The Emerald Pool Trail Hike in Zion National Park is fun and easy enough for almost everyone. We took our family (ages 4+) on this hike and they all did fine. You will want to watch your little ones since the trail in a drop off on one side and there is no barrier. The hike starts right across the street from the Zion Lodge. There is a beautiful bridge that you will cross to get to the trailhead.
The hike into the Lower Emerald Pool is about 1.2 miles and 1 hour round trip. Since we only came in this way – I would say that it took us about 30 minutes to get to the Lower Emerald Pool, and that was with a short detour to explore a little bit on the way (see the picture of my son sitting in the mountain below). When we reached the Lower Emerald Pool, I was in awe at how beautiful the walkway around the mountain is. There are two different falls that come off right here (at least when we were there) and you can expect to get slightly wet (maybe more depending on amount of runoff) when you pass under them. The first one is the worst, so be sure to protect any electronics. You will also want to be careful since it can be a little slippery. From here we made our way around and up the trail to the Upper Emerald Pool and this is where we discovered the Middle Emerald Pool – which is a fantastic place to take a break and enjoy the beautiful view.
The hike up to the Upper Emerald Pool is about 0.5 miles from the Middle Emerald Pool – and the Middle Emerald Pool is about 0.4 miles above the Lower Emerald Pool. If you were to hike straight in to the Upper Emerald Pool from the trailhead it is about 1.5 miles in and would take about about an hour. The hike from the trailhead to the Lower Emerald Pool is easy and not strenuous. The hike up to the Middle Emerald Pool from the Lower Emerald Pool is steep but short and worth the effort to get up there. From the Middle Emerald Pool to the Upper Emerald Pool is steep and sandy and rocky but a beautiful hike with great views. All of them were doable by our kids age 4+.
This is a beautiful place to visit and we loved the green Emerald water and the views of Zion Park from up here. We left this area via the Kayenta Trail, and I will be sharing about that soon!
Things to note:
- Be sure to use the potty before starting up the trail. There are no facilities until you come back down or exit out at The Grotto if you leave via the Kayenta trail.
- We packed a lunch to eat, and we brought lots of water.
- I would also recommend sunscreen – even in late March we were getting sunburns.
- The temperatures in Zion in March can vary – but for us this year they have stayed in the 60-70’s during the day and about 30-40’s at night. Not bad for us since we are used to the colder weather.
- Take jackets with you because the shady areas get chilly – especially when it is breezy.
- Emerald Pool Trail consists of a lower pool trail hike and an upper pool trail hike, but there is also a middle pool right above the lower pool that is amazing and so fun for the kids.
- The trail is paved the whole way with minimal interference so it is ok for strollers. You will have to come back out this same way since the trail to Upper Emerald Pool is to rocky and steep.
You can learn more about Hiking in Zion National Park here
Have you been on the Emerald Pool Trail in Zion before? What was your experience?