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.
- Comfortable hiking shoes
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, Hiking, Photography
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More Adventures Nearby
Backpack Death Hollow in Grand Staircase-Escalante
Utah / Boulder Mail Trailhead
The most popular route into Death Hollow is from the Boulder airstrip near the town of Boulder, Utah.
Mountain Bike Amasa Back / Cliffhanger Trail
Utah / Amasa Back / Cliffhanger Trailhead
Amasa Back / Cliffhanger is the primary entry point into one of the most fantastic mountain biking trail networks in the Moab area, connecting into Captain Ahab, Rockstacker, HyMasa, and Jacksons Tra.