Hike Zion's Watchman Trail

Utah Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Added by Casey Berner

  • Distance: 2 mile round trip with optional loop
  • Elevation: 456 ft
  • Great "warm-up" trail for Zion
  • Photograph the mighty Watchman Tower at sunset
  • Very close to Visitor Center and Campgrounds

The Watchman is one of the last parts of Zion to be illuminated in sunlight at the end of the day. If you're finishing up your adventure filled day with a sunset hike or if you're looking for a warm-up hike which also happens to be a Zion classic, then The Watchman Trail is perfect. With only about 500ft elevation gain and a well maintained dirt trail that amounts to about a 2 hour hike with all the stopping for pictures, you'll get a feel for Zion and fill up your camera with one of Zion's most famous landmarks.

Park at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center or if you are camping at one of Zion's campgrounds, follow the dirt path that runs along the river. Walk across the road to the trailhead. The trail is exposed to sun for most of the way so afternoon hikes during the summer months are not recommended. Begin the hike by heading north up the trail. The path itself runs steadily uphill toward a bend then winds around and connects with the start of the loop trail, finally revealing The Watchman. The hike is not to the Watchman itself, but a view point to see it.

Once at the far point of the loop, set up your camera and capture the long sunset as the last bit of light in Zion fades away along the Watchman spire. A headlamp is recommended for your hike back even though is will not get completely dark for another hour after sunset.

Head back to your campsite at Watchman Campgrounds or head into Springdale for a little local shoulder rubbing with other hikers and adventures.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Good Walking Shoes
  • Headlamp
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Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



-2 Miles

Elev. Gain:

456 Feet



Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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How to Get There

4 months ago

Nice Hike

You go up a mountain. The hike took about a hour and a half there and back. Amazing view at the top.

4 months ago

5 months ago

Great Evening Walk

Stunning light in the evening - best way to end your day at Zion!!

5 months ago

11 months ago

One of the most iconic views in Zion's National Park. It does get crowded quickly and there is limited space, so plan accordingly.

11 months ago

over 1 year ago

I used to live near this spot and hiked it frequently. It's low impact and not as strenuous as other hikes in ZNP.

over 1 year ago

Added by Casey Berner

A mountain man raised in the flat of the midwest who escaped to Washington when he was 23 and never looked back. Photographer/Videographer/Adventurer

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