Located in the heart of 2,500-foot deep Zion Canyon in Zion National Park, seasonal runoff from Heaps Canyon and Behunin Canyon converge to create the stunning Emerald Pools, a series of three pools (upper, middle and lower) separated by dramatic free-falling horsetail cascades.
This family-friendly hike starts at either the Zion Lodge or from the Grotto via the riverside Kayenta Trail. Once you have crossed the North Fork Virgin River, you'll hike below the park's iconic, iron oxide rich, red Navajo sandstone cliffs and be gradually protected from the desert sun by the shade of cottonwood and box elder trees. From Heaps Canyon, the creek spews water roughly 300 feet to create impressive Upper Emerald Pool Falls and then descends over boulders to eventually collect at Middle Emerald Pool. The creek falls an additional 110 feet to collect once again at Lower Emerald Pool. At the cantilevered amphitheater of Lower Emerald Pool Falls adjacent Behunin Canyon the creek makes an equally impressive free fall to create a curtain of water.
Note: The lower pool trail is paved and is easily accessible for more rugged wheelchairs. Check out the falls in late spring to catch to most water dropping from the falls, as runoff dwindles during late summer and fall. Note that swimming in the pools is prohibited.