Best time to travel to Utah

Emerald Pools in Utah

Gorgeous cliffs and rocks together with powerful waterfalls will mark your way to the emerald pools

Best time: March–May | September–November (all year round)

Emerald Pools
Emerald Pools
Emerald Pools

Zion National Park in Utah is a great hiking spot. Several trails lead to fantastic waterfalls and beautiful Emerald Pools. You can also marvel the view on Lady Mountain, the Great White Throne, Red Arch Mountain and other cliffs everywhere around you.

The best seasons for hiking to the Emerald Pools are spring and autumn, as the weather is the most pleasant. During spring, the water level rises and creates the most spectacular waterfalls. Summers are usually too hot, so the falls are not as impressive. During winter it can be icy and slippery in some spots.

Lush green flora makes the area near the pools especially beautiful. But, as the pools are protected, swimming here is strictly prohibited. Just watch and enjoy nature’s beauty.

You can hike one of three different difficulty level trails. They vary from short and easy to more adventurous ones. The Lower pool, which is located on the bottom of the canyon, is accessible even for kids. The Middle trail is moderate, with a large open area surrounded by slick rock. The Upper trail is the hardest with some steep, sandy spots. The easiest trail is around 2 km long, and the most adventurous is 5 km. As the trails are quite easy, expect to meet lots of other people walking, having a picnic and enjoying this beautiful canyon.

Practical info

When is the best time to hike to the Emerald Pools?

The best seasons to visit the Emerald Pools are spring and autumn, as this is when the waterfalls are most impressive. During summertime it can be too hot, and during winter the trails can be icy and slippery. Therefore, spring and autumn offer the best weather and most beautiful scenery for hikers. Show more

Can you swim in the Emerald Pools?

It is strictly forbidden to swim in the Emerald Pools. These areas are protected, and swimming can damage the ecosystem and flora and fauna in the area. Visitors are encouraged to admire the emerald green waters without disturbing these protected pools and endangering the environment and wildlife. Show more

Where can you find Lady Mountain in Zion National Park?

You can spot Lady Mountain from many places in Zion National Park, particularly when hiking to the Emerald Pools. It is situated in the southwest part of Zion Canyon. The most challenging trail, the West Rim Trail, is the best way to get to Lady Mountain, although this hike is quite strenuous and recommended only for experienced hikers. Show more

What are the different difficulty levels of the hiking trails to the Emerald Pools?

The hiking trails to the Emerald Pools come in three different levels of difficulty. The Lower Trail is the least challenging and comprises a short and flat pathway suitable for people of all ages. The Middle Trail is considered moderately challenging, featuring slick rocks and expansive open areas. Finally, the Upper Trail is the most strenuous, involving steep sandy sections and covering over five kilometers, making it best suited for experienced hikers. Show more

Are the hiking trails to the Emerald Pools crowded, or can you enjoy them in solitude?

Due to the popularity of the Emerald Pools, the hiking trails can become crowded during peak seasons and weekends. However, it is still possible to find solitude on these trails, given their various lengths and difficulties. For a better experience, visitors are encouraged to hike in the early hours of the day or off-season when there are fewer people around. Show more

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