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Watchman Trail - Zion National Park

Watchman Trail - Zion National Park

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Distance: 3.3 miles round-trip

TRAIL SUMMARY

The Watchman Trail in Zion features fewer crowds than many of the more popular trails. Even though you won’t be going to the top of Watchman Mountain, you will be hiking to a prime view of the famous peak. This is a moderate, family friendly hike with a mild 456 ft elevation gain. Beware though; this trail is exceptionally hot in the heat of the summer.

TRAIL DETAILS

DIFFICULTY LEVEL

Moderate

ROUND TRIP LENGTH

3.3 miles round-trip

AVERAGE HIKE TIME

GPS COORDINATES

37.200579, -112.986819

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

Zion National Park

DISTANCE FROM ST GEORGE

42 Miles (55 mins driving)

RESTROOM FACILITIES

Flushing Toilets at Ranger Station/Lodge

HIKERS ALLOWED

Yes

DOGS ALLOWED

No

BIKERS ALLOWED

No

EQUESTRIAN ALLOWED

No

HIKE TYPE

Out & Back

BEST TIME OF THE YEAR TO HIKE

Spring, Fall

BEST TIME OF THE DAY TO HIKE

Morning, Afternoon, Evening

GROUP LIMIT

No Limit

PERMIT INFORMATION

No Permit Required

WATER SOURCES AVAILABLE

Water Available at Ranger Station/Lodge

CAMP SITES

No Camping Available on Trail, Camping Available only in Designated Camping Area

TRAIL CONDITIONS

Dirt Single Track

SUN EXPOSURE

Full Sun Exposure

TRAIL MAP

Coming Soon

Download Map

WHAT'S NEARBY

DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD

Directions to Trailhead. From St George, head north on I-15 for about 18 miles and take exit 27 to Toquerville. Turn right on UT-17 and follow it for 6 miles. Turn left onto UT-9 and follow it for approximately 20 miles until you come to the park entrance. If parking is full inside the park, you can park in the town of Springdale and ride the shuttle up to the park. Once you pass through the pay booth, take an immediate right and follow the signs for general parking around the Visitor’s Center. Walk past the tram lines and toward the south campground. There will be signs pointing you to the trail head. You will be walking along the east side of the river to get to the The Watchman trailhead.

FLORA AND FAUNA

Plants: Typical plant life for Southern Utah lowland hiking.
Animals: Typical animal life for Southern Utah lowland hiking.

TRAIL REPORT

The beginning of the trail hugs the river then takes you into the hills. For a mile or so, the trail is moderately strenuous, looping and heading uphill around the valley. Soon you can look down on the canyon from atop a layer of cliffs. Desert greenery surrounds you. Evergreen trees and a few hearty shrubs provide a small bit of shade along the way. Prickly pear cactus is everywhere. Heading west again, you reach a delightful view of the canyon with the Visitor Center below, Springdale off in the distance, and Watchman Peak in the south. This is a terrific place to stop and have lunch if it isn’t too hot. You can always take the short loop trail with even more views off to the south. After taking in the sights on the loop, you will head back the way you came.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Arika Bauer

Arika Bauer is a Southern Utah local, born and raised, and the owner of Zion Adventure Photog, a photography business dedicated to photographing world travelers, outdoor lovers, and adventure junkies in one of the most beautiful settings in the world. She has made it her mission to explore all of the hidden, and not-so-hidden gems of Southern Utah, with her husband and three kids, and shares about different adventures in Southern Utah on her blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

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