Zion National Park – the afternoon

You’d better like emerald pools when you hop off the Zion shuttle at Stop 5. In a single hike you can visit Lower Emerald Pool, Middle Emerald Pool (Lower), Middle Emerald Pool (Upper) and Upper Emerald Pool. If that’s not enough emerald pooling for one day, I guess you could start over.

After crossing the bridge over the Virgin River, we turned left when most turned right and took the direct but steep 150 foot climb to the upper Middle Emerald pool. I wish I’d taken a photo of the start of the climb, but I was too busy trying to find oxygen. You can see the bridge where we began in the next photo.

I think this was our first major cactus sighting of the trip. There’s a lot of vegetation in Zion, but most is something other than cactus.

Here we are at the (upper) middle pool. I found it the most attractive of the four. You can walk right to the edge where the water drops off into the lower middle pool.

After a short lunch break, we climbed another 200 feet to the Upper Emerald Pool. The reward for the climb is not so much the pool, which is kind of boring, but the waterfall that fills it.

We found this guy working on a nut on our way down to the lower Middle Emerald Pool. She/he was completely unconcerned with passing tourists.

The best thing about the Lower Emerald Pool is the overhang below the middle pools. A fun walk underneath the falls. The pool itself? Meh.

The next morning, we fired up the Audacious Audi, headed past the severely depleted Lake Powell, and overnighted near Sedona at the always superb Penrose B&B. We took a short, photo-less hike the next morning then headed to Scottsdale to introduce the Audi to his new home.

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