|EMERALD POOLS TRAIL|
|TRAIL INFORMATION||VIEW PHOTOS!|
Emerald Pools is a Zion classic: an oasis in the middle of the desert. The hike is a collection of short trails that meander past a small, lushly-vegetated stream that rolls down from the cliffs and forms several interesting "pools." If you have only two hours to spend on a leisurely non-strenuous hike with the entire family, I would probably pick this one. As this hike is not very difficult and it is located just across from the Zion Lodge, this trail gets crowded in the summer months, so be prepared to share the views with many other people. The trail is family-friendly, but keep a close eye on your children; do not let them play or run by the cliff ledges.
|Rating:||Easy family stroll.|
|Access:||The Zion Lodge (the 5th stop for the Zion Canyon Shuttle in Zion's main canyon) or the Grotto (the 6th stop) via the slightly longer "Kayenta Trail."|
|Time Required:||2-4 hours|
|Length:||Roughly 2 miles, depending on which loops you hike.|
|Elevation Change:||200-ft elevation gain to get to Middle Emerald Pools and another 200-ft gain to Upper Emerald Pools.|
|Seasons:||Year-round. Spring and fall are most pleasant; summer can be very hot with the falls down to a trickle.|
The most likely starting point for this hike is at the Zion Lodge. Cross the footbridge and follow the trail that goes north along the Virgin River. (You can also get to Emerald Pools from the Grotto bus stop, hiking southeast on a little connector trail, recently named the "Kayenta Trail.") Total time for this hike: 2-4 hours (depending on how leisurely your stroll).
This hike is a perfect short and easy hike for tourists and first-timers to Zion, but be prepared for potential crowds. Also keep in mind that waterflow in Emerald Pools is usually quite light, so if you are expecting Yosemite-volume waterfalls, you will be disappointed unless you are visiting during the spring runoff or during a rainstorm.