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Emerald Pools - Zion, UT

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Guide 42 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List UT > Southwest
3.7 of 5 by 14
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,273 feet
Elevation Gain 450 feet
Accumulated Gain 500 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 4.5
Interest Seasonal Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
45  2017-11-11 Uncharted
12  2016-10-12 Uncharted
13  2016-07-07 Bradshaws
18  2016-06-19 cw50must
15  2016-06-12
Behunin Canyon
4  2015-03-15 leonesiegel
9  2014-09-27 Uncharted
4  2014-07-26 cactuscat
Page 1,  2,  3
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, May, Sep, Oct
Sun  6:19am - 6:29pm
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby

Likely In-Season!
Overview: There are a myriad of Emerald Pools Trails: Lower Emerald Pools, Middle Emerald Pools, Upper Emerald Pools, and a variety of use trails interconnecting them, usually with some tag as one of the above which can be confusing. The most popular way appears to be: after you cross the bridge from the Zion Lodge bus stop, go right, this is the lower pools trail. When you reach the waterfalls, you can climb around and up to the middle/upper trails. The upper trail is a one way trail to the highest elevation pool where you can view the Heaps canyon exit, which may be a 300 foot waterfall after recent rains. You can make a loop out of all of them for about 2-3 miles total hiking.

Zion Park charges entry fees per vehicle. During the summer they operate a free shuttle system between the visitor center and most hiking trails.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
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  • NPS PDF - 2
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    NPS PDF - 2
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Emerald Pools - Zion
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This was part of our Might five trip 2016. We completed all 5 Parks in 5 days in Utah.

The mighty five trip was something My girlfriend and I had been wanting to do for a while now, but finally made it happen this year.

We drove up on Sunday and hit our first park on the way up, Zion. Zion is one of our favorites, but since we have both been here before we only did one trail, Emerald pools. We took the tram to the lodge and from the lodge headed up to upper emerald pools. The views were awesome as usual. The weather was very warm but it did not stop the park from being full of people.

On our drive in while waiting at the tunnel there were 2 roadies her were turned away from the tunnel since bikes are not allowed. They hitched a ride with us through the tunnel. After our short stay at Zion we headed to stop 2 Bryce which is where we spent the first night.

Video: ... cxFQ
Emerald Pools - Zion
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Hiked from Zion Lodge and came down to the Grotto Trailhead. Had hiked Angel's Landing earlier. This was a pretty hike. The pools, we hit all 3, were a nice diversion. Unfortunately this hike is where the tourists go -- flip flops, paper shopping bags, no trail etiquette, etc, etc. Other than that a nice quick easy hike in the park.
Emerald Pools - Zion
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Day 5 - Hiking Day in Zion National Park

As much as I wanted to do Angel's Landing or the Narrows, it was a Saturday and that means you start at the Crack of Dawn and still run into hordes of people...Plus I wanted to be back in Camp late afternoon, since the Rendezvous Organizers were putting on a Dutch Oven Dinner that Evening...Hadn't been sleeping well on this Trip, due to not being able to shut the mind off at night, even though I was tired...Plus getting out of that warm Sleeping Bag into that chilly air before you even see a hint of Sun was very difficult. :sweat: It's much easier to get up that early when you've committed to doing something with other people... ;) When you're on your own...well... :sweat: I also knew that no matter where I went in the Park, I would be in serious Camera mode, so it basically came down to doing something shorter... :lol:

I did make a longer Loop out of this just to get a little more playtime and exercise in...Basically, I did every Trail between the Zion Lodge and the Grotto...Got off the Shuttle at the Zion Lodge, took the Grotto Trail to the Grotto, crossed the Bridge over the Virgin River, then took the Kayenta Trail back to the Emerald Pools...Hit the Middle Pool first, then found a use Trail going up the Hill towards the Upper Pool...Turns out, it doesn't do much, other than parallel the Official Trail up, so eventually I cut over and got on it and continued up to the Upper Pool. I did meet a new Friend on the "use" Trail though... :D

