Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort – Amazing views, Amazing Resort
Just sitting right outside of the beautiful Zion’s national park in southern Utah you can find a hidden little gem called Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. At least I thought it was a hidden gem but I am actually surprised at how many of my friends have either stayed there before or heard of it once I started talking about it. I had never heard of it before and couldn’t believe such a fun family friendly place existed so close to a place we’ve been several times before.
We decided to take our family there for the weekend. It was John and I and our three kids who are 10, 7 and 6. We packed up and left Friday afternoon at the end of September. The drive down to the ranch was so beautiful and we highly recommend this time of year for going. We arrived right at dinner time and the kids could not wait to see our cabin we were staying in. We went straight there and I popped our dinner into the oven (Having a fully stocked kitchen while in the middle of the mountains is AWESOME!) and we all went exploring. The land around our cabin was so pretty and we had hiking trials everywhere to chose from. The kids loved the cabin and especially the bunk bed room with a giant playroom built off to the side. I seriously think we could have stayed right there in that cabin the whole weekend and been just fine!
After dinner we went to check out the ranch. Oh my goodness it was so cool! They had a front office with a cute gift shop and a restaurant off to the side. There was a playground for the kids to play on and a giant barn with pool tables, ping pong and fuse ball tables and more. The kids thought they were excited about that until we took them over to the pool! Then it was excitement overload! The ranch has such a fun pool with waterslides, hot tubs, and plenty of lounge chairs. It was beautiful and my favorite part was that even though the ranch had a lot of people staying that weekend, it wasn’t crowded at all. There is so much to do and it is so big that we really felt like there was hardly anybody there. Of course we ended up swimming the rest of the night our first night there.
Day two: Kayaking, horseback riding, zip-lining and the amazing Jeep Tour
Day two was really just an adventurous dream day. We had breakfast in the restaurant which was buffet style and was great food. Then we set off and scheduled out our activities. This was another thing I loved about Ponderosa Ranch. You can go and schedule out your activities so you know what time you are going and you don’t have to wait around. This really helped up maximize our day.
We took the kids kayaking in the pond. They loved the fountain spraying up in the center and it was fun to row them as close as possible without getting wet! One time the wind shifted a little and our youngest got sprayed! Luckily she thought it was the greatest thing ever! Then we took the kids horseback riding. This was a guided ride and the guides were great with the kids and horses. There are all kinds of different horseback riding tours you can do. After that we checked out the little petting zoo and the kids held chicks and pet the kittens. We also saw all the roosters who happen to have girl names like Betty! The kids thought that was hilarious!
After that we sent the kiddos down the zipline which they loved and let them try out the rock climbing wall. There is an indoor and outdoor wall with different skill levels. Two out of three kids were able to climb to the very top and ring the bell. The kids loved zip-lining and being able to climb different levels of difficulty when it came to the rock wall. They loved doing this!
We then went back to the cabin and ate lunch and rested up for awhile. I felt like we had already done so much! After taking a break and resting up a bit we headed back over to the ranch and went on an adventurous jeep tour. This was AWESOME!! I highly recommend doing this while you are staying at Ponderosa Ranch. It took about 2 hours and our driver was so kind and such a talented driver. We set out and drove all through the beautiful mountains and saw the most gorgeous lookouts into Zion’s. And it was definitely adventurous! We climbed up hills covered in giant rocks and that jeep just went right over them. I’m not sure if that was the kids favorite part or if it was the bucket of snacks that were on the jeep! It was such a fun, sometimes a little scary (at least for mom), and beautiful ride! This was my favorite thing we did while staying at the ranch.
We finished our day with a yummy dinner at the ranches restaurant and then swimming at the pool. Then the kids went to bed and John and I stayed up and watched a movie. (Yay for not being in a squished hotel room!) It was such a fun day for our family and the kids tried so many new things. I love that they will have these memories for their whole lives.
Our last day there we went on some nature walks that were near our cabin, ate some lunch and headed out. The kids were sad to go and so was I. All I kept thinking about is how much fun it would be to have our whole family there with us and how fun it would be to have a family reunion there. It really would be such a fun place because there is such a huge variety of activities to do, everyone would be happy. I also know there are a lot of youth groups that stay at the ranch. I think that would be such a memory for any youth group to have.
We absolutely loved staying at ZionPonderosa Ranch. It was so much fun for each person in our family and we can’t wait to go back! Below are some of the photos from the rest of our trip!