Wanderings, travel, photographs and skiing…

The Watchman Trail – Zion National Park, Utah

By on February 21, 2015 in USA

The Watchman trail was great and we were so lucky to have it pretty much to ourselves for the 2-hour hike, except for the last 10 minutes at the end when we bumped into two other people. The trail starts at visitors’ centre and heads up along the river, and it was a fantastic morning for a hike – cool with sunshine. The trail is also great as it allows you to get up close to the geology, plus it has some great views. I was surprised at how dry everything was.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Heading off down the Watchman trail

As we headed off down the trail I found a Tumble Weed. I was delighted to see one as I have seen hundreds on telly in Westerns and as a kid always found them interesting – who wouldn’t? A weed that tumbles!

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

A tumble weed

What I was surprised to discover was just how spiky the Tumble Weed is. I had no idea the weed would be like that.  I thought they would be soft and bouncy and not like balls of barbed wire.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Spiky Tumble Weed

And Tumble Weed were not the only spiked things on the trail.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Dessert Cactus

The views from the trail were stunning. A magical landscape.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

At the top of the trail we walked out on to a sort of plateau. We weren’t at the top of the mountain, but this was as high as we went.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Looking down from the plateau we could see our truck, and also take in the wonderful views, and the stunning geology.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

The plateau was a great place just to sit and take it all in.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

The trail back down, which was the same as the route up, gave better views as we were now facing out from mountain and could take-in the full scope of the valley.

The photo below is looking back towards the plateau.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

The weather in the park must be pretty extreme judging by some of the trees.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Some of the trees looked very old. And the shape of the branches, and the texture of the wood was amazing.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

The little lizard below was the only wildlife we saw other than some birds overhead and what looked like some large cat prints in the sand by the side of the trail.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

One of the most beautiful and stunning things on the trail was the geology. Fantastic colours and texture.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

And as we walked backed down the trail you could see it snaking off down the valley.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

The shot below shows how the trail snakes and winds it way up the side of the valley.

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

Watchman Trail, Zion National Park

A great walk. A stunning trail.

There were great views. The geology was amazing. And the rock formations, and the different textures of the rocks, made me appreciate the age of the earth and how long some landscapes take to form.

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Nick's continued wanderings can be followed on Twitter: @nickswanderings.
 

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