We spent the day being huge Zion tourists. Like, we took the bus all the way back to the Narrows and then did touristy hikes in the park. My friend Diana that I have known from high school joined us on part of the trip and had to leave in the afternoon. Thus, we did not want to get too in depth into a single hike. We did Hidden Canyon, the Emerald Pools, and wandered around a few of the stops. Lindsay and I then accompanied her back to the gate to see her on her way.
After being around so many people all day, we were ready for some more secluded time. I had been looking at the Watchman trail and wondering what it was like since it is a little off the main beaten track. We decided to check it out and maybe catch the sunset.
It turns out, this is a great end of the day hike for several reasons. First, the trail head is very close to the campground. Second, it is pretty short at around 1.5 miles to the overlook. Third, it has a great view overlooking the park... especially at sunset. Fourth, it is just inclined enough to be minimally interesting but not so steep as to be to challenging. Fifth, it is not very crowded. And last, when you decide that the sun has set and it is now dinner time, the brewpub in Springdale is just a short walk away. It should be noted that this hike does not take you up the Watchman. Summiting that is quite the endeavor. (I read the original intention of this trail was as an approach to climb the Watchman... the trail just never got completed) This trail just walks you around the foothills of the Watchman.
We walked the quarter mile up the road past the visitor center up to the trailhead. The trail winds around, past a natural rock chair, along the base of some hills. The trail finally winds around the base of the towering watchman before ending in a scenic loop. We saw maybe two other groups along the way. We relaxed and watched the clouds roll by and the sun go down.
Once the sun dropped below the horizon, we packed up and headed back. It was pretty dark by the time we got back to the trailhead. We then wandered through the visitor center and out of the park to the brewery to finish the evening.