the dyrt
Group
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Watchman Campground
For visitors to Zion National Park, Watchman Campground is an ideal place to stay. Located near the park's south entrance, the campground is just a short walk from the main visitor center, the Zion Canyon Shuttle System and the adjacent town of Springdale. The canyon and most of the park's trails are only accessible by shuttle bus from approximately March through November each year. Watchman Campground is open year-round, with the reservation season being March through Thanksgiving weekend in November. The campground is first-come, first-served at the end of November through February. Recreation Hikers can access three trails directly from the facility: the Watchman Trail, a moderate trail that ascends the peak behind the campground; the Archeology Trail, which offers a light hike to an archeological site nearby; and the Pa'rus Trail, a paved walking and biking trail that runs alongside the river, and the only trail in the park that allows dogs. Although there are no rock climbing routes in the campground, many popular climbs are within a short shuttle bus ride into the main canyon. Use of OHVs and ATVs is prohibited in Zion National Park. Facilities Toilets, drinking water and picnic tables are provided at this facility. Tent-only (F-Loop), non-electric sites (C & D Loop) do not permit vehicles 19 feet and over or in combined length. Group sites (E-Loop) are also tent-only and can accommodate between seven and 40 people. Standard electric sites in A-Loop may be used for either tent or RV camping. However, only RVs are permitted to occupy sites in the B-Loop. There are no full-hookup campsites. Electric sites are all 30 amp, with only a handful of sites that supply 50 amp; a dump station with potable water is available at the entrance to the campground. Natural Features Zion is known for it's dynamic geologic history and Watchman Campground is no exception. Named for the rocky peak that rises above it, the campground is surrounded by tall sandstone cliffs that glow red and orange during sunrise and sunset. The Virgin River, a narrow but powerful river that has carved out the canyon over time, runs adjacent to the campground. Cottonwood trees surrounding the campsite turn golden in the fall. Most of the campsites are in partial to full sun, however in the Group sites (E-Loop) and the Walk-To sites (F-Loop) visitors may receive some shade under pergulas that are constructed over the picnic tables. Visitors can also cool off in the cold river when temperatures peak during summer. Be Advised: The months of April and May bring an unusual infestation of Tent Caterpillars, which fall from trees onto tents, tables, and unsuspecting campers and can make it quite uncomfortable to sit outside. The months of July and August in particular bring a higher concentration of ants in the campsites, which seem to come out especially after the monsoons, but are present all summer long. Insecticidal treatment by visitors is not permitted. Nearby Attractions The town of Springdale has shopping, art galleries, restaurants, and a public library. Throughout the year, concerts, festivals, and parades are held in the town. Charges & Cancellations A $10.00 service fee will apply if you change your reservation. Cancellations more than 48 hours in advance of arrival date incur a $10 cancellation fee. Within 48 hours of arrival, a $10 cancellation fee and the first night's fee are charged. ADA Access: N
Sites
179
Access
Drive In, Walk In
Fee Info
Zion Group Site fees are $50, $90 or $130 per night based on the campsite capacity. Check the minimum and maximum capacity for each group site. Each group sites minimum required occupants vary.
Operator
National Park Service
Features
+ More
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Market
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Reservable
Sanitary Dump
Showers
Toilets
Trash Available
Water Hookups
Location
Watchman Campground is located in Utah
Latitude
37.199 N
Longitude
-112.986 W
Get Directions
Directions
From Las Vegas, St. George or other points south on Interstate 15: Travel north to Exit 16, towards Hurricane. Follow State Route 9 east for 12 miles to La Verkin and turn right to continue on State Route 9 towards Zion National Park. After passing through Springdale, arrive at South Entrance of Zion. Take the first right after the entrance station towards the Visitor Center. After passing the Visitor Center, you will enter Watchman Campground. Stop at campground kiosk for directions to your campsite. From Salt Lake City, Interstate 70 or other points north on Interstate 15: Travel south to Exit 27, towards Toquerville. In 6.1 miles turn left onto State Route 9 towards Zion National Park. After passing through Springdale, arrive at South Entrance. Take the first right after the entrance station towards the Visitor Center. After passing the Visitor Center, you will enter Watchman Campground. Stop at campground kiosk for directions to your campsite. From Grand Canyon National Park, Lake Powell, Kanab or other points south on U.S. 89: Travel north to State Route 9. Turn left and follow State Route 9 west for 13 miles to the East Entrance of Zion National Park. Continue straight for 12 miles, then turn left at the sign for Watchman Campground and Visitor Center. Stop at campground kiosk for directions to your campsite. From Bryce Canyon National Park, Panguitch or other points north on U.S. 89: Travel south to State Route 9. Turn right and follow State Route 9 west for 13 miles to the East Entrance of Zion National Park. Continue straight for 12 miles, then turn left at the sign for Watchman Campground and Visitor Center. Stop at campground kiosk for directions to your campsite.
67 Reviews of Watchman Campground
It's okay. I prefer South Campground!

