Hike to Zion's Upper Emerald Pool

Utah Emerald Pools Trail

Added by

Walk along a path that leads beneath the waterfalls to beautiful views of the canyon at Zion. The Upper Emerald pool makes for a great photo opportunity.

Start this trail walking across the bridge over the Virgin River into the start of the trails that lead to the pools. The path takes you through the bottoms of the water falls and you see them falling over the rocks above you. Though this sight may be totally awesome, be careful as you walk along the path as it gets really muddy and slippery. But there are rails to help you along the way you can grab a hold on.

The trail leading to the Upper Emerald Pool is on the ridge between the two middle pools. This is where the trail becomes more rugged and steep. From the Middle Trail, a steep trail continues up the canyon up to the Upper Pool. The upper pool is larger, with a high waterfall coming into it from a towering cliff. Once you get to the top of the Upper Emerald pool, enjoy your view, take a photo, then find a boulder and enjoy a nice snack.

For the return trip, you can either retrace your path or take the optional loop back to the Lodge.

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Comfortable hiking shoes
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Chillin, Photography, Hiking

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



3 Miles

Elev. Gain:

350 Feet



Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

about 1 month ago

Quick cool down hike

We did this after Observation Point and it was mellow considering how sore I felt after that 8 miler! We hit it perfectly timing-wise and hiked up in the shade. Great viewpoint at the top of Lower Emerald. We sat, watched the waterfalls and listened to yellow finches, great cool down hike.

about 1 month ago

2 months ago

A Good Hike To Do After Angel's Landing

There is a trailhead for this hike right next to the trail for Angel's Landing. It was a great "cool down" hike. The trail offers great views of the valley and anyone can do it!

2 months ago

5 months ago

Quick morning hike

Did this hike in the off season, and it was still pretty crowded. To avoid the crowds I suggest going in the early morning. But worth it no matter when you go.

5 months ago

6 months ago

Family Friendly Hike

This was a great easy/moderate trail which starts out paved. The upper pool looks especially great in the winter as there is plenty of snow mounds underneath!

6 months ago

9 months ago

Pretty Pools, Best In Winter.

Overcrowded, it is one of the most "hiked" trails in Zion. I recommend coming in off season!

9 months ago

10 months ago

Take the First Shuttle In

If you take the early morning shuttle you can beat most of the crowds. You will also have great light for photos and better chances of spotting wildlife. This trail isn't as breathtaking as some of the other places in Zion, but it's still a great scenic hike.

10 months ago

10 months ago

Fun hike

I loved the Emerald Pools. If you're going to hike to the lower you may as well take the time to hike to the middle and the upper too. There's a lot to see in a short, easy hike, especially in the winter when there aren't any crowds.

10 months ago

about 1 year ago

Something for All Experience Levels

The Emerald Pools Trail hike at Zion is great adventure for all experience levels. For less experienced hikers or families with kids this trail is fun and slightly challenging, with a paved concrete path and metal railing leading to the first two pools. For the more experienced hiker this trail can be connected with the Kayenta Trail and Grotto Trail to make a moderate 5-mile loop used as a warm-up on their first day in the park. This trail can be very crowded during the summer season and is only accessible via the Zion Shuttle System between April and October. Also the trail tends to be very muddy and slippery year round so wear appropriate footwear.

about 1 year ago

about 1 year ago

Extremely Busy

This is one of the most crowded trails in Zion but still incredibly beautiful in spots. Head out on the first shuttle bus to avoid the masses or wait until evening.

about 1 year ago

about 1 year ago

Awesome views

Great hike to start your trip with, visit in the winter if you want to avoid the massive crowds. This trail gets overlooked because of the more popular spots in Zion but it is definitely worth the time and effort.

about 1 year ago

about 1 year ago

Quick and Scenic Hike

Great warmup hike to start the day or great to do with big groups. Very easy and pretty short but has some great views. Can be very muddy underneath the falls. Hike to the top of the falls for a great view.

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

Early Morning Hike

My group and I drove from California to arrive in Zion just in time to hike pools to watch the sunrise poor over the rocks and into the canyon. The hike was easy to navigate even in the early morning being dead tired, plenty of critters running around to photograph and observe, an overall fun hike and a great start, but Zion has a lot more to offer if you look hard enough.

over 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

An easier hike in Zion which leads to a pretty big crowd, but the falls and pools are beautiful and worth the trip!

over 1 year ago

about 2 years ago

Very neat trail, only draw back was the crowds.

about 2 years ago

More Adventures Nearby

Hike Mount Ellen in Utah's Henry Mountains

Utah / Mount Ellen Peak Trail

Mount Ellen is considered an Ultra Prominent Peak. What's that you may ask? Well, Ultra Prominent Peaks are determined by how high the summit rises above its surroundings.

Chris Engelsman
9 Saves

Camp at McMillan Springs In The Henry Mountains

Utah / McMillan Springs Campground

McMillan Springs Campground is south of Hanksville, Utah and within the Henry Mountains, which run north and south between Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef National Parks.

Chris Engelsman
4 Saves

Spring Backcountry Ski Alta Ski Area

Utah / Lodge Rd, Alta

Still have the skiing itch but it's late in the spring and the resorts have closed and the other backcountry skiing areas have melted? No problem, just head up to Alta Ski Area and get some amazing b.

Jackson Smith
3 Saves