Out and Back
To access the trail, the most common starting place is at Zion Lodge (the 5th stop on the shuttle). From there, cross the footbridge and take the trail north, following the Virgin River. Note that you can also access the Emerald Pools from the Grotto Bus Stop (the 6th stop), and take the short Kayenta Trail to the Emerald Pools Trail.
An oasis in the dessert, Emerald Pools is a series of short trails that follow a small stream surrounded by lots of green plants and ending in several “pools.” They are typically well-trafficked, especially by those new to Zion. After passing through the Lower and Middle Emerald Pools, you can make your way up to the Upper Emerald Pools where the Trail becomes a bit more challenging. The last stretch typically hot and sandy, but you’ll end up at the base of impressive 300-foot cliffs where you’ll find a large pool and can sit and relax a bit. Look for a slight waterfall coming from the mouth of Heap’s Canyon far above you. From here, you can go back the way you came, or you can loop back to the lodge.