horseback rides at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort are conducted by East
Zion Adventures. Our horses are chosen and trained to match the wide
variety of guests that visit the resort. It is important to let your
wrangler know about your past riding experience so he can team you
up with the best horse possible. Many of the rides on the ranch are
steep and demanding so it is important for our horses to be young
enough to make the climb, as well as obedient for safety.
This ride is mainly flat and takes approximately one hour. Riders
traverse the plateau which overlooks Checkerboard Mesa in the Park.
Many species of natural trees and shrubs line the trail. Riders see
Checkerboard Mesa from a number of different views. Photo taking is
encouraged. This is an easy ride for beginners and a good warm-up
for old timers.
Jolley Gulch is a cool, tree lined ravine that is home to large ponderosa
pine trees and an old homesteader's cabin that dates back to the beginning
of the 1900's. Jolley Gulch ends at the Cave Canyon dryfall, a spectacular
300 foot cliff in the Park that is home to a small stream following
thunderstorms. Riders can cross through the Gulch to the Park fence
where they tie up their horses. Guests can then walk the additional
50 yards on foot to the stunning dryfall. This ride is excellent for
beginners or more experienced riders and lasts approximately 1.5 hours.
Pine Knoll is the highest point in the Southern section of the ranch
and boasts an 360 degree, panoramic view of the East Zion area. The
trail up the face of Pine Knoll traverses narrow spine fractured limestone
and red sand. The horse knows the way, so sometimes its best to close
your eyes and hold on! Plenty of time is taken at the top of the Knoll
for some great photo ops! The deep canyons of the Zion Narrows can
be viewed to the west, with Checkerboard Mesa to the south and the
10,000 foot peaks of the Dixie National Forrest to the North. This
trail ride is not for beginners but can be enjoyed by anyone who has
a few rides under their belt.
For guests that want to experience a taste of the real Wild West,
Zion Ponderosa can arrange an full-day ride with an overnight camp-out.
The ride begins in the morning with an ascent over Pine Knoll. Riders
then explore the remote sections of the Ranch, including the remnants
of an old sawmill and a deep canyon called Englestead Hollow. The
afternoon is spent riding through thick trees and shrubs en route
to the camp located in a quiet campground in the far northern section
of the Ranch. The evening will be spent playing games, eating a real
Dutch oven dinner, singing campfire songs, and listening to cowboy
poetry. Guests will sleep in tents under a beautiful, star-filled
sky. After a chuck wagon breakfast, shuttle vans will transport guests
back to the resort where the hot tub awaits! This ride is offered
only during the summer months and must be scheduled in advance.
Kids under eight years old are too young for the horses but they will
love our pony rides. Ideally suite for the beginners, our pony rides
are led by wranglers and are very safe.