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“Great hike, a little challenge fantastic views”
Review of Watchman Trail

Watchman Trail
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed March 26, 2012

This hike was the entire family's favourite - it was the least crowded trail we were on...it was challenging enough for all. The kids counted 8 lizards and the view at the end is spectacular. Does life get any better?

1  Thank HikerMom58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (178)
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142 - 146 of 178 reviews

Reviewed March 8, 2012

This 2-mile-long trail at the southern part of Zion National Park was at the edge of what I can handle. Since I'm a 50-plus, slightly overweight desk jockey, I'm thinking that this means the trail is of a moderate difficulty level. That said, I was able to walk this trail OK by taking it slowly. Basically it climbs 456 feet vertically up the side of the cliff in a number of switchbacks. Sometimes the trail seems a bit narrow, and sometimes I had to watch my footing around fallen rocks, but for the most part the trail didn't feel especially precarious.

We were advised that this trail is not something that should be attempted during the heat of the day, and I agree with that advice. We started the trail on an August morning, and we didn't start quite early enough because it was quite hot by the time we came back down off the side of the cliff. If you start up in the evening, however, be sure to allow enough time before it gets dark. I would NOT like to try coming down in the dark!

The trailhead is near the Zion Canyon Visitor's Center, which is easily reached by the Park shuttle buses (during peak season, or via your own car during the rest of the year, when private vehicles are allowed in the park). It's a good idea to use the restrooms at the Center and fill up your water bottles there before embarking on the hike.

The views are truly wonderful from the top. While the trail is named after the Watchman peak (elevation 6545 feet), you can see so much more than the Watchman spire: you can also see the peaks known as the Beehives, Towers of the Virgin, West Temple, and Alter of Sacrifice. You don't actually go to the top of the Watchman spire, but to a plateau that serves as a view point below it at 4419 feet of elevation. If you're looking for a really great background against which to have a fellow hiker take your photo for your Christmas card, this one may be it!

Much of Zion National Park is centered around the Virgin River in the bottom of the canyon. While I enjoyed feeling enclosed and surrounded by the gorgeous cliffs, climbing up one of those cliffs gave me a different visual perspective on the park. Plus, making it up the side of the canyon was a real accomplishment!

Thank Dr-Jill-from-NH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2012

SO VERY COOL to climb in elevation and continue to gain more and more perspective, seeing more and more mountains come into sight. Some elevation but gradual. The extra "loop trail" to the cliff edges is worth the extra 10 minutes. Panoramic, 360 degree views! WELL WORTH THE EFFORT!!! So glad we did this one!

Thank m9matlew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

Hike begins right outside the main visitor center in Zion. It is a fairly easy hike but a good distance if you are not in the mind to go up and down about five miles. We loved it.

1  Thank mfharahan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2011

Although this is a nice trail, it's not one of the most popular, nor is it one of the untraveled gems. It is hot in the middle of the day, but in the off season it is nice to do. It is located on the far south side of the park where it tends to be hotter.

1  Thank Tanya M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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