- Known as a 'family friendly' hike, the Emerald Pools trail is one of Zion's most popular.
- Cascading waterfalls, pools, and hanging gardens make the lower, middle, and upper emerald pool a desert rarity.
- With a paved trail and only a 69 foot elevation gain, the Lower Emerald Pool is great for all ages.
Offering spectacular scenery, easy access, cascading waterfalls, pools, and hanging gardens, Zions' Emerald Pools is one the most popular hikes. Easily accessible and rated as not strenuous, Emerald Pools in Zion National Park is appropriate for those of all ages.
Location and Access
Emerald Pools trail begins at the Zion Lodge parking lot, which can be accessed by the Zion Shuttle. There are three pools, all accessible only by foot.
Hiking Emerald Pool
The Emerald Pool, Zion trail accesses the lower, middle, and upper pools. The 1/2 mile trail to the lower pool is paved and only gains 69 feet in elevation, making it a very popular hike in Zion National Park, especially with families with young children. The trail scoots behind a waterfall before reaching the lower pool's lush, forested setting.
The trail to the middle pool is not paved, making it moderately difficult, but still accessible to children. It gains an additional 100 feet in elevation before leveling out. The views from the middle pool are breathtaking and feature camera-worthy shots of Mount Majestic and Cathedral Mountain.
To reach the upper pool takes more effort. The trail, over dirt and rock, covers only 5/10 of a mile, but with an elevation gain of 200 feet. The upper pool will reward your efforts with a spectacular visual of cliffs and water.
Roundtrip to all three pools is three miles, taking approximately 3 hours to complete. Don't expect solitude if hiking in the summer.