Our Zion Ponderosa and Zion National Park Vacation!

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I can’t believe how fast the summer has flown by!!  Here in Louisiana we have just three weeks until school starts again.  This summer we spent half our summer vacation time in Utah.  If you haven’t ever been to Utah, I highly recommend a visit!

After a two-day road trip we started our vacation at my family reunion in Zion National Park in southern Utah.  It was one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring places I’ve ever been.  If a Zion National Park vacation isn’t on your bucket-list, it should be.

Zion National Park

In planning our family reunion, my sister and I wanted to find a place that would offer outdoor adventure while also being family friendly–we would have 17 children under age 9–and within driving distance of some of my family.  After hours upon hours of searching and research we settled upon a privately owned vacation home at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.

Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

I’d never been there before, and I was sooo nervous (seriously, I was having major anxiety for the two weeks leading up to our reunion) that the cabin wouldn’t be as great as I had hoped or that the kids would hate the activities we had planned.

Wouldn’t you know it turned out to be one of the most awesome vacations I’ve had with my family?!  My husband, who I think is difficult to please when it comes to doing fun stuff vacations, even commented about how well our trip turned out and how much fun it was!

Zion National Park Narrows Waterfall

Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is conveniently just a few miles outside of the east entrance to Zion National Park.  Anytime we wanted to visit the park we just had a few minute drive.   Within the resort there were lots of fun activities to keep all ages busy having a great time!

Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort activities

The moms (myself included) treated ourselves to a horseback ride (FYI–if your rear isn’t used to riding upon a saddle I suggest selecting a ride shorter than 2 hours.  Ohhh, my poor backside.)  My oldest loved the climbing wall.  And my youngest thought driving the club car was pretty awesome!

We rented a seriously awesome vacation home at the Zion Ponderosa Resort (I have to put a plug in here because it was such a perfect place to stay).  If you ever plan to vacation in or around Zion National Park with a large family or group I highly recommend the one we stayed in.  The home was beautiful, well stocked, with a ton of upgrades–more luxury home than cabin.  Our group of 33 stayed very comfortably together in the 6,000 square foot home.

We scheduled hikes for every other day so everyone would have a chance to chill a bit and recuperate from one hike before embarking on another.  –As a side note, do you know how much chaos effort it is to ready 17 children for a hike in a desert climate? The preparations for that many children were enough to warrant recuperation.

I found, though, that the drive into the park was enough to rejuvenate me and energize me for the hike ahead.

Zion National Park Tunnel

Can you guess where “Cars Land” at Disneyland was modeled after?

 My favorite hike was our hike up the Zion Narrows.  We “hiked” (paved walking path) along the Riverwalk until we reached the entrance to the Narrows, and from there we hiked in 6 inch to 3 foot deep water.  Because we went in mid-June the temperature was perfect, in the high 80’s.  Utah is in a drought this year so the water was low enough and calm enough for my 4 year old to walk most of the way with holding my hand as his only assistance (we only went as far as the waterfall, and there was one part that I carried him because it was too deep for him to walk).  –By the way, if you’re planning on visiting Zion in the summer I highly recommend investing in a pair of Keen sandals.  They are great for hiking and can be worn in the river and on the dry trails.

Zion Narrows bottom up

He was so proud of himself!

I can’t say enough of what a perfect vacation this was!  The natural beauty of Zion National Park.  The fun and activities at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.  The beautiful Zion Ponderosa vacation home.  We can’t wait to visit again!

Zion National Park Entrance


About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.


  1. This sounds absolutely fantastic! And a 6,000 square foot house - for 33 people sounds amazing! It definitely sounds like you made some great memories together with all of your family. Hope your backside is doing better :)
  2. Zion is on my travel bucket list. It's so beautiful and I have friends that love running there. Maybe I need to convince my family that we need a reunion there! Your photos are gorgeous.
  3. Rebecca Parsons says
    Sounds like a beautiful and fun place. I have heard of it but never thought to visit. Might have to consider this for future vacation spot.
  4. Natalie Brown says
    I've always heard how beautiful Utah is and these pictures definitely prove it. What an absolutely lovely vacation! I'm truly glad everyone enjoyed themselves and kudos to all of you for surviving taking care of that many children all together! Thank-you for sharing these gorgeous pictures!
  5. wow. the pictures look amazing. I've never been to Utah but it looks like a great place to put on the list!
  6. This looks like a great place to visit! I'm going to look into this park for our trip across the country. I wonder if they have bike trails..hmm! Thanks for sharing :)