Length: 1.2 mile roundtrip
Trail Map: Zion National ParkTrails Illustrated - Buy
Description: The Lower Pool is popular among hikers for its beauty and accessibility. The trail is short and gently sloped—with only 70 feet of elevation gain. Shaded by cottonwoods and other riverside greenery, the trail winds through one of Zion’s many hidden paradises, leading to a startlingly gorgeous canyon sanctuary. The Emerald Pools system has a few trail options for the three different levels of the Pools. All of them except for one start across the road from the Zion Lodge, where you go over a bridge to cross the North Fork of the Virgin River. Swimming is not permitted at Emerald Pools anymore.
Emerald Pools Trailhead
Two trails start at this spot, the Lower and the Middle. The trail to the lower Pool is fairly straightforward, just over half a mile long, meandering through the riparian habitat along the bottom of the river, even passing underneath the two waterfalls that come from the Middle Pool above.
Despite the relative ease of the hike, hikers find themselves amid the classic towering rock formations of Zion—but surrounded by a paradise of green.
Steeper and longer than the Lower Pool Trail, the trail to the Middle Pools begins in the same spot, but climbs higher up the slope, exploring yet another level of the exquisite Zion waterway.
The Upper Pool is harder to reach than the other two, though worth the extra time that it will take to visit. Waterfalls, fast and powerful during the runoff months, add to the breathtaking backdrop of Zion Canyon.
More details about the Emerald Pools Hikes.