Zion Canyon Waterfalls

Zion National Park, Utah, USA

About Zion Canyon Waterfalls


Hiking Distance: roadside to 3 miles round trip
Suggested Time: up to 2 hours (to Upper Emerald Pool)

Date first visited: 2001-06-17
Date last visited: 2003-03-15

Waterfall Latitude: 37.25737
Waterfall Longitude: -112.96235

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The Zion Canyon Waterfalls are more typically the ephemeral types that don’t last much longer than a few days after heavy rain.

However, since afternoon thunderstorms occur frequently during the monsoon season of mid to late summer, there’s a good chance you’ll see these falls if you’re here during that time.

Emerald_Pools_060_03162003 - Waterfalls spilling at the Emerald Pools during rain
Waterfalls spilling at the Emerald Pools during rain

On the other hand, we were fortunate to see these waterfalls in mid-March during a Spring rain storm that made these falls come alive.

But like I said, timing is everything and thus we believe most of these waterfalls marginally count as legitimate due to their lack of reliability of flow.

Some of the more prominent waterfalls that we noticed that had a little more staying power than the come-and-go ephemeral ones included a trio of waterfalls at the Emerald Pools.

The Lower Emerald Pools (the lower waterfalls shown in the photo above) featured waterfalls dropping over parallel segments.

Emerald_Pools_045_03162003 - The Upper Emerald Pool Waterfall
The Upper Emerald Pool Waterfall

The attractive 300ft waterfall at the Upper Emerald Pool shot out of a narrow notch in Zion Canyon.

In order to experience these waterfalls and pools, we did a hike of 2.5 miles round trip, which also could be done as a slightly longer loop hike.

Alternately, if we had just done the Lower Emerald Pools, it would’ve been 1.2 miles return.

The walk was pretty easy and the only real concern would be drop off hazards from getting close to the edge of the brink of the waterfalls at the Middle Emerald Pools (which spills into the Lower Emerald Pools).

Riverside_Walk_024_03152003 - The waterfall at the Temple of Sinawava
The waterfall at the Temple of Sinawava

We also witnessed a gorgeous tall waterfall at the Temple of Sinawava, which also put on a show under wetter times.

Anyways, this web page was my excuse to showcase and celebrate the beauty of Zion Canyon in addition to some of the waterfalls that can be found within the main part of Zion Canyon if the timing’s right, of course.

