2010: Zion National Park

The Watchman Trail


We took a well-deserved day of rest after Angel's Landing. I kept the hot tub busy.

There were only a couple of easy hikes we still wanted to do in Zion; one is the Watchman Trail, named for the nearby looming mountain. This trail starts at the visitor center, but we were having trouble finding the trailhead. We noticed a young female ranger waiting at the shuttle stop, so we asked for directions. It turned out she was about to start a guided tour of that very trail, although so far only one woman was waiting with her. We decided to tag along.

Indian Paintbrush. Showy Four O'Clock. Prince's Plume.

For the first half-mile we had a very pleasant time. The ranger explained some of the geology, and pointed out the many beautiful wildflowers which were uncharacteristically late- and long-blooming this spring because the hot summer temperatures were delayed.

While we were stopped for a moment, a family of six (including two older out-of-shape women and two small children) caught up to us. The pace slowed considerably. After ten minutes or so of a very draggy pace, we decided to go ahead at our own speed; while the ranger had interesting information to offer, we didn't want to spend all day on this hike. The rest of the trail was easy and enjoyable, and afforded us some great views of the valley and mountains at the head of Zion Canyon.

Rather than go all the way back to the RV park, we decided to treat ourselves to lunch in town. I'd read about a place named Oscar's, supposedly the best burger in the town of Springdale. Neither of us had a burger that day, but Oscar's food lived up to the reviews. We would return once more during our stay.

After lunch, we explored a little of the town on foot. Springdale is rustic and well-kept, much less touristy than I expected. Well, a little touristy; they do have an elk ranch in the middle of town.