: That’s exactly what I ended up doing, and it was amazing to be able to have all the ease and comforts between adventures.
When you stay at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, you won’t be disappointed!
What I mean by that is that the resort alone sits on over 4000 acres, and has a wide assortment of adventures just on their grounds alone! Oh, believe me when I say I’ll get into it a bit more soon, you don’t want to miss these!
Firstly, out of all 7 accommodations styles on Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, I had the honor of getting the opportunity to experience the Cowboy Cabin, and it was so cozy!
I’ve actually not had the experience of staying in a cabin quite like that one before. It had a very raw woodsy style, a tall ceiling, and a beautiful view right outside the front door with a balanced feeling of camping and cozy accommodation.
Below are those 7 accommodations:
Although it is worth mentioning, that the Cowboy cabins, glamping, tent camping, and the wagons don’t have restrooms inside, there is one always within a short walking distance and they are pretty well-kept and warm!
Fortunately, I actually found the bathrooms being separate to be a bit of a plus, when my friend ended up having to go to the bathroom or wanted to shower in the middle of the night she would leave the cabin, keeping it nice and quiet.
Lastly, laundry is also not available in the accommodations, but actually by the pool or in the same area as the showers. Another great one to have outside the cozy cabin, it’s way less noisy!
ARRIVING AT ZION PONDEROSA RANCH RESORT
Thankfully, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is very well-marked, fairly easy to find, and located right outside the city Orderville in Utah.
After passing the large welcoming sign, you’ll drive through a few winding roads right through some lodging and many of the towering pine trees, straight to the check in point.
It was so nice being able to have everything well-marked, mapped out, and easy to navigate. Have you ever just been somewhere you got lost, often? Whelp, this resort isn’t like that! THANK GOODNESS!
So, when arriving, you’ll want to check in and settled in your stuff, so that you can be free to explore more!
Typically, check in is after 4:00pm, with a welcoming smile, wristbands for pool and hot tub (YES THERE’S A POOL AND HOT TUB!!), and be able to point you in the direction.
♻️ Sustainability Tip/Highlight: Thankfully, there is complimentary water in the check-in office that’s filtered, which is great for filling up your water bottles and jugs.
So, that same office will serve as your check-out point and will be around 10am the day that you decide to part ways. Dang, goodbyes are always so hard! Especially with Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, everyone treats you like family!
EAST ZION ADVENTURES
Amazingly enough, East Zion Adventures is a sister company to Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, but located on the grounds of Ponderosa, and it’s where the main hub and meeting point for most of the adventures.
It’s located just behind the main check-in office and surrounded by ATV’s and Jeeps, you can’t miss it!
On the all 4,000 acres, there are an incredible amount of activities to utilize! Check out some here:
- Climbing walls
- Virtual Reality
- Hot tubs
- Small water slides
- Miniature golf
- Trampoline Bungees
- Zip lining
- Jeep Tours
- Guided hiking
- Shotgun range
- Star gazing
- UTV Adventures
- Kayaking & Paddleboarding
The best part of it all is that it’s merely walking distance or a short golf cart ride away, which are rentable too btw! Ha!
Some of the activities that I personally had gotten the opportunity to try were:
So, not only is there a jeep tour, but there are 4-5 different types of jeep tours! WHOA!
Some with views that make you feel on top of the world, and others offer mesmerizing rock formations of all shapes and sizes.
But, the Jeep tour that I had the opportunity of getting to do was the sunset Jeep tour, which was their most relaxed jeep tour that offered a view of Zion’s iconic sunsets.
The sunsets that typically happen in a more high sediment areas/high desert are some of the best in the world, the sun actually reflects off of the sediment, giving the sunset an astonishing glow.
Plus, the weather in Zion is great almost all year round, making the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort activities even more accessible and keeping the sunsets beautiful almost always.
After reaching the very top of one of their mountains in the jeep, the guides bring out the cozy camping chairs and help get everyone ready to watch the miraculous unveiling of the high desert sunsets.
TIP: There can be a lot of dirt, dust, sand flying in the air, so be sure to bring a face cover/buff and sunglasses for protection.
Funny enough, I’ve actually been a bit intimidated by rock climbing for quite some time now, but Canyoneering was so much more fun and the guides had us feeling incredibly safe.
Overall, I think I had asked them nervously a few times if we would need to be climbing or trying to get stuck between any major claustrophobic slot canyons. Thankfully, the answer was no!
Best of all, it was incredibly smooth, directions and encouragement were given regularly, and people were pushing past their fears of heights. It was incredible!
Truly, this was one of the most rewarding, once in a lifetime, major bucket list check off experiences that I would have missed out on if I had let fear take over. It’s like that famous saying “JUST DO IT!”, yeah, that kept screaming in my head! Who knows, maybe it’ll be in yours as well!
Be sure to bring extra layers and a backpack big enough to store them, the beginning of the hike was quite a bit hotter than inside the canyon, as canyon weather is typically about 10 degrees cooler.
Also, to ensure that nothing gets caught in any of the rope or gear, you’ll want to tie hair back as much as possible and remove any rings ahead of time.
Oh, and the drive to the canyons are in an ATV, so I highly recommend bringing the face coverings and eye coverings on this trip too!
Lastly, the meeting point for this amazing venture is behind the Sinclair Gas Station, at 15 E State St, Orderville, UT 84758, located right next to some of the best noms in town! Not to worry, I’ll get to the yummy stuff soon enough!
Be sure to go to the right Sinclair, as there are a few of them, and it can be easy to mix up.
Actually, this adventure was probably the most relaxing of them all, the star gazing was some of the best I had gotten to see in years!
Zion National Park is one of the least light polluted areas nearby, even in comparison to Bryce Canyon.
