We decided to hike up to Upper Emerald Pool first. This large, flat pool is fed by a thin waterfall from a crack in the rocks above. Lower Emerald Pools was more spectacular. The trail passes underneath a cavernous overhang; twin waterfalls cascade from above, feeding the pools below.
After an easy descent back to the canyon floor, we finished as we'd begun, crossing the rushing Virgin River -- flowing exceptionally high and fast this spring -- on a long footbridge to link up with the shuttle on the other side.
On the way back, we decided to do one more short hike to Weeping Rock. This is another giant overhang, carved out over thousands of years. Water seeping from the porous stone creates a continual misting underneath; I bet this is a popular spot for sweaty tourists in mid-summer. Weeping Rock is one of many spots in the park where hanging gardens grow, collections of plants growing on the surface of the stone, lapping up the never-ending precious flow of water.