There are a series of trails that lead to Lower, Middle & Upper Emerald Pools. This hike can be done as an easy out & back to Lower Emerald Pool, an easy loop with Lower & Middle Emerald Pools or as a moderate hike to Upper Emerald Pool. With three pools, two waterfalls & towering canyon walls, these trails offer a great look into Zion's beauty.
Beginning of Emerald Pools Trail
Emerald Pools Trail along Virgin River
Finding the Trailhead - The trail starts at the Zion Lodge shuttle stop on Zion Canyon Road. It can also be reached from the Grotto shuttle stop.
Overview - The trail starts across the street from the Zion Lodge. Taking the bridge over the Virgin River, the trail comes to a T. Going right is an easy paved trail that goes to Lower Emerald Pools & behind the waterfalls. Going left the trail u-turns as it climbs the hillside. Here, the trail gives an elevated view of the Virgin River as it levels off. Soon the trail turns northwest as it heads toward Emerald Pools. The trail then comes into Middle Pool, an open area with many pools of water surrounded by slickrock . At the edge of the main pool is a long drop off leading to Lower Emerald Pool. After crossing the main pool, a sign marks the trail to Upper Pool. This trail is a short out & back that climbs steeply to the Upper Pool. Here a 500 ft waterfall coming from Heaps Canyon splashes into the Upper Pool. Returning to Middle Pool, go left as the trail rounds some huge boulders. A trail that turns right between the boulders, heads down to Lower Pool. The trail heads through an alcove behind the waterfalls & back to the Zion Lodge. If going to the Grotto Shuttle stop, head back up the trail between the boulders. Once at the top, turn right as the trail follows the ridge toward the Grotto Picnic Area.
Comments - The waterfalls are seasonal with light water flow.
Trail Fun Facts - Emerald Pools Trail was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 14, 1987.
Falls at Upper Emerald Pools
Waterfalls at Emerald Pools
Upper Emerald Pool