Your RV Alternative to Zion National Park Camping
Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is like a world of its own, spread out across 4,000+ acres bordering the eastern edge of Zion National Park. They offer a wide range of accommodations of all types, as well as countless activities on-site and in the surrounding area.
Where is Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort located?
The resort sits just minutes outside of the east entrance to Zion National Park. If you are driving in from the west, you will take the scenic Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway all the way through the park and through the Zion Mount Carmel tunnel (a mile-long tunnel built right into the sandstone cliffs) to reach the turnoff for the resort.
RVers will need to keep in mind there are size restrictions for the tunnel (40 feet max length – or 50 feet for those pulling trailers) and large vehicles are required to pay a $15 oversized vehicle fee. During the summer, the tunnel is closed to oversized vehicles, so those with big rigs may need to travel around the park from Hurricane to Kanab, UT, and then north towards the eastern entrance.
Those coming in from the east will find the resort just minutes from the park’s eastern entrance, about 5 miles off Utah State Route 9. Their unique location puts them within a day’s drive of not only Zion National Park, but also Bryce Canyon, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and Las Vegas.
RV camping at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort
Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort offers some of the closest full hookup campsites near Zion National Park. The resort has wide paved roads and spacious back-in sites with plenty of room for multiple slides.
Sites include a picnic table and grill as well as access to their on-site coin laundry facilities, restrooms and showers, and wireless internet.
In addition to RV sites, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort offers a variety of accommodations for all types of travelers. Cabins, Conestoga wagons, glamping tents, tent sites, and vacation home rentals are all available as well.
Cabin rentals near Zion
If you’re not bringing the RV, or you want something a little more comfortable, consider one of their various cabin rentals. Their options include Cowboy Cabin Rentals and larger Cabin Suites that can sleep up to 4-6 people.
The smaller Cowboy Cabins are perfect for solo travelers and couples. While they do not have their own bathroom, they’re just a short walk from the bathhouses. Their larger Cabin Suites come in three different layouts and all come equipped with a full private bathroom. They also feature satellite TV, air conditioning, a front porch, charcoal grill, picnic table, and fire pit.
If you want a more unique experience, consider staying in one of their Conestoga Wagons. The wagons are modeled after the pioneering wagons from the 19th century, but with modern comforts such as electricity, WiFi, and heaters. The wagons sleep about 6 people between the king bed and 2 twin bunk beds.
The East Zion Adventures Experience
With their unique location, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort provides the ideal home base for exploring all that Zion National Park has to offer. However, there is so much to see and do around the resort, you could spend an extra week or two just experiencing all of the activities they have available.
Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort has teamed up with East Zion Adventures to offer several guided activities for all ages. Their Recreation Barn (pictured below) serves as the starting point for all of their memorable adventures.
Zion Jeep tours
Hop on one of their Jeep tours for a true off-road experience. There are several Jeep tours available that will take you to some of the area’s most mesmerizing viewpoints.
The Radio Tower/Mountain Overlooks will take you to “the top of the world” where you can not only get views of Zion but also Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, and all of the surrounding wilderness.
Those more adventurous may want to join the Slot Canyon / Rappelling Jeep tour. This tour takes you deep into the backcountry where you can experience two rappels that extend over 120 feet. Because of the hiking and rappelling involved, this tour takes up to about 4-5 hours and is more of a full day excursion.
Other options include a Checkerboard Overlook tour, where you can view Checkerboard Mesa and other area rock formations, as well as a Brushy Cove tour which leads up switchbacks to scenic viewpoints.
They also offer a Red Canyon tour to overlooks of the East Fork of the Virgin River, and a Sunset Jeep Tour as a perfect way to end the day. These tours all vary in length around 1-2 hours and include snacks and water.
Horseback riding near Zion
East Zion Adventures also offers a true horseback riding experience on the ranch. Their trained horses will take you along private horseback riding trails up to some beautiful viewpoints.
Those not comfortable riding horses may prefer their Wagon Rides instead. These rides are perfect for kids and adults alike and offer a similar Western experience.
There are many other activities that you can experience on-site. These include:
- Mini golf
- A pool
- Tennis and volleyball
- Guided hikes
After a day of exploring, you will surely have worked up an appetite. Stop by the main lodge to visit their on-site Ray’s Restaurant (open March through November). They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with an extensive beer list. Breakfast is complimentary for those staying in the cabins and Conestoga wagons.
You can also find last-minute camping supplies and various souvenirs for sale next door in the main lobby.
For a closer look at their vast property, check out the full aerial video below:
Learn more about Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort
Visit their website to learn more about Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort and all of their offerings. Start planning your trip with the RV LIFE Pro tools to get RV-safe GPS directions and to find other points of interest in the area.