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greenBlue Emerald Pools

  4.0 ( 127 ) Favorite

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Trail

2.0 mile 3.3 kilometer out and back
Singletrack
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 457' 139 m
Descent: -458' -140 m
High: 4,709' 1,435 m
Low: 4,282' 1,305 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 33% (18°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Trail shared by Brian Smith

An easily accessible Zion classic.

Brian Smith

Features Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Short enough that almost any kid can complete it, but hard enough to make it rewarding, this hike ends at an awesome cascade the whole family can enjoy. The lower and middle pools are great, too.

Overview

This is a short and potentially quick out-and-back hike, depending on how long you decide to stop at each pool. Given the high volume of visitors that flock to this attraction, the trail has been brandished with guardrails and barriers to keep both people and the natural environment safe.

Need to Know

This hike gets an easy rating due to the gradual grades and well-maintained nature of its paved paths. However, if you decide to visit the upper pool, the difficulty is much higher. The trail to the upper pool is steep, sandy and often very hot. Most tourists will turn around at the lower or middle pool.

Description

From Zion Lodge, cross the footbridge that leads over the Virgin River. On the western bank, turn right onto the Lower Emerald Pools Trail and follow it to the north for a quarter-mile above the river. The trail then turns westward into Heaps Canyon and parallels a stream to the first of the Emerald Pools.

Enjoy the beauty of the cascade, which flows at varying rates depending on season and precipitation, and then continue on the trail to the middle pool. The middle pool is located on the cliff above the lower pool and feeds the falls. If you're feeling adventurous, hike up the steep and sandy Upper Emerald Pools Trail to view the highest of the pools and another waterfall.

From here, either retrace your steps to Zion lodge or take the Kayenta Trail to the Grotto picnic area.

Flora & Fauna

Immutable yet ever changing, the cliffs of Zion stand resolute, a glowing presence in late day, a wild calm. Melodies of waters soothe desert-parched ears, streams twinkle over stone, wren song cascades from red rock cliffs, cottonwood leaves jitter on the breeze. But when lightning flashes water falls erupt from dry cliffs, and floods flash down waterless canyons exploding log jams, hurling boulders, croaking wild joyousness, and dancing stone and water and time. Zion is alive with movement, a river of life always here and always changing.

The riparian area of the Virgin River supports enormous cottonwood trees and a diversity of herbaceous plants and grasses. Nearby, saturated wetlands make nice habitat for cattails, willows, aquatic plants, and rushes. Water seeping out of the Navajo sandstone creates tranquil springs and the unique “hanging gardens” for which Zion is famous, full of ferns, wildflowers, and mosses.

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Check-Ins

Jun 5, 2019
zayra shmuels
Access only to lower emerald pool trail, mid and high still close Worth it 100% — 7h 30m
Jun 3, 2019
Christina Slaughter
Jun 2, 2019
Kathryn Turner
0h 35m
May 31, 2019
Mike Patel
May 30, 2019
Lindsey Santos Koos
May 29, 2019
Cynthia Fox
May 21, 2019
Lauren Faul
May 10, 2019
Ryan Handrahan

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 127 votes

#4

in Zion Canyon

#54

Overall
  4.0 from 127 votes
5 Star
28%
4 Star
48%
3 Star
18%
2 Star
6%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#4

in Zion Canyon

#11

in Utah

#54

Overall
103 Views Last Month
3,638 Since Feb 5, 2015
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

18%
51%
26%
4%
0%
0%

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