Lots of People.... :sweat: Found an out-of-way Rock and had a little Lunch, then went back down...Took a little side Trail and ended up on top of another one of the small Waterfalls going over the Edge into the Lower Pool area...It was starting to get very Windy and I got a Shower from the Water blowback...There is another Trail that continues on from there, but it was barricaded off, so I backtracked and got back on the Main Trail...They also had one of the Trails to the Lower Pool barricaded off as well, so I had to backtrack on the Kayenta to another Intersection and then down to the area above the Lower Pool. Looks like they're doing permanent Reroutes of these Trails.

Lots of Photo Ops...And then, the Wind brought in more Clouds making the Shadows dance across the immense Formations that blew you away at every turn.... :) I took a lot of Photos... :sweat: After attempting to stalk a Rafter of Wild Turkeys in the brush below the Lower Pool, I continued on the Emerald Pools Trail down to the Bridge by the Zion Lodge...From there, I took a Riverside Trail that I had seen from the Kayenta Trail back to the Grotto...Nice Sandy Trail that follows the Banks of the Virgin River the whole way...More Photo Ops... :D

I took the Shuttle that headed deeper in, so I could familiarize myself with the rest of the Route...Saw some Rock Climbers at Big Bend climbing a sheer Rock Face...I think I'll stick with going down a Rope.... :sweat: Caught a Glimpse of a Mule Deer along the Banks of the Virgin River and saw some more beautiful areas...Soooo much to see here...I know that I will be back... :D

Back at the Escape after a nice little Hike with Awesome Scenery! The Pools are great. The Middle Pool area is just Ok, but the Upper and Lower Pools were pretty cool! I could do this Hike again, maybe if I can catch it on a slower day with fewer people... :sweat:

I'll let the Photos show you the Day...I certainly took enough of them...130 to be exact... Sooo, I guess throwing 36 at you guys isn't so bad... :sl:
Emerald Pools - Zion
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Zion West Rim with Angels Landing
Our first day in Zion, John and I planned to start out by heading up to Observation Point. Instead, we changed our minds at the last minute and decided to do Angel's Landing to try to avoid the weekend crowds the next day. The switchbacks leading up to Scout's Lookout were steep but manageable, and it felt great to stretch our legs after the long car ride and a good night's rest! Once we reached Scout's Landing (and a second "no seriously, this hike is sorta dangerous.. please try not to die" sign), John took off ahead up Angel's Landing while I took my time (and many pictures)! There was a happy little tree at the top, and lots of cairns! :D

After a quick snack, we decided to see where the West Rim Trail would lead us... I believe I recall John saying that it would be an easy, relatively flat trail. Pshyeah. While no part of the trail was exceptionally steep, we did gain quite a bit of elevation, and started feeling pretty winded (perhaps due to the high altitude?) near the top. Despite my false expectations, I still really loved this trail. The geology was unlike anything I'd seen before, and the time flew by. There were lots of plants growing out of solid rock, stupid lizards that reeeeally wanted to be stepped on, and John even found some snow!

The way back down was a breeze, and we headed over to the lodge for some (delicious) food before visiting the Emerald Pools. Which were... pools. No; they were pretty cool.. there were just way too many people there for me to really enjoy the area. I'm guessing it's because the name sounds so inviting. They should be called something like "the dentist's office" instead-- I guarantee that would keep people away.
Emerald Pools - Zion
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Zion West Rim with Angels Landing
Rachel and I went up to Zion for the weekend and hit the trails hard! We started on Friday morning with no set itinerary. While on the bus we decided to start with one of the park's premier hikes Angels Landing. This will be my second summit. My first one was done with Hernia back in Oct 2011. It wasn't very fun and I had surgery soon after. Anyway this time was a lot more fun! The climb to the summit is a joy. I rarely used the chains and was able to avoid a lot of the casual hikers who were taking their time being extra careful. Most people were happy to let me pass as they caught their breath. We reached the summit and had a snack and discussed our options.

