The Emerald Pools Trail begins at the Zion Lodge westward to Lower Emerald Pool. Built in 1932, it was created using only hand tools. An extension built the same year runs to the Grotto Campground. The first section required the construction of stone steps to a high standard of design and finish. Repairs to the stonework were carried out in 1969.
Emerald Pools Trail Complex
If you are willing to split up large groups, you may want to try trails within the Emerald Pools Trail Complex. Zion Lodge or Grotto Picnic Area can be used as drop-off or pick-up points. Please allow no more than one class of students (20 - 30) on the same part of a trail at a time. One adult chaperone for at least every 10 students is highly recommended.
Lower Emerald Pool Trail:
Easy, .6 mile one-way, 69 foot ascent. Paved trail to the pool, which goes behind the waterfalls that cascade from the Middle Pools into the Lower pool. Minor drop-offs. Connects to the Middle Emerald Pool Trail to form a moderate, 1.6 mile loop. Trailhead is across from Zion Lodge. Once across the footbridge, turn right.
Middle Emerald Pools Trail:
Moderate, 1 mile one-way, 150 foot ascent. Unpaved climb, including steps to a sandstone ledge that parallels the lower trail but at a higher level. Long drop-offs. Do not go near the edge. Deaths have occurred from falling from the middle pools. Trailhead is across from Zion Lodge. Once across the footbridge, turn left. Or alternatively, you can connect via the Lower Emerald Pool Trail for a moderate, 1.6 mile loop.
The 2.2-mile (3.5 km) trail was individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 14, 1987, reference number 86003725.