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Many Pools is a beautiful, family-friendly hike with little traffic and great educational value. Kids can examine the carving of sandstone by water in the series of pools forming up the slickrock drainage, and during part of the year they can see the frogs that make their home in this tucked-away paradise of pink and orange and green.

Directions • The trailhead is not marked. There is a pullout on the southeast side of State Road 9, about 0.9 mile east of the small tunnel that is east of the big Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. The road goes over the drainage, which you can access two ways. You can follow footpaths down to the east and walk through a tunnel that passes under the road, or you can walk just 0.1 mile north on the road and drop into the drainage at the north.

Hike • There is no marked trail, but it is easy to follow the pools up the drainage. Rangers ask that visitors walk only on the slickrock. My family finished the hike at a rock alcove that forms a natural stopping point about 0.8 mile up. A small waterfall spits down from the alcove, and the pools continue even farther up the drainage.

There is occasional shade on the hike, but the slickrock will be hot in the summer and hikers probably will be happier to make the trip in the morning.

Digital map available at

Sandstone pools

Hiking time • 2 hours

Round-trip miles • 1.6 miles

Elevation gain • 530 feet

Difficulty • Easy

Trailhead restrooms • No

Dogs allowed • No

Bikes allowed • No

Fees • $30 per vehicle or $15 per person without car

— Erin Alberty