Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Middle Emerald Pools (Zion National Park)

Zion National Park-Middle Emerald Pools
Middle Emerald Pools

The Middle Emerald Pools is the second in a series of three pools in this canyon, and from which flows a waterfall into the Lower Pools. If you look hard enough, you'll notice many varieties of aquatic animals, including minnows, tadpoles, toads, dragonflies, and damselflies. This 2-mile hike can be strenuous for children because of the 150 foot elevation gain and rocky terrain, but if your children can make it, they'll love these beautiful pools.

Note: There is a park entrance fee of $25 to enter Zion National Park, and swimming is not allowed in the Lower, Middle, or Upper Emerald Pools.

  • From St. George

  • Head north on the I-15

  • Exit the freeway on exit 16 onto SR 9 East towards Hurricane/Zion National Park

  • After 12.1 miles, take a right on SR 9, 500 N in LaVerkin

  • Follow this road for 21 miles till you arrive at the entrance of Zion National Park

  • From April to October, Park at the museum and the shuttle will take you to the Zion Lodge stop

GPS: 37.250714, -112.959553
Distance: 2 miles out and back
Difficulty: 2
Hike Time: 1 - 2 hours
Trail Condition: Well marked and well maintained
Season: Early Spring to late Fall

Detailed Description:
A short distance after the trailhead at Zion Lodge, after travelling across the bridge over the river, the trail forks. To the right is the trail to the Lower Emerald Pools, and to the left is the trail to the Middle Emerald Pools and Upper Emerald Pools. There is only one way to get to the Lower Emerald Pools, and you cannot access the Middle and Upper from the Lower. There are two ways to access the Middle and Upper Pools: One way is from the trailhead at the Zion Lodge, and the other is from the Kayenta Trail.

Once you cross over the bridge and reach the junction from the trailhead at Zion Lodge, and head left to the Middle and Upper Pools, the trail begins its steep ascent, gaining a lot of elevation fairly quickly. Once the trail veers left and begins to head up into the canyon, you can look to your right, and on the other side of the canyon see the Kayenta trail leading into the canyon. The two trails meet at the Middle Emerald Pools, and from there, a separate trail joins which takes you to the Upper Pools. In the afternoon of the Spring and Summer, this trail can be very hot and dry, and because of the harmful bacteria, you can't drink the water in the pools, so it is necessary to bring your own. Fortunately, there are many stops in Zion National Park where you can refill your water bottles, Zion Lodge being one of them.



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