Zion National Park 2: Emerald Pools Trail

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My first and only full day at Zion National Park, I found the sky covered in a thick clouds. It had rained the night before, and consequently this fed some waterfalls that, during much of the season, either feature very little water or none at all. An excellent time, therefore, to photograph waterfalls at Zion! I struck out on the Emerald Pools Trail to photograph the waterfalls that I could see from the canyon floor. Here’s a map of the trail, which begins at the Zion Lodge parking lot:

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From the start I noticed an orchard of deciduous trees, leafless at this time of year:

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I then cross a bridge spanning the Virgin River, from whence I took the following shot:

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The trail took me into a thicket of trees and bushes along the side of a gorge:

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The trail then took me to the main waterfalls, which during of much the year would have been concealed by trees, but in the winter, could be viewed through the bare branches:

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The trail then led me behind the waterfalls (there are three in all), which allowed me the opportunity to get some unique shots:

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The trail then rises toward the emerald pools, which are above and feed the waterfalls:

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The pools are not exactly the most scenic wonder in Zion Canyon, but I took a few snaps of them anyway:

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From the pools, I struck out for an even taller waterfall, one that commenced from the very top of the rim that makes up the canyon. Here’s a distant shot of the waterfall:

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And some closer shots:

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Having climbed halfway up the canyon, one could obviously get some interesting views into the canyon. Here’s an image looking across to other side of the canyon:

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And here’s a shot looking over the top of the lower waterfalls to the stream heading for the Virgin River below:

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As I was taking the trail back to my car, the sun began peaking out amidst the general gray pall that was suffocating the sky. I grabbed a few shots with a bit of sun striking the scenery:

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