For a nice relaxing horseback tour, the 1-hour ride will follow the Virgin River for about one mile to the Court of the Patriarchs and return you back to the loading corral. For a more adventurous horseback ride the three-hour trip will take you around the Sand bench Trail, gradually ascending 500 feet giving you a spectacular view of the Southern end of Zion National Park.
Before the big cities were built and National Parks were mapped out, the west was home to wild, untamed beauty. They rode all day and night, moved herds of cattle, and fought to live in this amazing area known as the Wild West.
Though the saloons and gunslingers are things of the past, you can put yourself right back into old times with the rustic adventure of horseback riding in Zion National Park. Let your horse do the hard work while you enjoy the view and explore like a true pioneer.
When all guidelines and rules are followed, horseback riding can be a safe and exciting adventure for the whole family. These shorter trips are more focused on moving at a slow but steady pace and seeing as much of your surroundings as possible.
Short trips won’t give you a lot of time to practice your horse riding skills, but they are a great option if you are just looking for something quick and fun to do. These are wonderful trips and are just enough time feel like you’ve gotten the full horse riding experience without getting worn out.
Once your guide feels that you can stay safe as you ride throughout their designated area you may be free to roam as the settlers did. The path along the Virgin River and Sand Beach Trail are two incredible options for riding.
This route gives you great opportunities to see all the best rock formations and scenic views. If staying on flat land isn’t exciting enough for you, there are options that take you to new heights.
This ride will require you and your horse to slowly ascend a slight incline to raise more than 500 feet above the flats. Horses can easily traverse this rocky area and bring you to an elevation that offers incredible views.
Seeing the perfect landscape of Zion while sitting atop a horse is a humbling and magnificent experience. Generally, yoga pants or sweatpants are not acceptable clothing for horseback rides.
While you don’t need a real pair of cowboy boots to saddle up, you certainly won’t want to be wearing sandals. Unlike other activities, there are certain times of the year that you can take horseback rides in Zion.
Horseback riding in spring provides a great opportunity to view the gorgeous flora and fauna of Zion National Park. Summer horseback rides in Zion may be too hot for some guests to handle.
If you are up for the challenge or you enjoy the warmer weather, this is a great time to experience all Zion has to offer. The warmth and light of the sun provide a different perspective of the geological formations you pass along the way.
It’s also a great time to take a horseback ride that leads through a refreshing waterway. No matter what time of year you choose to take horseback rides in Zion National Park, you will be exploring nature in an exciting and unique way.
If you are interested in getting a close-up view of the scenic Zion landscape, a horseback ride is a terrific way to do it. Horseback rides in Zion National Park are perfect for everyone, so git along, little doggies and go on an adventure unlike any other.
Radio tower and mountain overlook tour From this incredible vantage point, you will be to enjoy the beauty and grandeur of not only Zion, but all the surrounding national parks and wilderness areas. Watching the sun come up over the mountain landscape was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in my life.
Hop into one of their rugged Jeeps and enjoy the scenic ride while your guide drives you to one of our most spectacular slot canyons. And the jeep tours are just the BEGINNING of the adventure possibilities at Zion Ponderosa.
Many of the old pioneer trails and horseback riding roads remain and provide guests of the ranch a range of horseback rides through rugged, Rocky Mountain high country. The walls rise over 40 feet high and provide a unique experience for guests of all ages and abilities.
While you are adventuring, your little ones will be learning about Zion at a level that makes sense to them through crafts, activities, and a customizable curriculum. This miniature golf course is artfully designed to contour with the terrain and offers several water features.
Everyone can enjoy a game of miniature golf, from the youngest to the oldest and all ages in-between. Zion Ponderosa offers a 5-acre outdoor course that has plenty of natural foliage, as well as man-made obstacles to sneak up on your opponents.
One looks over a small ravine where you can either shoot thrown clay pigeons or cans that have been tied to a tree across the valley or for a stationary target that is closer, there’s a shooting area with targets against a hillside. It’s an opportunity with fun and thrills for the outdoor hunting enthusiast or even someone who has never picked up a gun.
Soaring Southern Utah, a virtual reality experience that highlights Utah’s geological phenomena, and Montezuma’s Treasure Ride, an animated thrill ride that was inspired by the infamous legend of the lost Aztec treasure. Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort sits at 6,500 feet in elevation on a forested plateau above Zion National Park, far away from the light pollution of towns and cities, enabling their guests to have brilliant views of the distant planets, stars, and the Milky Way.
