Watchman Trail, Zion National Park


  • The Watchman Trail takes you out of the grassy main valley and skirts alongside the cliff sides of an intimate side canyon. After a length of short switchbacks, the trail traverses a long slope and crosses a perennial spring, up to a panoramic viewpoint. Enjoy the view from the top, or explore down thin dirt trails to the cliff edges. The grand Watchman formation overlooks the final viewpoint, giving the trail its name.
  • Trailhead: No shuttle necessary. The trail begins on the service road just east of the Visitor’s Center.

    Mileage: 3.5 miles (5.6 km), round-trip

    Elevation Gain: 368 feet (112 m)

    Approximate Hike Time: 2 hours, round-trip

    Difficulty: Moderate

    Crowds: This trail sees moderate traffic.
  • Best Times of Day: Before 9 a.m., Watchman hikers enjoy shade year-round; the rest of the day, however, can be very hot. The Watchman Trail’s proximity to Springdale and the campgrounds also make it a favorite for after-dinner evening strolls.

    Best Times of Year: Any season is a good one here. The Watchman is a favorite winter hike, as it stays fairly warm and snow-free.
  • The lookout at the end of the trail provides the best views of Springdale and the lower portion of Zion Canyon, including Oak Creek Canyon, the Streaked Wall, the Sentinel, and the Watchman.
    Can you see the large face looking down from the Watchman?
  • Consider this trail for a great full-moon hike!