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Watchman Zion Campground (UTAH) - Gusty Window To The 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.

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.

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.

Overall this campground receives 4 of 5 Bunnies for location and overall amenities and quietness at night. It missed out on a bunny because it does not provide showers and the ground is a bit to hard to stake in easily making for a bit more time consuming set up of camp.

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.

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