Utah Hike of the Week: Emerald Pools in Zion National Park
Details • Emerald Pools is one of the most famous hikes in Zion National Park, and with good reason. It's challenging without being exhausting, and contains some beautiful scenery, including both the pools and the red rocks.
To avoid the crowds, go early. Each pool can be hiked on its own, but it's really worth seeing all three Lower, Middle and Upper. The hike is located inside the park, across from Zion Lodge on the shuttle route.
The Lower and Middle pool trails start in the same place, over a bridge from the lodge. True to its name, the Lower Pool is the easiest, a gently sloping, mostly paved trail that nevertheless offers some great red-rock scenery as well as a small waterfall that grows to medium-size during runoff season in wetter years. The pool is green, nestled in red rock.
About two miles in, the trail splits up to Middle Pool. The trail gets a little steeper and narrower here, but the view from this pool is amazing, encompassing Cathedral, Lady, and Red Arch mountains.
The path grows still narrower for Upper Pool, the largest of the three. It's a lovely, secluded spot surrounded by tall, mossy red rock that can include waterfalls during runoff time. Take in the incredible scenery from one of the flat rocks and head back down.
Lindsay Whitehurst Destination Emerald Pools
Hiking time 2 hours
Round trip miles 2.7 miles
Elevation gain 1,700 feet
Trail head restrooms Yes
Dogs allowed No
Bikes allowed No