Surprisingly, after going to multiple National Parks and finding out that Zion actually had some of the darkest and best skies for galaxy photography, we were incredibly happy to have gotten to experience the star gazing at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.
We were fortunate enough to be able to go during the end of May, when the galaxy was most visible.
If you haven’t gotten to see the galaxy, it’s truly astonishing, another major life experience and bucket list check off!
Also, when I mean relaxing, I’m telling you that there were warm cozy beverages, blankets, binoculars, talks about the history of stars/constellations, and more.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the people we have in space get to see 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets?!? Wow!
♻️ Sustainable Tip: Fortunately enough, they actually supply some hot water and your choice of apple cider, hot cocoa, and chamomile tea. I’d highly recommend bringing your own mug, to avoid the styrofoam cups.
Oh, and I almost forgot!! I also had the pleasure of participating in their paintball and virtual reality.
So, believe it or not, this was the first time I had ever been paintballing and dang I’ve got to say, it was an absolute blast. It seemed like everyone out there didn’t want to finish the game.
Truthfully, I think we played a total of 3-4 rounds out in the field, with a variety of game style options.
A memory for the books; Not only was it my first time paintballing, but the very first time I had gotten shot right in the neck, and let me tell you, it was a bit of a sting. But it kicked in my adrenaline, and then it was GAME-ON after that!
Mind you, I’m a small 5’4 girl going up against like 12 other teenagers, but the guides and parents thought it really pumped up the game! Ha!
Their 5 acre course that’s filled with man-made structures and foliage provides just enough of a place to hide, while also keeping you exposed enough for other people to sneak up.
But not to worry, they provide shirts, masks, paint, and the other equipment. So, you’ll be mostly protected.
Just be sure to have a layer between your skin and the paintball, this will give you a bit of a cushion!
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, they have shuttle services to major hiking destinations! So, it really takes the ease off of your stay and ensures that we’re taken care of to the fullest degree.
Not to mention that the parking at the trail heads are incredibly small and fit a very limited amount of cars, so the shuttle services can really come in handy and reduce stress!
Some shuttle services from the property go to:
- Observation Point
- Cable Mountain
- Deer-Trap Mountain
- Echo Canyon
- East Rim Trail
- Orderville Gulch
Also, if there is a hike that you’re wanting to do, but don’t see on this list, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort may be able to arrange a shuttle for you too!
Just be sure to bring a watch and be mindful of the time to make sure you get to the shuttle in time.
Overestimating on time will give you time to relax, take in the views, eat some snacks, and even make the most of your hike without feeling rushes.
EATERIES & DELICIOUSNESS
So, do you remember that check in desk we talked about earlier? Well, if you go past the check-in desk and straight back there is a restaurant with a full buffet style breakfast
PS: The hot self-served breakfast is buffet style, and is included for those staying in Conestoga Wagons, Glamping, Western Wagons, Cowboy Cabins, and Cabin Suites.
Overall, the food is a very traditional comfort food style and something you’d cozy up to at a diner.
Although I must say, that right now there aren’t many foods there that accommodate for dietary restrictions or even allergies, BUT they are making efforts to begin bringing in a more diverse selection of foods to be able to supply those!
So, do you remember me mentioning that Sinclair Gas Station earlier? Whelp, there are two eateries that are located in town, just a short 30 minutes away, or even conveniently located where you’ll be going for the Canyoneering.
- Chili lime sweet potato hash filling – roasted sweet potato, corn, black beans, fresh lime, honey, and chipotle.
The best part is that’s just the filling, and it can be made into a bowl with rice, made into tacos, or even made quesadilla style! YUMMY!
So, I ended up getting the sweet potato hash in a bowl style and just made sure to ask for no cheese, no dairy whatsoever and was given a scrumptious well portioned meal.
TIP: Kiki Dee’s hours fluctuate with the season and with staffing, so be sure to check the hours ahead of time!
♻️ Sustainable Tip: Be sure to bring your own silverware to avoid the plastic ones!
The Shop Coffee Co.
Conveniently enough, The Shop Coffee Co. is located right next door to Kiki Dee’s and the Sinclair Gas Station. Whoop!
- Smoothies – Flavors: Jolly watermelon, violet berry, and super green.
Disclosure: Unfortunately, the smoothie bowls have collagen in them and are premixed, and the toast also has egg whites, so the options were a bit limited for what I could eat. Also, the smoothies do contain syrups/sugar and are not fully fruit based, so just be mindful of sugar intake of course.
However, if you’re a coffee drinker, they do have plant based milks, and I’ve heard raving reviews about the coffee being DELICIOUS!
♻️ Sustainable Tip: They do have plastic straws – be sure to bring your own & their cups are reusable too!
Hopefully, as Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort’s Restaurant progresses into offering more dietary options, hopefully these two eateries will as well!
After talking about accommodations, adventures, eateries, and the awesome service that Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort has to offer, I’m sure you’re ready to book your next vacation here!
So, don’t let me stop you! Book now, and go make some new and unforgettable memories!
I truly hope that you’re able to experience everything I was able to experience and more when staying here!
MY PERSONAL REVIEW OF ZION PONDEROSA RANCH RESORT
After seeing how popular this spot was for Memorial Day, I now know why. It’s because Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort goes above and beyond in their accommodations, activities, and overall care of their guests.
Personally, it even began to feel like I was more than just a guest, I began to feel almost like family. The guides and staffs kept me safe, fed, shared laughs, and even went above and beyond in delivering fun.
As someone who can be rather picky about where I choose to call home for a little while, I would come here over and over again because It was such an honor to be able to call this place home for the few days I had spent here.
Thank you, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, Kiki Dee’s, The Shop Coffee Co. and East Zion Adventures for such an unforgettable time, I truly appreciate you!