You’ll find the trailhead behind the Visitor’s Center across the entrance road to the Watchman Campground.
Time to step into an archaeologist’s shoes and connect history to the present day! A short trail starting just southeast of the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, the Archeology Trail highlights an ancestral Puebloan ruin of a storage shelter on a small mesa above Watchman Campground and the visitor’s center. While excavating the site, two storage rooms, three storage cists, two fire hearths, stone tools for grinding, and eleven types of prehistoric ceramics were found. The artifacts are now on display at the Zion Human History Museum. Today, while there are actually not many ruins left to see out on the trail itself, it’s still a worthy walk to see where ancient people lived and, more importantly, imagine how they lived, or why they chose this particular place. It’s likely they lived here because of its easy access to food and water, and away from flooding, because it has a nice breeze, and/or maybe because the soil was better to plant their crops. It’s an interesting exercise to think of the challenges of life back then and how things might have been.
Besides giving you a look back at history, the trail itself is very pleasant, with some pretty views to the north and south of the canyon. While you’re there, be sure to notice the beautiful rock layers exposed in the lower section of Zion Canyon – another glimpse into history, representing about 200 million years of sedimentation.