Cabin Suites Zion Ponderosa log-cabin suites are equipped with a private bedroom, full bathroom, wet bar, front room, air conditioning, satellite television, and a front porch. They do have an excellent shower, bath, and laundry facility adjacent to the cabins.
You can do the most amazing clamping experience of your life by staying in a COVERED WAGON. Combine the experience of camping with a little glamour and you’ve got clamping in a Conestoga Wagon.
Why sleeping on the cold, hard ground in a tent when you can camp in style? With a campfire outside, an amazing restaurant nearby with the best hot cocoa I’ve literally had in my entire life, this was by far my FAVORITE.
Want a detailed itinerary of an 8-day trip to see Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks? Go to Travel Gal team member John C. saw The Mighty 5 in less than five days over the holidays.
Tip: If time permits while you’re in Las Vegas, drive over and check out Hoover Dam. The next the nearest airport accessible by Southwest would be Salt Lake City at four-and-a-half hours away.
When you drive into Zion National Park, you’ll be struck by its majesty. Soaring rocks and mesas with unusual patterns and varying shades of red make you feel as though you’ve arrived at another planet.
Soon after driving into Zion, Lynn and her family came upon big-horned sheep battling in the road. If you don’t get a spot, or arrive well after this time, head to nearby Springdale, where you can catch a Zion Shuttle Bus (more information below).
For milder temps, try the shoulder seasons, which include April, May, September or October. Lynn’s family visited in April and found cool mornings but afternoons that warmed up quickly into the low 80s.
Free shuttles leave frequently from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. The second loop runs from the visitor center to the Temple of Sinatra with nine stops total and is an 80- to 90-minute round trip ride.
Make sure you know the time of departure of the last shuttle of the day, and don’t miss it! Their accommodations include hotel or suite rooms in the lodge, as well as 28 cabins within walking distance.
Springdale, Utah Because parking is limited and lots are usually full by midday, the National Park Services suggest Springdale, Utah as a convenient place to stay. Fans of Westerns will love Kana, where more than 100 movies and TV shows have been filmed.
You’ll also find Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kana, which offers free tours and opportunities to volunteer. Kana is also conveniently located close to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, which you should definitely check out when in the area.
Please note this is an affiliate link for which the blog may earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking through. Lynn’s family stayed at this Holiday Inn Express, and since it was so cheap, upgraded to a suite with two bedrooms.
Also close to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park and east of Zion is Mt. You’ll find plenty of outfitters here, even more slot canyons to hike, as well as Maynard Dixon Gallery, highlighting this famous artist’s work.
If you do this trail to completion, you go along a portion with steep drop-offs on either side with only chains to hang on to. It’s the most often talked about hike in Zion, and if you make it to the summit, you’ll be rewarded with outstanding views.
Watching a video of the Angels Landing hike will help you make a prudent decision. Lynn’s family did the Hidden Canyons hike below, which has drop-offs only on one side, again with chains to hang on to.
She saw many people of all ages, pregnant and even with kids on their shoulders navigating this hike, and her family lived to tell the tale. While often closed during the spring due to the height of the water, those who get to hike the Narrows will wade through the knee-deep Virgin River with 2,000-foot high rock walls to either side of you.
This is a 2.5-mile hike that takes about three hours and has a mix of the best of Zion from a steep incline to start to the sheer drop-offs as you navigate along rock cliffs to a super fun portion at the top where there’s lots of rocks to climb through, over and under (Lynn’s kids’ favorite part! Lynn is, but she managed the hike, though she says she was fearful the whole time that her younger, less-cautious son would fall off.
Zion is home to abundant wildlife, and Lynn and her family were welcomed into the park shortly after driving in with desert bighorn sheep butting heads in the road. Other animals include mule deer, lizards, the desert tortoise and lots of birds.
Zion offers horseback riding tours starting at the corral near the Emerald Pools Trailhead. Came’s husband has a star-gazing app on his phone, which they like to use when visiting National Parks.
Once your eyes adjust, star formations will soon appear overhead and you’ll be able to identify, wherever you are in the world (even Australia), what you are seeing just by pointing your phone at them. Here are some options for dining in Zion National Park and in the surrounding towns.
Lynn at Zion National Park with her favorite hiking (and all-purpose) backpack You’ll need to pack sunscreen, a hat and some sunglasses to ward off those damaging rays.
When Lynn visited, they started off wearing jackets (shown above) and were sweating to death by the afternoon when it reached the low 80s. If you decide to participate in evening ranger talks, bring along a flashlight or headlamp.