Mountains and Canyons. Day 7: Morning Watchman and Taking It Easy

So, after yesterday, I reckoned that we could have a lie in. I still woke up early, but browsed the internet in bed, then showered, before waking Andrew by brewing the coffee. All told, it was 11am by the time we had got up, ready, and had breakfast at Cafe Soleil.

I had chosen the Watchman Trail to start our day, and we could see what we wanted to do after that. The map shows this as 1.1 miles each way. The sign at the trailhead said it was 2.7 miles round trip…?

The hike starts from the visitor centre and runs parallel with the bubbling Virgin River. It is surprising just how noisy the river is when it passes over rocks.

The path then crosses a service road, before winding its way up the side of the cliffs on the south side of the valley. This of course means it is in the sun. Whereas a couple of days ago we were layering up to keep warm, today we kept taking rests in any brief bit of shade offered by the few larger trees! It is about 20C, but the direct sun makes it feel significantly hotter.

I have done this trail a couple of times before, with Andrew and with Mum, and I didn’t recall it being such a “wow” trail…but it is! Maybe different light, time of day, or maybe just my mood, but I was impressed with the scenery, which created a few more reasons to stop on the way up. Our legs were tired but got warmed up ok.

At the top we sat and just admired the view for a while. Then we sat a bit longer. When we did move, it was to follow a one mile loop trail around the mesa, which afforded views up and down the valley, as well as back to the cliffs behind us.

We returned to the visitor centre, taking a few more photos along the way. I even found a perfect chair to sit on on the trail.

See the Watchman Trail video.
We decided to have a break and drove the short way back to our hotel. On the way, we stopped at a new market shop, Hoodoos, that has opened directly across from where we are staying. It sells everything you could think off and probably a few things you couldn’t! It also sold made-to-order sandwiches, so we got those and some drinks and sat out on our patio for a late lunch and a rest. We had thought of getting the shuttle bus later on and walking back along the Pa’rus Trail, but frankly, neither of us felt like moving…

So after early showers, we wandered into the campground associated with the hotel and set up for some time lapse sunset photography, complete with chairs to watch the show.

I can’t process this until I get home but hopefully it will have worked.

After that, it was time for our customary hike to dinner, before some tv and bed.

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