Decided on the West Rim Trail which starts right at Scouts Landing. We started the hike up and headed deeper into the park. The going is along a very well kept trail. In fact it's pretty much paved most of the way. You steadily gain elevation and the grade steepens as you hit some switchbacks that wind up to the rim. Both of us were short of breath on this. I checked and the elevation was right around 5,500. After more work we reached the rim where things leveled off. We made our way over to the spring and enjoyed a long lunch at an overlook and watched the Swallows whip by with a mixture of Ravens, Vultures and a Red Tail.

After our lunch we cruised back down to the valley floor. Along the way we had a nice conversation with a guy from southern Az. We would cross paths again the next day. Anyway we arrived back at the valley floor and followed the Virgin River south to the Zion Lodge. While there we relaxed and ate some food and consumed some much needed caffeine. Afterward we made a casual stroll over to the Emerald Pools. The pools are very soothing and beautiful. There were a pair rappelling down the Upper Pool but we didn't stick around to watch. We returned to the lodge and picked up the bus and headed for the Parus Trail.
Emerald Pools - Zion
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After three days of stormy weather we finally got some bright sunshine! It was only about 26 degrees, but with scenery like this, who cares?? The Emerald Pools, especially the upper, were stunning in their winter attire!

I highly recommend visiting Zion in the winter. It's breathtaking!
Emerald Pools - Zion
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After we had our beer :) at the Lodge to celebrate our hike of Angels Landing :y: , Toni and I decided to hit the Emerald Pools since they were just across the river. Once again the trail starts out very nice as you walk along the river for just a bit. And once again, there were lots of folks on the trail and as much as I prefer, like most of us, having the trail to myself it's good that folks are out in nature.

We were in shade for most of this hike so as we passed by the pools I think it created a different kind of aura than being in the sunshine. The first pool was small but had some trickling water falls from hanging gardens that you still had to go under as you crossed over that part of the canyon to make your 100 ft ascent to the Middle Pools.

There wasn't much water in the middle pool area but enough to get a nice reflection from the mountains above us. There were quite a few people at this pool so we moved on to the Upper Pool. For the shortness of its length, it's quite the little hike up to that pool. The trail takes a little negotiating compared to what we had been traversing. And then getting down to the pool looked like a free for all.

The Upper Pool was the largest and had a nice beach. The cliffs of Heaps Canyon above it were astounding. We spent about 10 minutes here before heading back down. We encountered a large group of spry elder folks and then kind of felt a little foolish :oops: at our whining about that last .4 tenths & 200 feet gain to the Upper Pool.

We would have liked to do the loop via the connector trail back to the TH but there had been a wash out so that was closed. We stopped for a moment at the Middle Pool as there were fewer folks. And then it was back to the Trailhead on a lovely afternoon :) . Along the way we saw several deer including a large fawn so that was pretty cool :DANCE: .

Yep, I'd say it was a good first day of hiking (Angels and Pools) on my first time at Zion. Unfortunately, we had to stand for our long bus ride back to Watchman's Campground. We finished the day off with pizza (one of the pizzas was a chicken alfredo and it was darn tasty). Tomorrow would be the start of our backback trip into Kolob Canyon. Whoo hoo!

Emerald Pools - Zion
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GREAT HIKE...but way too many peeps for my liking...trail actually bottle necked for literally MINUTES at the upper pool...unbelievable.

That being said, this is a spectacular hike...wonderful scenery and tons of areas to explore.

