Lower Emerald Pool Trail, Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park was the first National Park established in Utah and it’s easy to see why. The beautiful cliffs of red sandstone tower around you, as the meandering Virgin River gurgles happily. Now, there’s plenty to see and do in Zion National Park, but Mountain Dad and I chose to take the tots hiking on the Lower Emerald Pool Trail our first day, because of the promise of water.
The Lower Emerald Pool Trail begins across the street from Zion Lodge. The trail was paved at the beginning, well marked and relatively flat. Little g hated being strapped into the pack, as always, but her tiny legs just couldn’t keep up, even with great trail conditions.

On this hot summer day, the cool water showering us from above was a welcome respite. Emerald Pools gets its name from the green algae growing in the water, but the waterfalls are what make the hike truly interesting. 

Lower Emerald Pools Trail connects to Upper Emerald Pools trail and the Kayenta Trail. Big E was a great hiker for the Lower and Upper Emerald Pools Trails, walking on his own the entire time. 

Construction on an off shoot of this trail made a portion unreachable, but we were satisfied with the large waterfall of the Lower Emerald Pool and this small waterfall of what I call the Middle Emerald Pool. We stopped here for a picnic, and to let the tots splash in the water, refreshing after an afternoon in the sun. 

On the hike down, it was obvious that Little g enjoyed herself. Nothing tires out the little ones like some outdoor exercise!

Location: Zion National Park, Utah
Distance: 1.5 miles round trip
Difficulty: Moderate
Rating: 4 Stars
Tips: Bring your own water bottle. Zion National Park no longer sells plastic water bottles in an effort to reduce waste.

Author: Mountain Mom

Hi! I'm Mountain Mom. I live with my husband and three young kids in the mountains near Sundance, Utah. When we're not hiking, biking, skiing and camping, I spend my time doing Mom stuff and reading. Summer of 2016 we traveled over 7,000 miles along the US National Park to Park Highway.

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