- The Zion Ponderosa Ranch and Resort is located in Mount Carmel, Utah.
- Five miles from Zion National Park
- Breakfasts, lunches and dinners served in Western style kitchen
- Basketball, tennis and sand volleyball courts
- Recreation barn, including climbing wall, pool table and ping pong
- Spa services available
- Outdoor pool and spa tub
- Cable television and DVD players in Overlook rooms
- Full kitchens and outdoor picnic areas with Moose Lodge rooms
- High speed Internet access in select rooms
Customized Lodging & Activities Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort packs a lot of family fun in its remote setting near the east entrance of Zion National Park. A stay at this resort can be tailored to fit any family’s interests, level of adventure, and budget. Accommodations vary from luxury vacation homes and cabin suites to rustic cowboy cabins, western wagons, and camping sites. Furthermore, this resort offers a variety of family friendly activities that range from adventurous pursuits to relaxing endeavors. ACCOMMODATIONS My family of five enjoyed a 2 night stay in one of the resort’s cabin suites. The kids loved the idea of having our own little cabin tucked in this remote western landscape, a place to experience our own cowboy adventure. Our cozy cabin suite was built with high beam construction and offered a small living area with sleeper sofa, separate bedroom, kitchenette and private bathroom. The cabin’s kitchenette was small with a mini refrigerator, microwave, sink and coffee maker. The cabin had a nice outdoor barbeque grill, picnic table, and porch ideal for a fun family cook-out. Note that the cabin was not stocked with any dishes, utensils, or charcoal. Therefore, be prepared if you do plan on preparing your own meals. The cabin suite was a bit snug for my family of five with 3 kids piled together into the sleeper sofa at night. Therefore, if you do have a large family you may want to consider reserving one of the resort’s larger vacation homes. ACTIVITIES Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort has plenty of activities to keep any family busy. These activities are broken out between “open use activities”, which are available without an additional charge, and several fee-based activities. Open use activities include: • Outdoor swimming pool and hot tub • Tennis and basketball • Pool tables, ping pong, and foosball • Playground • Horseshoes, volleyball, and other outdoor games • Free WI-FI and cable television Guests can purchase vouchers for fee-based activities which include: • Zip line rides • Horseback rides • ATV riding • Miniature golf • Kids camp • Jeep tours • Climbing wall • Bungee trampoline • Canyoneering • Paintball • Skeet shooting ACTIVITIES WE LOVED: First and foremost, the zip line was a big hit with my kids. My 7 and 11 year old were a bit nervous climbing the stairs to the top of the barn outfitted in their helmets and zip line harnesses. But once they saw their Mom conquer the zip line, they soon followed and they felt pretty proud of their accomplishment. Miniature golf was my 3 year olds favorite activity. She discovered that the course had some secret “tunnels” where the golf balls could travel closer to the holes. She begged us to play each morning and evening. Miniature golf at the resort is a great value since guests are only required to pay once, yet allowed to play as many times as they want during the duration of their stay. My youngest two kids enjoyed a short horse ride around the horse corrals. My 3 year old was allowed to ride upon the saddle with the ranch hand, and my 7 year old was allowed to ride a horse tied with a lead rope behind the ranch hand. Longer trail rides are offered for adults and kids over the age of 8. Our visit was in early April so it was too cold to swim in the outdoor unheated pool. However, we did check it out and found that the pool was perfectly family friendly complete with “rock” slides, shallow depths, and plenty of lounging space. Overall, I loved that we could tailor our activity schedule based on our own whims and desires. All we had to do was approach one of the resort’s friendly ranch hands and request an activity. The ranch hand took care of all the arrangements and pointed us in the right direction. DINING OPTIONS The resort sits in an isolated location, miles from a grocery store or restaurants. However, there is an onsite restaurant which serves breakfast, dinner, and offers picnic lunches. Prices at the restaurant appeared to be reasonable. If you do choose to prepare your own food, be sure to grocery shop before you arrive since the nearest grocery store is miles away. Also be aware that the mini refrigerators in the cabin suites are quite small, too small to hold a gallon of milk. You may want to consider packing a cooler for larger food items. Ice is available for purchase at the resort. WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO • Check out the resort’s website for lodging and activity packages. Activity vouchers are less expensive when purchased with lodging and when purchased in bulk. • If you plan on visiting Zion National Park, the resort lies 7 miles from the park’s remote east entrance and 30 miles (a beautiful one hour drive) from the park’s visitor center and most of the popular hiking trails. • The resort sits at higher elevation and is much cooler than the western portion of Zion National Park. Be prepared for the cooler temperatures, especially in the off-season. • Kid’s camps are available in the summer months for ages 4 to 11. • Laundry facilities are available at the resort so be sure to pack laundry soap and plenty of quarters. You’ll be amazed how quickly dirty clothes pile up with all the outdoor family fun available. BOTTOM LINE Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is a good place to customize your own family vacation. The resort gets 5 stars for plenty of onsite family fun activities, and the resort also gets 5 stars for all of the lodging options available. Decisions, decisions…customize your own family friendly vacation at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort! Disclosure: Although I received complimentary lodging and activities, my reviews are always my own opinions and are not influenced by resort staff or its affiliates.