Day 2: A DIFFERENT SIDE OF ZION
Being the early-birds that we were, we had checked out of the Bumbleberry by around 6:15am. Even though we were intending to drive all the way back to Los Angeles today, we had to at least spend some time checking out the waterfalls that we knew would be flowing at the Emerald Pools.
As Julie and I remembered, the trail to the Lower Emerald Pool was pretty straightforward (even paved, I recalled). And it didn’t take long before we made it to the part of the trail where it hugged the cliffs and went around the pools below us.
Clearly on the gray day like today, the pools weren’t emerald in color, but at least the trail now passed behind three waterfalls falling side-by-side to each other! We thought that was a pretty cool sight, especially when you factor in that waterfalls in Zion National Park are rare in general.
When we got to the other side of the lower pools, we then climbed up some steps, reached a junction, and then briefly went towards the Middle Emerald Pools where we could see there was indeed overflow of those pools being responsible for the trio of waterfalls we saw below us.
Given the wet conditions, we made sure not to stray past the chain-linked fence that was put there to ensure we wouldn’t get too close to the slippery edge and dropoffs. But aside from this brief interlude to the Middle Emerald Pools, we then headed up the rougher and more narrower trail climbing up to the Upper Emerald Pool.
Upping our anticipation for getting there, we saw the impressive waterfall coming out of the cliffs up ahead in the distance. Indeed, it was impressive, and we couldn’t wait to see how imposing it would be once we got up to the Upper Emerald Pool.
We eventually got up to the Upper Emerald Pool at 8am. And sure enough, this waterfall was tall enough that we couldn’t photograph the whole waterfall from the edge of the misty pool, which once again was not an emerald color thanks to the rain.
Instead, it was more brownish in color (probably from a combination of mud and the brownish surface underneath the pool). So we actually had to back away from the falls in order to photograph its entirety (which was still a little awkward).
In any case, we spent some time here taking people shots as well as having this waterfall all to ourselves. I guess a little bad weather and some hiking was all that was required to have this moment of family solitude for the time being.
After having our fill of the falls, we then headed back down towards the trail we took on the way up from the Lower Emerald Pools. Mom and Julie went straight back down past the Lower Emerald Pools, but I decided to briefly take the trail heading towards Angels Landing. For I knew that there must be a view that would encompass all the Emerald Pool Waterfalls in one shot.
And sure enough after a few more minutes of walking, I got the sought-after view where three waterfalls were spilling below into the Lower Emerald Pools while there was one more at the very top spilling into the Upper Emerald Pool.
Now that was a sight you don’t normally get to see!
Ultimately, we’d be back at the car at around 9:15am, and it was still early enough to head for home and be there at a reasonable hour. Thus, this concluded our brief weekend tour of Zion (in the rain), and we didn’t even have to take any days off for it! Not bad!