Emerald Pools Zion Book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National Park
Emerald Pools is one of Zion's sweetest signature trails. Generously endowed with breathtaking scenery, this trail is one that children and adults alike will have fun hiking. Waterfalls, pools and a dazzling display of monoliths create the Emerald Pools Trail System. When I was a kid I did this hike a multitude of times, never getting tired of it. Back then we would drop out shoes at the start of the trail, stack tiny cairns on the upper trail and never missed a chance to swim in the upper pool and we usually explored the drainage behind the middle pool. With all the visitation that park gets now, those things are not allowed, but still this is one of the most
Lower Emerald Pool - At the trailhead, choose the scenic Lower Emerald Pool Trail rather than the steeper Middle Emerald Pool Trail. Much of the paved lower trail is shaded by cottonwood and box elder trees as it winds along the North Fork of the Virgin River. It's just over a half-mile to the lush alcove of the lower pool. Moisture seeps from sandstone and mist sprays from the falls, feeding lush hanging gardens in the recessed rock. Ferns and moss sprout from the mountainside with an occasional monkey flower, shooting star or delicate columbine peering from the more subtle vegetation. The trail ducks behind twin waterfalls, spilling from the middle pools, leaving black streaks of desert varnish behind. Droplets dance off boulders that have fallen from above, now lining the pool of mossy green water. The lower is my favorite of the pools. Anyone can get to it and you are right there with the pool, hanging gardens and the dripping water.
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