Went up trail head from Zion Lodge then down Kayenta to Grotto, then took Grotto Trail back to Lodge, then bussed over to Court of Patriarchs.
Emerald Pools - Zion
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Such a beaUTiful canyon and still one of my favorites in Zion! :y: One the hike up, we took a sweet sidetrip up Angels Landing before pushing up the West Rim trail to Behunin Pass. :sweat: The upper canyon has the usual amount of sand, bushwhacking, and pool bypassing before reaching the initial 4-stage rappel sequence. So amazing to do these scenic drops one after another down the side of the 300ft angled cliff! :D Once at the bottom, it was a sandy walk until hitting a short rappel followed by much more sand and some pools to practice our stemming on. Another short rappel bypassing a deep pool puts us into the main canyon proper before heading towards the lower narrows and final rappel sequence. It starts with a double short drop rappel into some waist-high pools, traverse around the corner for a 3-drop 150ft rappel with an ever tricky rope pull, and then ends with a flipping amazing 160ft mostly free hanging scenic rappel. :y: Took another sidetrip to check out the 300ft falls of Heaps canyon. I definitely would not mind doing this canyon at least once a year. :GB:
Emerald Pools - Zion
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Wow, what an amazing canyon this turned out to be! :y: The 4 mile 2000ft elevation gain approach up the West Rim trail ended up being much easier than anticipated and took us 2.25 hours followed by loads of bushwhacking with light wading & scrambling until the canyon opened up and we hit the first set of rappels. While getting our gear out, a Park Ranger group snuck up on us and checked our permits. ;) Such an amazing view down canyon! :o Rappel 1 was an easy sloping 80-footer down to a tree that we used for rappel 2 that was another angled 150-footer to another tree that was used for rappel 3 that was a mostly vertical 150ft drop down the falls to a pool & ledge with some bolts that made for the 120ft vertical rappel 4. :sweat: Wow, talk about a rush doing so many big drops back-to-back-to back... We took a short break in the sandy bottom after stuffing the ropes & taking a quick trip up some nearby narrows. We continued another quarter mile down canyon and did the easy 90ft drop followed by the beginning of the sweet narrow section with some knee waders to wade or try to avoid. On rappel 6, we avoided dropping into the swimmer by scrambling up and doing the 50ft drop to the edge of the pool where we enjoyed the views of the dryfall, pool, and looking up the main fork of the canyon. :D The narrows got even sweeter when we hit the short 2-stage rappel 7, followed by a narrow traverse past a pool, a sweet view ahead that told us the final drops are very nearby :scared: , some boulders to bypass, and then we were above that 150ft rappel 8 with a sweeping view of Zion Canyon of Emerald Pools down below. :o This was the tricky rappel of the day for us. :? So I threw the rope out a bit trying to clear some ledges though I ended up getting it snagged on some some flakes but I didn't realize this until I was 30ft down from the anchors... So as I'm rappelling down, the end of the rope is pulling me away from the natural center line and it was rather difficult to pull up on it to get some slack for my brake hand. Luckily there was a ledge I could traverse on, lock off, and pull/flick the rope off of the flakes and unstick it. Though once all the way down the rope pull was futile, so I ascended 30ft back up to a ledge to get a better angle and was able to pull it down and did a short drop off of a chockstone to get back down to the ledge for the 165ft final rappel. :) After that difficult rappel, this final rappel turned out to be the sweetest of them all with most of it being free hanging while enjoying the amazing view & woohooing at the top of my lungs. :y: Once done, we stuffed the ropes, took a much needed break, boulder hopped down to middle Emerald Pools, took the short trail up to upper pools to check out the final rappel/falls of Heaps Canyon, before hiking down canyon to the Lodge for some amazing ice cream cones. :D

Permit $$
information is in description

Zion National Park
Zion Per Car/7 Day Entrance Fee (Permits such as backcountry and such may pertain too)

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Zion Visitor center is on highway 9 just north of Springdale, Utah. Once at the visitor center, park and get on the free shuttle. Get off the shuttle at zion Lodge and start your hike by going across the street and over the bridge.
page created by nonot on May 26 2009 11:20 pm
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