My husband and I typically plan our trips pretty loosely and I think that's part of the fun. We don't know where we will sleep every night and don't plan out every second of our day. When we decided we wanted to take a trip to Utah, we had a rough idea of what we wanted to see and do. The ONLY solid plans we made were reservations at this campground 6 months in advance and knowing we had to be in Zion by a certain date to keep that site.
I had a calendar reminder set for 6 months to the day and we barely got a site! There were months of studying the map and tiny pictures on the recreation.gov website; contemplating shade, bathroom locations, and proximity to the Virgin River that runs the outer edge. It was all in vain as by 9am PST, I had my choice of the three remaining tent sites in the C or D Loop. At least we got a reservation. The popularity of Zion is unbelievable. The amount of people moving through the park, on the trails, and the lines for the shuttles are massive. I personally think that detracts from the experience overall, but you can't discount that all the popularity is for a reason. Zion is incredible and this is a great campground to experience it from.
The bathrooms are big and clean. Flush toilets and stalls. Multiple sinks on counters with mirrors, important if you have been showerless in a van for over a week and finally want to access the damage. You can fill your water outside the bathrooms and there are dish washing stations as well. The sites have picnic tables, fire pits, and are pretty large and spread out. We had spotty tree coverage. It was warm out and I would imagine this site would be tough in the summer when you could not escape the sun. Not much privacy, at least in C and D loop, but that as much the natural landscape as it is the campground. The campground was clean, quiet, and the Rangers were friendly.
Nearby Springdale is a neat town. We rode the shuttle from the Visitor Center close by the campground. Had a nice meal, some drinks, and a good walk.
We hiked the Narrows, Hidden Canyon, Emerald Pools, and a few others. Drove down to the nearby ghost town of Grafton which is a fun side trip if you are into that sort of thing. Make sure your car can handle the rough road.
Getting a site at Watchman can seem daunting, that's the only reason it's not a 5 in my book. That and the crowds and wait lines, but that's really the park, not the campground. Keep at it. It's a great base camp for exploring Zion and its surroundings!
Watchman campground is inside of Zion National Park. Reservations are hard to get, I booked mine the moment they were released and when I was done booking they were all filled. You can easily walk to the visitor's center to hop onto a shuttle. There are also trail access points off of the campground. The views from anywhere in the sites are lovely. The bathrooms are well kept with flushing toilets. There is no store on site, and you can only buy firewood outside of the park. We were able to walk to buy it but it is a bit of a hike back while carrying firewood, I would recommend purchasing wood before you arrive. This is one of the nosier campgrounds that I have visited. There was loud music until 10pm from the town right outside the gates of the park, along side the campground. This is nice if you want to enjoy the social party scene, but less appealing when trying to enjoy the nature.
Loop D, site 20: Our site was wonderful! I would book this site again if we return. This site is along the back side of the campground so you have no neighbors behind you, just a beautiful view of Watchman. You are on the curve so there is extra space between you and your neighbors. There is ample space for a large tent, or 2 smaller tents on a marked tent pad. The bathrooms are 4 or 5 sites down the road. There is a fire ring and a picnic table. This site is one of the furthest points from the visitor's center in all of the campground.
Zion National Park is one of my favorites. This is the second time I have been here in the last four years. This time we spent a whole week here with the kids. It was awesome but it is tough to find a spot if you don't make your reservations six moths in advance. Make sure you book it early. It fills up fast
Amazing campground if you want to get out and explore Zion. Right next to the first shuttle stop, there you can take the shuttle to Angels Landing, Overlook, the Narrows or walk over to the visitors center. We stayed in Area A which was also quick walk to the local pub and store to rent dry suit gear for the narrows. Bathrooms were amazingly clean and onsite staff was nice and helpful. I would stay here again!
Very busy and campgrounds are packed in near the entrance. Running drinking water but no showers. You must go to a neighboring gear shop outside the entrance. $25/night
Clean sites and spacious. Surrounded by the beauty of Zion. Has some shade with trees, bet restrictions on campfires during peak season.
This was a beautiful area as t the southern end of Zion. Went on a trip with some friends on this one who had a camper. The ground seemed to be a little too touch for tent stakes at our lot. And there were no trees to throw up the hammock I brought. We ended up throwing the hammock up between two Jeep's and that works just as well as trees. I didn't manage to get any pictures of the camping area itself. I'll upload a few of the main trail in Zion. We were there when it was around 100 degrees if not over it in the middle of July. Not much shade in the area. We didn't get to walk on a few of the trails due to a storm that caused a bit of damage. The rangers said it would be closed for a few weeks if not months. Also had a flash flood warning while we were there but it didn't affect us. Very beautiful area but be prepared to be very hot the entirety of the trip as there may not be much shade in your area.
these sites are decent sized- we fit 2person and a 1 person. there are facilities to fill water and use the bathroom near the campsites and we thoroughly enjoyed our site. such a beautiful place with a great view. trails are amazing
Great sites throughout the campground with breathtaking views.
Hard to get reservations…lol