At Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, you’ll experience a caring staff, adventurous recreation, and fine accommodations. Each year, the resort hosts a Women’s Adventure Tour in the spring and fall. Whether you are daring, a bit cautious, or somewhere in between, this women’s retreat has something for all ages and abilities. Meet new friends, get fit and push your boundaries. You will be glad you did!
Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is a premiere destination for both outdoor adventure. The Women’s Adventure Retreat focuses on enhancing the physical, mental and emotional strength of the participants. Guests enjoy clean air, scenic beauty, delicious healthy dining and much more.
Why Consider a Women’s Adventure Retreat?
A women’s retreat is a unique experience. Our group included women from ages 20s-60s. The youngest member had never even been on a plane before. There was a mother-daughter duo, a group of three friends, but everyone else was solo. With a variety of ages and abilities, we challenged one another to step out of our comfort zones and supported one another through each activity. A strong camaraderie developed from our first meal and lasted throughout the week.
The Zion Ponderosa Ranch is a 4,000 acre resort located along the eastern boundary of Zion National Park. This park boasts some of the most impressive scenery in the country.
Our group of 10 was split between two luxury vacation homes. Rooms are very well appointed with queen to king size beds, private baths and views of the surrounding area. Homes include full kitchens, laundry facilities, and comfortable common areas with cozy couches and a central fireplace. Cable TV and Wifi is also included.
TravelingMom Tip: For an extra fee, you can book the deluxe suites, which include fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. These rooms were AMAZING! I am totally booking one next time.
As the Fitness TravelingMom, I am always looking for vacation destinations that include a variety of options for keeping active. The breadth of activities provided by the folks at Zion Ponderosa Ranch is like nothing I have ever experienced. Schedules are sometimes adjusted due to weather, but be prepared for anything. We had snow, rain, sleet, fog, and sun.
While our organizer challenged us to try new things, she also respected anyone who wanted to sit out an activity for any reason. We were able to choose from the following:
Within Zion National Park, we hiked The Narrows together. Then we split into two groups. The more adventurous women took on the strenuous Angels Landing hike. The rest went to Weeping Rock, Emerald Pools, and spent some time at the Zion Lodge. If you are in good shape and not afraid of heights, Angels Landing is a bucket list kind of hike.
A rappelling lesson is required for anyone going on the canyoneering day. There is an outdoor rock wall used for these lessons. Even if you don’t choose to go canyoneering, it’s a fun experience to try.
Sledding down coral sand dunes
This is an experience like no other. The Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park provides a unique landscape for hiking and yes, even sledding.
Group members can take an easy ride on gentle horses through the resort property lead by a few local wranglers. The ride is about an hour and includes a stop or two at some lovely vistas.
Ready to get muddy? This is the activity for you! Never been on an ATV? Don’t worry, they will teach you. The ranger 4WD buggies are a ton of fun too.
Ever wanted to try your hand at skeet shooting? Give it a try! The ride to the rifle range provides great views of the area so I recommend going even if you don’t want to shoot. The rifles pack a bit of a punch, but were a ton fun to try.
Taking a helicopter ride is the perfect way to tour the area and get a bird’s eye view. Groups of 3-4 people can go at once. Ask the pilot lots of questions, they are very knowledgeable about the area.
There is a zip line from the main activity center tower down to an open field. We had the pleasure of going in the snow. I’ve never done that before. It was a blast!
This was my favorite activity of the week! Canyoneering involves hiking and rappelling through narrow canyons. We tackled 2 canyons with over 13 rappels. This day puts teamwork to the test as your guides and other participants help and encourage you throughout the day.
TravelingMom Tip: Spa treatments are also available, but need to be booked in advance since service providers are not on site daily. A massage is a great option after a long day of hiking.
All meals are provided. Breakfast and some lunches are at the resort's main restaurant – Ray’s. There is also The Narrows Coffee Bar. Breakfasts are buffet style with a variety of standard choices like, eggs, bacon, waffles, fruit, breads, yogurt, etc. The lunch menu has a good assortment of choices including fun specialty drinks like the Muddy Dr. Pepper and Southern Sunrise. They also provide bagged lunches for the days when groups need to eat on the road.
Dinners are catered at one of the resort homes. This provides a great opportunity for group members to get to know one another. After dinner activities include game night, story telling (from some of the resort veterans), astronomy, and more.
TravelingMom Tip: Alcohol and snacks are not included. The transport shuttle will stop at a local market to pick up supplies on the way to the resort. There is a small resort shop for snacks and drinks as well. Wine can be ordered for dinner.
Transportation, Schedules and Rates
Dates: The Women’s Adventure Retreats currently run in April and October, but the resort may add a few more weeks. If you gather a group of 10 or more, they will create a week just for your group and you can attend for free!
Getting there: Most folks fly into either Las Vegas and take a shuttle to St. George or fly directly to St. George, which has a lovely new airport. The resort then shuttles guests to the property, which is about 1.5 hours away. The good news is that this includes a trip through Zion National Park, which is a great welcome to the adventure ahead.
Rates: Regular rooms are $2999 for one and $2699 if you book 2 or more rooms. Sharing a room is $2499. Deluxe suites are $3399 for 1 or $3099 for 2 or more. Sharing is $2899. Book for fall before July 1 for a 30% discount.
TravelingMom Tip: If you rent a car or drive be sure to get accurate directions. Depending on a GPS will likely get you lost.
So many moms worry about leaving the family behind. This is a trip of a lifetime! Don't make excuses. Just do it! Marathon TravelingMom has some great tips on keeping your household running while you travel without your family. Believe me, you'll be glad you did it!