The Watchman of Zion National Park
Overview: An out-and-back hike that passes overhanging cliffs and stratified rock layers as it leads into the foothills below The Watchman and Bridge Mountain.
Distance: 2.7 miles (4.3 km) round trip
Hiking time: 1-2 hours
Best season: April–October
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Hazards: Moderate drop-offs
Topo maps: USGS Springdale East; Trails Illustrated Zion National Park
Finding the trailhead: Head north from Zion National Park’s South Entrance and take the first right toward The Watchman Campground. Park in the visitor center lot and walk to the trailhead.
Trailhead GPS: 37.198811, -112.986897
Climbing into the foothills beneath Bridge Mountain and The Watchman, this short trail begins from the shuttle stop and follows the bank of the Virgin River upstream. The vegetation in this area is characterized by a scrub woodland of juniper and piñon pine with sagebrush in the sunny openings. Hikers will view overhanging cliffs and stratified rock layers along the trail as they ascend across the stone walls up the base of Bridge Mountain. In addition to views of Bridge Mountain and The Watchman throughout the hike, travelers can look westward across the Virgin River for a fine vista of the Towers of the Virgin, and also south toward the town of Springdale.
At the top of this trail, a loop path crowns the foothill. This short loop provides several good perches from which to view surrounding geological wonders.