Watchman Trail, Zion National Park Hiking

Zion National Park
> Trails
> Watchman Trail

Watchman Trail

Hiking the Watchman Trail in Zion National Park is perfect for those who want to see spectacular views of Zion Canyon while experiencing desert landscape and plant life. Read More

  • Watchman Trail in Zion National Park is a short moderate hike with panoramic views
  • Only 2.8 miles out and back with 440 feet of elevation gain
  • Trailhead is accessed from the parking lot of Zion Canyon Visitor Center
  • Enjoy the views of Zion Canyon and the fascinating desert landscape


A classic hike in Zion National Park, the Watchman Trail climbs in the foothills of Bridge Mountain, taking you to panoramic views of Zion Canyon. The desert landscape is fascinating with prickly pear cactus, junipers, hardy shrubs and pinon pines.

The moderate hike takes you up some switchbacks where you can glimpse many landmarks of Zion, including the Altar of Sacrifice, the Beehives, West Temple and more. The trail is well maintained thus fun to hike.


The trailhead for the Watchman Trail is accessed from the parking lot at Zion Canyon Visitor Center. North of the visitor center, you’ll see a sign pointing the way.


  • Distance – 2.8 miles
  • Average Time of Hike – 1.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain – 440 feet
  • Difficulty – Moderate
  • Trail Type – Out and back

Plan & Prepare

Hiking the Watchman Trail is best in spring, summer and fall, although it is open and fun to hike in winter too. In the middle of the day in summer the full sun and high temperatures can be fierce, so early morning or evening is best. When hiking mid-day (or anytime) bring sun protection and water.

Take care when bringing children along the trail. There are steep drop-offs and the edges of the cliffs can be unstable and slippery.

In the Spotlight