Zion National Park: Emerald Pools

It’s truly unbelievable how much Utah has to offer.

If you love hiking and you end up in Utah on a cross-country road trip like us, be sure to make it to Zion National Park. The park has lots of trails to offer for every skill level, and I’m sure they’re all beautiful, but we only had time to pick one before continuing on our journey.

Zion contains many hikes that have daunting drop-offs at high elevations, which I absolutely love. Liz, on the other hand, being deathly afraid of heights, advised against these trails.

After browsing the map and trail guide for a few minutes we decided that the Emerald Pools hiking trail would be best to explore before hitting the road again. A relatively short hike, the three-mile, out-and-back Emerald Pools trail winds up through just a few hundred feet of elevation gain.

Just as the name suggests, you are blessed with three different small pools that are, in fact, emerald in color.
Reaching the lower pool, you are met by a thin waterfall running down over the cliffs that tower above, a greeting which I embraced with literal open arms.

A bit further down the trail that circles the pool is another small waterfall and a ledge from which many tourists will snap photos of the emerald pool below. I would recommend hitting this trail early since it is extremely popular.

The second pool is much smaller, more of a large puddle really, but still very pretty. It lies on the edge of the cliff that hovers over the lower pool below, and actually feeds into it via that aforementioned waterfall.

After this pool the crowd begins to thin out a bit just because of the steep incline, and you can look out from a couple of overlooks that are breathtaking. The grade really isn’t all that difficult, but for older folks and small children it can be kind of challenging, especially in the summer heat.

But once you reach the upper pool that struggle is worth it. This last pool is fairly large and surrounded by more ominously beautiful sedimentary cliffs. We scrambled up the low boulders that gather around the water and perched ourselves at the top, winded and amazed at the beauty of this path through the cliffs of Zion.


Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for long, Arches National Park was our next destination and we had to make it to Moab before nightfall not knowing where we were going to stay that night.
I do know this: one day we will return to Zion and explore more of the park, and I’ll maybe even get Liz to go on one of those steep trails.

What better way of facing your fears than head on?

Stay Lost,

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5 thoughts on “Zion National Park: Emerald Pools

  1. Thanks so much for following Oh, the Places We See. We must love similar things — outdoors, national parks, grand vistas, and emerald waters. We wish we were young enough to explore Zion again as you did so we could be up close and personal with all its great scenery. Here’s a post on Arches that we think you’ll enjoy: http://wp.me/p2l4j8-2jq Thanks for traveling with us!

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