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Emerald Pools, Zion National Park

3.5
#3 of 12 in Nature in Zion National Park
Geologic Formation Waterfall
Lush green gardens hang off sandstone cliffs, giving Emerald Pools their name. Nestled deep within a canyon inside Zion National Park, the pools feature vegetation of moss and ferns that flank the side of the pool, which is fed by the trickling water sprayed from the falls. A 1.6 km (1 mi) trail initially runs along the river, taking you through forests and waterfalls to the lower pool, which is a 45.7 m (150 ft) ascent. From the lower pool, you can choose from a number of more challenging paths that ascend to the middle and upper pools via a looped-track. Be aware that climbing to the upper pool requires a 106.7 m (350 ft.) ascent. The final stretch is hotter and drier, but can take you to cliffs spanning 91 m (300 ft). To visit Emerald Pools and get the most from your holiday in Zion National Park, create itinerary details personal to you using our Zion National Park vacation trip planner.
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Where to stay in Zion National Park

If you want to stay inside Zion National Park, you can choose from three campgrounds or the Zion Lodge, which includes motel rooms, cabins, suites, and a restaurant. Two of the campgrounds sit near the south entrance, while the third lies more isolated about a one-hour drive from Zion Canyon along the Kolob Terrace Road. The gateway town of Springdale just south of the park has a wide range of accommodations. Choose from cozy inns and bed and breakfasts, rustic riverside lodges, and clean and simple motels. If everything's full here, try the nearby towns of Virgin and Hurricane.
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  • I did this hike with my husband and 2 kids, 7 and 10 years old. My 7 year old made it to the first pool and wanted to go back. It wasn't "pooly" enough for him and it definitely wasn't emerald when we...  more »
  • We used this easy trail to acclimate to Zion. We got use to the shuttles, how to ride back, and deal with many, many people. We typically hike early, but the family was wounded in many ways, so we sta...  more »
  • We choose to walk to the lower pools so the round trip was around 1 hour. A paved path but a little steep in places. If you decide to go right down to the pools you will get very wet from the waterfal...  more »