Offering a wholesome experience, Watchman Trail is a relatively easy hike. It’s located in Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah. The trail is a 5.1km round trip and it has a total elevation gain of 195m.
The trail is called The Watchman, because of the Watchman Mountain, it gives you a view of the whole area, and if you are visiting the park for the first time, this is an ideal first-hike. Furthermore, the trail is family-friendly, but you have to be careful around the cliff edges. When you visit the hike, don’t forget to take your camera with me as you will get the opportunity to take some amazing photos.
The trail starts from the visitor center through a trailhead on the east bank of the Virgin River. It’s well-marked and a rather easy trail that doesn’t get you to the top of the mountain, but on top of the first layer of cliffs. The trail is completely exposed and you won’t find any shade, do during summer, it’s better to hike in the morning or during cloudy days.
The beginning is not that attractive. First, you will be hiking along the river banks, and then you will go through some housing and construction materials. You can easily get a view of The Watchmen peak while you are hiking. When you head into the mountains, the view becomes more attractive.
You will be going up the hill and the higher you go the better the view you would get. You will also see some rare and unusual plants along the way. Soon, you will reach the base of Watchmen Mountain i.e. the top of the first layer of cliffs, which is your destination. There is also another loop trail that offers different views over the area. If the weather is good, it’s a good spot to take a break, maybe have lunch and take photos. When you are done you can head back down to the main Canyon.
If you want to camp there, the nearest campground is the watchman campground located near the Grand Canyon Visitor Centre. It’s a short trail, so you can finish the hike in 1 to 2 hours. The great time to hike this trail is from April to October.