The Emerald Pools of Zion National Park
Right across the road from Zion Lodge are the Emerald Pools, a mix of trails and pools that provide easy to moderate hiking opportunities between each oasis.
Life is abundant around water in a desert environment. You’ll find springs, waterfalls, pools and tree frogs — too many to count. Indeed, the frogs provide evening concerts.
The trailhead for two trails is right across the street from the lodge. The Lower Trail leads to the Lower Emerald Pool at the base of the cliff. Two streams trickle across the face of the cliff and fall into the pool. The trail leads behind the waterfall for a bit of visual, aural and misty magic. Wheelchairs can manage the trail with a little help.
The Middle Trail is a moderately challenging hike to the two Middle Pools above. Be careful — more falling accidents happen here than anywhere else in the park! Chains block access, but many visitors can’t resist venturing out onto the lip of the cliff, which is slippery.
From the Middle Pools, a steep, rocky, 3-mile trail leads up to the Upper Pool, described as the loveliest of all the Emerald Pools. Lady Mountain towers above visitors. A waterfall leaps from the cliff to fall into the Upper Pool.
During rainfall, all the waterfalls become more forceful and dramatic.
Waterfalls in Zion are best viewed in the spring, during spring runoff. Seasonal in nature, waterfalls can become dramatic (and in some cases dangerous) during monsoonal thunderstorms in the summer.