Unforgettable Views of the Watchman TrailProArtInc.net
Location: Zion National Park, Utah
Length: 3 miles (with the loop at the end of the trail)
Ascent: 300 feet
GPS Coordinates: N 37 12.083 W 112 59.186
The start of this 3-mile long trail can be found near the Visitor’s Center, you just need to cross the Route 9 to find yourself at its trailhead. It is interesting that regardless of its proximity to Park’s South Entrance, this trail is missed by lots of visitors, who prefer more popular routes like the Narrows, Emerald Pools Trail or Canyon Overlook Trail. And they miss a lot, we would say.
At the beginning, for the first quarter of a mile, the trail meanders along the eastern bank of a beautiful, vitalizing Virgin River. At this section of the route, together with enjoying relatively lush vegetation of the river valley you will notice some utility facilities and houses of park’s workers. But immediately after the trail turns to the right the scenery will change showing more usual fascinating landscapes of Zion. The change in the plant species is clearly noticeable here, from the wildflowers and trees of the river area to cactuses and pinyon pines of a real desert.
It is also interesting that despite the name this trek is not leading to the Watchmen Mountain itself, but only to a viewpoint from which this mountain can be clearly seen. At the end of the trek, located on top of quite a small mesa, incredible views of Watchman Peak, as well as of lower Zion Canyon are opened. From this place you will also be able to clearly see the town of Springdale. One more highlight of this viewpoint is the high-angle perspective of the Virgin River winding below, carving the cliffs and canyons. From this point you will manage to see how the river creates sharp contrasts in vegetation.
While planning your hike on Watchman Trail, you should mind that practically the whole trail runs under the scorching sunshine and if you hike it within the noon-time – it will be a torture. Morning or late afternoon suits much better for this hike.
Photo: Roman Khomlyak
Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska
Information: Svetlana Baranova
Pictures taken: 31/10/16