Emerald Pools, Zion National Park, Utah
The Kayenta Trail connects up with the Upper Emerald Pools Trail, which takes you on a fairly steep incline up the mountain, through the Middle Pools, and eventually up to the Upper Pools. It’s a child’s (and childlike’s) delight to discover the trail squeezes through tall rocks and then opens onto layers of slick rock, hemmed in with more stunning views.
In the picture below right, the Upper Emerald Pool is a little below the top of the large middle tree. The picture below left shows how the cliff face of the rock has calved off, leaving an arched indentation in the cliff face with small waterfalls and water seepage from the cliff face into the pool. This picture was taken from inside the pool.
It was 100 degrees today, relatively cool for this time of year in Zion, but having come from weeks and weeks of “June Gloom” on the coast where I live, my body felt like it was in an over--broiling on the surface and boiling from within. The Emerald Pools beckoned me! I eschewed all caution and self-consciousness and dove into those emerald waters. Ahhhh! What I didn’t know until I got back was that we weren’t supposed to swim in the pool. I felt terrible, but all my sunscreen had been sweated off on the hot hike up the mountain, and I didn’t pee in the pool, so I am hoping I didn’t damage the ecosystem too much. And here I was thinking I was such a free spirit to “throw cares to the wind” when I jumped in to that cold water!! Alas, it was still a thrilling moment!
Honestly; normally I’m a very respectful and caring person when it comes to the environment! If I'd been thinking clearly, I would have realized, or at least questioned myself, about the responsibility of swimming in a National Park pool. I'm a little ashamed, actually.
After the Kayenta Trail, Upper and Lower Emerald Pools hikes, I decided to visit “Weeping Rock” and then the East Rim Trail to an observation point. This is Weeping Rock from behind the “tears”!
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