Zion National Park
Small Pools, Giant Cliffs, Waterfalls
I did 1.92 miles round trip
476 Ft of total elevation gain
$25 entrance fee for the park
Bring your own water
Paved to the first pool, stairs after that
At the trailhead
Zion Canyon Visitor Center
In the park
Emerald Pools is a VERY popular hike in Zion National Park. There are always a ton of people for a hike that I think is really only worth doing if the waterfalls are flowing. If the water is flowing then it is worth dealing with all the people. Like all Zion hikes you are surrounded by spectacular vistas. This is a great hike for families and kids. The parking lot is right across from the Zion Lodge.
Just after the lot you will cross a bridge above the Virgin River.
The trail is paved all the way to the first pool.
You will be surrounded by huge Zion cliffs.
This is a rare hike that actually has substantial shade here. It would be a good one to escape heat in the summer but that is also when the waterfalls are rarely flowing.
You will soon come to the first pool that has two waterfalls probably about 30 feet high. They are really cool to see and you get to walk right under and behind them. This for me is what makes the hike worth it and when flowing is a great spot to cool off in the mist.
Right after the waterfalls you will start to steadily climb with lots of steps making it a pretty easy hike for most people.
After the stairs you will come to the less spectacular second pool. You can see the waterfalls from above if you wish.
From the second pool the trail was closed going to the third as well as the loop option so we had to return the way we came which was totally fine.
Depending on the time of year you can return to the first pool via a loop trail or take the way you came. Both are decent options.
This hike is definitely worth the time to see the falls since I am a waterfall nut. Just be prepared for crowds and you will have a lot of fun and could take kids of most any ages since it is a fairly easy hike especially to the first pool and falls.