Login with Facebook
The Watchman

Select Route:
Chastity Crack T 
Cradle to Grave T 
Hoods in the Woods T 
Mythical Kings & Iguanas T 
Negative Ghostrider T 
Silmaril T 
Strikes & Gutters T 
Vigil, The T 

The Watchman  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,555'
Page Views: 17,943
Administrators: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: bsmoot on Mar 4, 2008


81° | 61°

86° | 64°

89° | 63°

87° | 63°

87° | 63°
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Know the location? Show us! We need it for cool new features!
BETA PHOTO: The West face of the Watchman - Known Routes 1 ...

Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>


The Watchman is the beautiful and often photographed formation guarding the south entrance to Zion. The impressive 1/2 mile wide west face is cleaved with many vertical cracks, corners, pillars and chimneys. The west face varies from 1,000 to 1,500' high, with at least 15 established routes. 10 of them going from bottom to top. The climbing is very traditional. Make sure you have experience in multi-pitch sandstone climbing.

In May of 1973 Mike Weis and Jeff Lowe made the first ascent of the steep west face via a crack system just below the summit. Their route went all free save a pendulum up high.

This secluded area doesn't get many visitors. Most of the routes are concentrated on the south end of the west face, where the rock is steeper and more compact. Most of the rock is good, but one must beware of the usual loose rock on ledges and wide chimneys.

Getting There 

A good approach is to cross the Virgin River at the Desert Pearl Hotel. A short trail/dirt road leads to the talus. Ascend the small rib that breaks through a cliff band. A trail leads to the middle of the impressive west face. The approach takes about 1 hour.

If you can't or don't want to cross the river, you'll need to enter via the south end of the Watchman campground. Walk south to the break in the cliff band, then head up.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.2 miles from here

8 Total Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Watchman:
Negative Ghostrider   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 9 pitches, 1000'   
Chastity Crack   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   
The Vigil   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R     Trad, 10 pitches, 1300'   
Silmaril   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 10 pitches, 1100'   
Browse More Classics in The Watchman

Featured Route For The Watchman
The free variation is on the left. The original ro...

Silmaril 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a  UT : Zion National Park : The Watchman
Originally done as an aid route, Silmaril is a great mixed free and aid line. Moderate aid on good rock with "Indian Creek" type crack climbing. The first ascent party didn't place any bolts. A free ascent is equally good. A left hand variation for the first 3 pitches climbs a very good corner system to an intersection with the original route. The crux free climbing is right off of the ground.There are good ledges at almost every belay. The bivy ledge on top of pitch 9 is huge. This is one of th...[more]   Browse More Classics in UT

Photos of The Watchman Slideshow Add Photo
The Watchman at night. Illuminated from the cresce...
The Watchman at night. Illuminated from the cresce...
The watchman from the campsite below.
The watchman from the campsite below.

Comments on The Watchman Add Comment
Show which comments
- none yet -
Beyond the Guidebook:
The Definitive Climbing Resource
Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run
Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps
Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes
Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!