Watchman Trail

#6 in Best Things To Do in Zion National Park
Watchman Trail picture
Justin Reznick Photography/Getty Images

Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Hiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

The 3-mile round-trip Watchman Trail doesn't ascend the red, 6,545-foot-tall Watchman Spire but rather affords a spectacular view of it, as well as the expansive valley beneath it and some desert cacti and greenery along the way. As the trail only ascends about 400 feet, it's a good trail to start out on for those new to hiking.

Previous travelers called this a "nice moderate hike," though some recommend doing it early in the day to avoid the direct sunlight that bears down at midday. Because the trailhead is near the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, one visitor recommends skipping the long lines of the free shuttle in favor of hopping on this trail first.

You'll find the trailhead for the Watchman Trail near the visitor center, across from the shuttle stop. Remember to bring plenty of water, slather on sunscreen and start your hike as early as possible, since this trail is fully exposed to the blazing Utah sun. To learn more about the Watchman Trail, check out Utah.com's website.

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More Best Things To Do in Zion National Park

The Narrows
Zion Canyon Visitor Center
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 7
#1 The Narrows

The slimmest section of Zion Canyon is known as the Narrows, and it's one of the park's most popular hikes. To experience it, set out from the Temple of Sinawava along the Riverside Walk for a one-mile, wheelchair-accessible hike that offers a good view of the Narrows. But if you want to go any farther, you'll be wading or even swimming upstream since the footpath turns into the Virgin River. Along the way, you'll enjoy towering views of the striated, orange-red canyon.

Recent travelers recommend sealing any valuables in a waterproof bag, as the water can rise as high as your waist in some places. According to reviewers, you'll also need to rent or bring waterproof shoes as the rocky, slippery terrain cannot be traversed with bare feet. Hikers also suggest getting to the Narrows early to avoid the crowds.

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