This campground is fine, but a bit crowded. Lots more RVs in this one than in South. Amenities are nicer, but there is construction on one of the loops right now so there is some noise from that. It's close to the visitor's center and right next to the Virgin River, so that was cool! Better bathrooms than South. More family friendly, but also more crowded!

There is only one Watchman

Don't be confused when you see two Watchman campgrounds. There is really only one campground and you need to book it six months in advance. It is so beautiful and so much fun. If you want to be around some amenities though, skip Springdale and drive an hour west to St. George and make sure you stop off at In and Out Burger. Especially if you live in the midwest like me.

In the thick of it

Excellent campground but not much privacy. This is a beautiful place with some much needed shade! Some sites are close to the creek and others are right off the road. Great place to camp if you need to hit the shuttle early to start your hike!

Busy Camp With River Access To Narrows

When we traveled here we were fortunate enough to snag a spot at Watchman, which is pretty difficult to do unless you plan to go well in advance. My tip is to try to plan during the week after school has come back into session, it is still warm enough but there are a few less travelers here at that time, still pretty busy. (Campground Website)

Settling into the site it was laid out pretty well with standard amenities, the bonus to this site is the restrooms are heated, much needed on those cold windy mornings. Just helps you start your day freshening up in a little comfort. There are no showers here so by freshening up I mean anything you can do from a standard sink or you can walk to the Zion Outfitters for a shower and pay for the service there.

The site itself was pretty flat and hard packed which was great for sleeping with a sleep roll but not so great for staking the tent. Had to use the method of wetting the ground to secure and drive in the stakes before camping. Not staking the tent is NOT an option, the wind here will get strong enough to blow it away if you are not secure.

I did notice that some sites were equipped with different amenities, typically occupied by RVs and though I didn't explore a lot around these and be nosey it looked like maybe electric was available. (Full Campground Map)

At night it was really quiet after 10 except the whipping of the wind. I noticed the following morning a few people who had taller tents were struggling with repositioning them because they had caught to much wind and it had made them buckle or they had lost their rain flaps. It was pretty chilly and I can't imagine being one of those hikers looking to do the Narrows on days like the one I was there. Still I did notice people packing their gear and wetsuits for the long hike as early as sun up.

Book Your Visit To Watchman

TIPS;

  • Opt for metal stakes instead of plastic ones, they drive a bit more easily into the hard packed dirt and set to hold more securely in the gusty winds.
  • Use your America The Beautiful Pass fo admission and save big while also getting into the park more quickly.
  • Bring a jacket. Even during the warmer months a light jacket is a good thing, temps do drop at night here and it can get quite chilly with winds very rapidly.
Great spot - In the Park

Great campground and definitely a spot I'd want to stay again when back in Zion. It can book up, but they have good spots with decent privacy and its a very clean and nice campground. Wake up to views in Zion, doesn't get much better! Also right next to the visitors center and walking path into park and into down. Great spot! And does have cell service there.

Wow!

Excellent location for this campground. Very close to the south entrance and the ranger station. And what a view! Definitely recommend.

comfortable, close to town

Went to Watchman mid August with a total of 3 of us, and it was great! We reserved a few months ahead, and were in the "walk in" section, where you park in a lot and walk into your assigned camp site (very, very close to the lot). The sites had privacy, and the bathrooms had lights on so you could see at night! Also just outside of the campsite is the town, where you can find rentals, grocery stores, hotels, showers, restaurants, etc.

Great campground with facilities and electricity

This campground has pretty good bathrooms, just make sure you bring your own toilet paper.

I really suggest going here if you want to visit Zion because there is a bus that takes you right to the park and a lot of hotels are sold out year round.

You should reserve the campground as soon as possible because spots go away fast!

Great campground but little shade in the walk-to sites

We camped at the walk-to sites and then again in the drive-in sites. The walk-to sites were great but had no shade, and the wind coming off the hill behind us was very loud in our tent. The drive-in sites had shade and were very comfortable. There were lots of deer walking through the campground and came right up to us.

Wildlife and beautiful views

Beautiful site, good location in the path. Lots of deer friends out and about. Bathrooms were clean. Tent stakes don’t go in the ground here, instead of stakes we used rocks. Easy access to the shuttle and visitors center.