Location: Zion National Park – Park Shuttle Map
Distance: 1.2 miles
Type: Day-hike; Out-and-back
Rating: Very Easy
Permits & Fees: $35 pass for one vehicle (good for 7 days). If parking in the town of Springdale, UT, right outside of the entrance, it is $10 to park and $20 per person (good for 7 days) if walking into park by foot. More information can be found here.
No preparation required; walking shoes and water are the only required equipment.
Take the Park Shuttle to the 5th Stop, also known as Zion Lodge. After exiting the shuttle follow signs for the Emerald Pools Trails. A path will lead to the paved road. On the other side of the road and after crossing a bridge over the Virgin River, the trail head for the Lower, Middle & Upper Emerald Pools begins:
Note: During the time of my visit, the Middle & Upper Emerald Pools Trail was closed due to a rockfall.
This short, paved hike offers a ground-level view of the canyon and is a peaceful way to start or end the day. After a quick 10-15 minute walk, the Lower Emerald Pool quickly comes into view with a waterfall accompanying it: