Shuttle Stop 5, [Zion Lodge]
Estimated Roundtrip Time: 1 hours
Distance: 1 miles/1.6 kilometers
Elevation Change: 69 feet/21 meters
Description: Minor drop-offs, Paved trails leads to the lower emerald pool and waterfalls. Connect to the kayenta and upper emerald pool trails.
The Emerald Pools Trail is particularly unique, consisting of three different trails: The Lower Emerald Pools, the Middle Emerald Pools, and the Upper Emerald Pools. It’s a classic trail to take a stroll on, with lush vegetation and gorgeous streams trailing down the cliffs.
This trail is named after the unique pools set on the west side of Zion Canyon. As the streams of water fall from the canyon and toward the Virgin River, they pass through three tiers of pools.
Out of the three trails, the Lower Emerald Pool is the easiest to get to. This relaxing trek manages to pass the giant rock formations of Zion, along with a green oasis, without intense hikes up slopes. This lower trail reaches the bottom of the pool before rising only 70 feet!
The best route to reach the trail starts at the Zion Lodge. After passing the footbridge, you’ll continue down the trail north by the Virgin River. After just .5 miles, the vegetation changes drastically. Before reaching the Middle Emerald Pools trail, you’ll come across an alcove under two waterfalls. Below, you’ll find the pools, which complement the falls and greenery around it.
All three trails are considered a great hike for first-timers to Zion and beginner hikers… But reaching the Lower Emerald Pools is an enjoyable feat for the elderly and baby-strollers. This first tier of pools allows hikers to get a good look of the falls and pools without a strenuous journey to the Upper Emerald Pools.