Authorities

The Zion Canyon Waterfalls reside in Zion National Park near Springdale in Washington County, Utah. It is administered by the National Park Service. For information or inquiries about the park as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Weeping_Rock_003_03152003 - Looking up at the weeping part of the Weeping Rock in Zion Canyon during our March 2003 visit
Weeping_Rock_004_03152003 - Looking towards Zion Canyon from Weeping Rock during our March 2003 visit
Weeping_Rock_012_03152003 - Another look up at the weeping part of Weeping Rock in March 2003
Hidden_Canyon_001_03152003 - Elevated view of Zion Canyon towards Angel's Landing from the trail up to Hidden Canyon as seen during our March 2003 visit
Hidden_Canyon_004_03152003 - Hiking on the exposed part of the Hidden Canyon Trail near Weeping Rock during our March 2003 visit
Hidden_Canyon_009_03152003 - Looking over some pools at the mouth of Hidden Canyon during our March 2003 visit, which made me believe that this could easily become a waterfall on the next flash flood or rain storm
Hidden_Canyon_014_03152003 - Psychedelic patterns on the walls of Hidden Canyon was one of the appeals of doing this hike during our March 2003 visit
Hidden_Canyon_026_03152003 - The natural arch within Hidden Canyon
Hidden_Canyon_045_03152003 - Context of Zion Canyon as we hiked back down from Hidden Canyon during our March 2003 visit
Riverside_Walk_002_03152003 - It started raining when we were doing the Riverside Walk in Zion Canyon. That made us realize that there might be waterfalls appearing in Zion Canyon during our March 2003 visit
Riverside_Walk_009_03152003 - Indeed, we started to notice some ephemeral waterfalls showing up as the rain intensified during our Riverside Walk experience in March 2003
Riverside_Walk_015_03152003 - Noticing the waterfall at the Temple of Sinawava during our March 2003 visit
Riverside_Walk_026_03152003 - Direct view of the waterfall at Temple of Sinawava, which seemed to be getting thicker by the minute during our rainy visit in March 2003
Zion_010_03152003 - We noticed in the distance that this waterfall, which dropped into the Upper Emerald Pool, as we drove along Zion Canyon Road during our March 2003 visit
Zion_013_03152003 - Context of the Upper Emerald Pool Waterfall as seen from the Zion Canyon Road in March 2003
Zion_018_03152003 - Distant view towards another ephemeral waterfall as seen from Zion Canyon Road during our March 2003 visit
Emerald_Pools_001_03162003 - Looking up the Virgin River from the trailhead to the Emerald Pools during our March 2003 visit
Emerald_Pools_003_03162003 - Looking downstream from the bridge over the Virgin River during our visit to the Emerald Pools on a rainy morning in March 2003
Emerald_Pools_007_03162003 - Looking across the waterfalls at the Lower Emerald Pools during our rainy morning hike in March 2003
Emerald_Pools_009_03162003 - Looking through one some of the segments of the Lower Emerald Pools Waterfalls towards a third segment as seen during our rainy visit in March 2003
Emerald_Pools_013_03162003 - Broad view of the Lower Emerald Pools Waterfalls as we hiked closer to the backsides of some of the waterfalls during our rainy morning visit in March 2003
Emerald_Pools_016_03162003 - Looking back towards a pair of thicker waterfalls at the Lower Emerald Pools during our March 2003 visit to Zion Canyon
Emerald_Pools_018_03162003 - Looking back towards the trio of Lower Emerald Pool Waterfalls during our March 2003 visit to Zion Canyon in the rain
Emerald_Pools_019_03162003 - Broader closeup view of the trio of waterfalls at the Lower Emerald Pools in March 2003
Emerald_Pools_021_03162003 - On the other side of the Lower Emerald Pools during our March 2003 visit, we also started to notice an additional waterfall, which I had to believe was for the Upper Emerald Pool
Emerald_Pools_022_03162003 - Contextual looking back at the trio of waterfalls as we approached the Middle Emerald Pools during our March 2003 visit
Emerald_Pools_024_03162003 - Approaching the waterfall tumbling into the Upper Emerald Pools on our March 2003 visit
Emerald_Pools_026_03162003 - Climbing even closer to the waterfall at the Upper Emerald Pool during our visit in March 2003
Emerald_Pools_027_03162003 - Finally making it up to the Upper Emerald Pool Waterfall, which was hard to photograph given its size. This photo was taken during our rainy March 2003 visit
Emerald_Pools_030_03162003 - Looking up towards the brink of the Upper Emerald Pool Waterfall after having made it all the way up to the fringes of its plunge pool during our visit in March 2003
Emerald_Pools_032_03162003 - Looking across the Upper Emerald Pool, which was fed by the rain-fed waterfall as seen during our visit in March 2003
Emerald_Pools_048_03162003 - While checking out the Upper Emerald Pool Waterfall, we also managed to spot this ephemeral waterfall seemingly gushing out of another cliff nearby during our visit in March 2003
Emerald_Pools_052_03162003 - Looking towards the brink of the waterfalls spilling into the Lower Emerald Pools from the Middle Emerald Pools as seen during our rainy visit in March 2003
Emerald_Pools_053_03162003 - Looking over the brink of the waterfalls between the Middle and Lower Emerald Pools during our rainy March 2003 visit
Emerald_Pools_055_03162003 - Looking across the brink of the waterfalls spilling into the Lower Emerald Pools as seen from the Middle Emerald Pools during our rainy morning visit in March 2003
Emerald_Pools_059_03162003 - Looking across Zion Canyon from the Middle Emerald Pools in March 2003
Emerald_Pools_063_03162003 - Broad view across all the Emerald Pool Waterfalls that we noticed in Zion Canyon during our visit in March 2003
Emerald_Pools_064_03162003 - All the Emerald Pool waterfalls seen together during our visit in March 2003
Emerald_Pools_001_06182001 - The waterfalls of the Lower Emerald Pools acted more like weeping rocks in June 2001
Emerald_Pools_002_06182001 - Looking up at the trickling part of the Lower Emerald Pools Waterfalls during our June 2001 visit
Emerald_Pools_003_06182001 - Broad view towards the only flowing part of the Lower Emerald Pools Waterfalls during our first time in Zion National Park in June 2001
Zion_Canyon_001_06182001 - Looking across the canyon at the Watchman from the Emerald Pools that same afternoon in June 2001
Zion_Canyon_004_06182001 - Looking upstream towards some mesas at the head of Zion Canyon during our June 2001 visit to Zion National Park

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The nearest town to Zion Canyon is Springdale, which is right at the south end of Zion National Park.

We usually base ourselves in town or at the Watchman Campground, which is near the park’s southern entrance.

During peak season (sometime in mid April through mid October), private motorized transport is prohibited in Zion Canyon.

So you would have to use one of the frequent park service shuttles to go from stop to stop within the canyon.

Within Zion Canyon, the Emerald Pools is pretty straightforward to find as it’s not too far from the Zion Lodge.

Ordinarily though, the mandatory peak season shuttle would point out the stop corresponding to this hike.

The end of the road would be at the Temple of Sinawava and its ephemeral waterfall, which is also where the Riverside Walk begins.

If you could count Weeping Rock as another waterfall, it too has a stop that’s pointed out by the shuttle that’s a few stops before the Temple of Sinawava.

Starting near the Weeping Rock, we actually did an interesting hike into Hidden Canyon from here, where we found a small natural arch.

Springdale is about 6.5 hours drive from Los Angeles or 2.5 hours drive from Las Vegas.

Sweep from behind the waterfalls at the Lower Emerald Pools


The waterfall spilling into the Upper Emerald Pool

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