Saturday, December 5, 2020

The Upper and Lower Emerald Pools Hike in Zion

We were getting to the end of our Zion National Park vacation and decided to get shuttle passes one last time.

I wasn’t difficult, I logged in right at 9am and scored passes for the next day at 11am.

We did have to wait a few minutes for the shuttle, but not very long.

We took the shuttle to the Grotto where we exited for the Upper Emerald Pools trail.

The guidebook describes the hike as “Minor drop-offs. A sandy and rocky trail that climbs to the Upper Emerald Pool at the base of a cliff.” They feel the need to point out no swimming is allowed.

View along the trail looking toward the Virgin River

One of the rocky portions of the trail

The hike climbs about 200 feet in a 1-mile hike.

There are a couple of spots that are a little rocky and some spots are mildly steep.


The first part of the trail follows along above the Virgin River

Once we reached the Upper Pools, I had to laugh at the no swimming policy. At the time of year we were there, the Upper Pool is more of a large puddle. I’m sure during high rain and snow melt periods it’s a lot different.

The Upper Emerald Pools

Instead of heading back to the Grotto, we opted to take a turn and hike past the Lower Emerald Pools and to the Zion Lodge.

Once we reached the lower pools, it’s an easy paved hike, dropping about 69 feet in 1.2 miles.