Hike to Zion's Upper Emerald Pool

Utah Emerald Pools Trail

Added by Mariya Dondonyan

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
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Activities:

Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

3 Miles

Elev. Gain:

350 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall

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How to Get There

about 2 months ago

Pretty Pools, Best In Winter.

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

about 2 months ago

3 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.

3 months ago

3 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.

3 months ago

6 months 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.

6 months ago

7 months 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.

7 months ago

8 months 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.

8 months ago

8 months 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.

8 months ago

9 months 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.

9 months ago

about 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!

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

Very neat trail, only draw back was the crowds.

over 1 year ago

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