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.
Season Dates: Watchman Campground is open year-round. Advance reservations are available 6 months prior for stays March through Thanksgiving weekend in November. The campground has first-come, first-served campsites available from the end of November through February.
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.
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.
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.
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
Individual Site: 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.
Group Site: Customers who cancel a group overnight reservation less than 14 days before the arrival date will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee.
ADA Access: N
Excellent location for this campground. Very close to the south entrance and the ranger station. And what a view! Definitely recommend.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Even though just adjacent to the main attractions of the park, the campground is nestled between the mountains. The range towers over you as we cooked, slept, and star gazed. The bathrooms were clean with fresh drinking water. Restaurants were a walking distance away. The park shuttle is super close. Pure convenience after a hard hike.
We stayed at Watchman Campground for 2 nights in early June at the beginning of a campervan road trip, sites C022 and C004. The campground was spotless and beautiful, flanked by rock formations. Our loop was tent sites. Both sites were large with nice level parking pads and level areas for pitching a tent if you are tenting it. Fire pits and picnic tables at each site. The views were stunning, especially at sunset. Campground was very open with a lot of sites (typical of most National Park campground from what I've found). Not a lot of privacy but campground was pretty quiet. Quick walk to the visitor's center to get the shuttle into the park, and walking distance to Zion Brewery as well! Sites were $20 per night and fill up quickly, we reserved ahead of time. Bathrooms were clean, water access was convenient. Not the campground to choose if you want solitude and to get away from it all - but if you want a fun camping experience with easy park access, Watchman is perfect!! We drove out and day hiked the Subway on our first day, and on the second day took the shuttle out to hike Angel's Landing and the Narrows.
Nice little campground at the base of the iconic “watchman” mountain.
This campground is close to the visitor center and fills up quick! Be sure to get there when the park opens to try and get a spot. We waited about a half hour but luckily got one. Campers need to be out by 11 so you are able to set up then.
A river runs along the campground and walking trails to the visitor center, the watchman trail, and the museum are easy to access. Most sites are at least partially shaded.
My friend and I stayed here after being at the Grand Canyon for two days, and we arrived around 5pm on a Friday night. There were no tent camping spots available, and only 1 RV site spot available. We let an RV have it since we felt bad taking up an RV spot with a tent. We were afraid we wouldn’t have anywhere to stay when some very nice people let us set up our tent on their site with their RV. We stayed there for one night and it wasn’t as cold as the Grand Canyon. We had a fire and ate dinner and there was a picnic table. You are not allowed to hang your hammock on the trees. The bathrooms had flush toilets and sinks along with an outside sink for washing dishes and trash recepticles. There was a water spicket but it was winterized. This campground is located next to the visitor center and one of the entrances, so it is very convenient!