Two streams come together to form the middle pools, the first coming out of Behunin Canyon and the second originating from Heaps Canyon. The elevation of the Middle Pools gives a hiker a marvelous view of some of Zion Canyons greatest landmarks, such as Cathedral, Lady, and Red Arch mountains. The Emerald Pools system has a few trail options for the three different levels of the Pools. All except the Kayenta Trailhead start across the road from the Zion Lodge, where you go over a bridge to cross the North Fork of the Virgin River. The Kayenta Trail connects the Middle Pools to the Grotto Picnic Area, offering hikers the chance to make the Emerald Pools a loop route. Swimming is not permitted at Emerald Pools anymore.
Emerald Pools Trailhead(37.250714, -112.959553)
Two trails start here, the Lower and the Middle. The Middle Pool trail is quite a bit steeper and rockier than the Lower Pool trail. It bypasses the Lower Pool completely, and then after visiting the Middle Pools, is the only real path to the Upper Pool above.
Middle Pool(37.257344, -112.96318)
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.
Lower Pool(37.257089, -112.962581)
Shaded by cottonwoods and other riverside greenery, the Lower Pool trail winds through one of Zion’s many hidden paradises, leading to a startlingly gorgeous canyon sanctuary.
Upper Pool(37.257671, -112.966704)
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.