Zion National Park: Hiking Emerald Pools Trail and Staying Overnight in Springdale

| | , ,

After hiking Angels Landing, Julia and I continued to explore Zion National Park by making our way to the Zion Lodge and the Emerald Pools Trailhead. The Emerald Pools are on the West side of Zion Canyon, which meant we’d be hiking in the cool shade for the entirety of this trail.

There are three Emerald Pools, Lower, Middle, and Upper. This hike is a 2 mile out-and-back roundtrip with 350ft of elevation gain. 


Zion National Park Emerald Pools Springdale
Starting At Zion Lodge
Zion National Park Emerald Pools Springdale
Crossing The Bridge To Start The Trail

Leaving Zion Lodge, the trail crosses the Virgin River via a bridge and begins towards Lower Emerald Pool with a .6 miles stretch that is on a paved walkway. The majority of this trail is flat, with only a few short uphill patches, before descending below a waterfall and hanging garden.


Zion National Park Emerald Pools Springdale
Towards The Lower Pool

It was quite amazing to feel the scale and presence of the sandstone walls that rose like an amphitheater as we approached the Lower Emerald Pool. With water falling and dripping down the walls, I was enchanted by the peaceful and meditative sound only found in these nature environments. It was a fairly cool day with temperatures in the lower 40s. A small stretch of trail requires that you walk underneath the fall. Although it was cold, I really enjoyed feeling the spray of cold water that fell upon me.


Zion National Park Emerald Pools Springdale
Looking Up At The Fall
Zion National Park Emerald Pools Springdale
On The Trail

The trail begins a very gentle ascent after leaving Lower Emerald Pool to Middle Emerald Pool. The water that was falling down the sandstone walls in the Lower Pool, comes from the Middle Pool up above. It’s only a few short steps up on the trail to reach the Middle Pool.

There is a trail junction at this section that gives you two options. You can continue on towards the Upper Emerald Pool or head back towards the Grotto (The Angels Landing Trailhead). The trail towards the Grotto allows for a nice loop hike if you’re trying to avoid and out and back.


Zion National Park Emerald Pools Springdale
Looking Out Towards The Canyon
Zion National Park Emerald Pools Springdale
Middle Pool
Zion National Park Emerald Pools Springdale
Continuing On

The stretch of trail from the Middle Pool to the Upper Pool has the most uphill hiking on this hike. It’s hardly substantial though, and can be completed by anyone with even a moderate level of fitness. We saw a lot of children of all ages enjoying this hike.


Zion National Park Emerald Pools Springdale
Upper Pool
Zion National Park Emerald Pools Springdale
Walls Of The Upper Pool

After reaching the Upper Emerald Pool, we made our way back down on the same stretch of trail to reach the Zion Lodge. The afternoon fall colors were really starting to shine, which was nice given the amount of darkness and shade we had just hiked through. We spent a little more time exploring the park before making our way to the visitor center to buy some patches and stickers, and eventually left just before sundown.


Zion National Park Emerald Pools Springdale
Zion National Park
Zion National Park Emerald Pools Springdale
Fall Colors At the Zion Visitor Center

After driving as much as we had to get to Zion, we decided to stay as close to the park as we could manage. The town of Springdale is the support town for Zion National Park, just a few miles outside of the park gates. Thanks to this being the off season, we were able to get a pretty decent hotel right in the heart of Springdale.

I’m a very healthy eater by nature and tend to follow a very strict diet when I’m home. That all goes out of the window while I’m travelling though, as I like to eat out and enjoy as much fat, salt, and calorie rich meals as I can manage. For dinner, we ate at a place called Oscar’s Cafe, which turned out to be a real gem. I would highly recommend it if you’re stopping through Springdale on a visit to Zion National Park.


Zion National Park Emerald Pools Springdale
A Great Burger
Zion National Park Emerald Pools Springdale
Beautiful Views From Spingdale

After dinner, we made our way back to the hotel, and relaxed for a bit before planning our day ahead. In the morning, we would be getting and early start and driving to Bryce Canyon to take in the magnificent hoodoos!


Previous

Zion National Park: Hiking Angels Landing

Bryce Canyon National Park: Queens Garden Trail Loop Hike

Next
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

23 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rechito
4 years ago

Great photos!
I love Zion, my favorite national park.

Trail to Peak
4 years ago
Reply to  Rechito

Thanks, Rechito!! It’s an absolutely gorgeous park!

thehumangirl
4 years ago

You hiked Angel’s Landing? RESPECT. I hiked to all three pools this summer and only a bit of Riverside Walk. I also really like your photos of everything 🙂

Trail to Peak
4 years ago
Reply to  thehumangirl

Thanks! Both Angels and Emerald Pools were incredible Fall hikes. I’d like to go back and see them in the Spring as well!

Christina Butcher
4 years ago

i plan on going to zion national park next year, so this is a great little post for me to get a feel for it! i plan on hiking through the narrows.

Trail to Peak
4 years ago

I’m glad it helped!

sileas
4 years ago

Wow, breathtaking! Fascinating landscape forms!

Trail to Peak
4 years ago
Reply to  sileas

It’s a very special place!

Shellie Troy Anderson
4 years ago

Okay, this is now on my bucket list. What spectacular vistas and getting up close and personal with that canyon. Plus for someone like me it’s fitness-compatible. Thanks for posting!

Trail to Peak
4 years ago

Thanks for reading! This is one of those great parks, that has a little something for everyone!

Miriam
4 years ago

Looks absolutely stunning! The walking sounds wonderful and so does the food!

Trail to Peak
4 years ago
Reply to  Miriam

Thanks, Miriam!

anna
anna
4 years ago

This is the hike I did end up doing. All these photos are familiar to me. Thanks for sharing. I might dig up my old photos now and reminisce!

Trail to Peak
4 years ago
Reply to  anna

Thanks for reading! I’d be interested to see photos from other seasons and years, as I hear the flow of water was unusually low when we visited.

lcmedic53
4 years ago

Absolutely beautiful! Haven’t been there yet but definitely on the list.

Trail to Peak
4 years ago
Reply to  lcmedic53

Thanks! It’s an incredible park. I’d highly recommend it!

Nicole Dacanay
4 years ago

Ah, your pictures are stunning! I wish we’d gotten to see the Emerald Pools on our visit to Zion. Your pictures are unforgettable.

Trail to Peak
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicole Dacanay

Thank you! There is so much to see at Zion. We’re hoping to return to explore the Narrows.

Nicole Dacanay
4 years ago
Reply to  Trail to Peak

Oh, I loved the Narrows. We went during summer in 2014 and it was easily my favorite hike ever. I hope you get to return too!

Adrenaline Romance
4 years ago

That’s a lovely hiking trail with lots of picturesque sights to see. 🙂

Trail to Peak
4 years ago

Yes, it’s a great one!

Régis
4 years ago

Such a nice place ! I love it so much ! Zion is one of the best park ever ! I did narrows and angel’s landing, awesome trails ! Nice job !

Trail to Peak
4 years ago
Reply to  Régis

Thanks, Regis!

23
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
%d bloggers like this: