Mist Falls Trail

MODERATE 34 reviews

Mist Falls Trail is a 8.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Dunlap, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from May until November. Horses are also able to use this trail.

8.1 miles 1082 feet Out & Back

birding

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

horseback riding

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

there are a few things you will need on this trail. First, you will most definitely need bug spray with deet in it. the mosquitos in the marshy Forested section of the trail aren't your typical sissy mosquitos. they laugh at lemongrass oil etc. if you do not use deet you will end up with upwards of 20 mosquitos biting you all at once. second, be sure to have sunscreen. the first mile or so of the trail is in direct sunlight. you can burn easily in that time in the California sun. Third, you will want to have plenty of water. my wife and I went through 3 liters each. it can easily get 90+ degrees on the canyon floor in mid summer. lunch isn't a bad idea either to eat by the falls, and don't be afraid to spend a few bucks on a good pair of boots. A blistered set of hooves can ruin your hike as fast as a sprained ankle. also, you will need two days to complete this hike. yes, you may think I'm crazy for saying that, but go ahead and try to make it to the bottom of the canyon without stopping your vehicle umpteen times to stare at the spectacle before you and to take pictures. it's nearly impossible!

the hike itself is beautiful. I cannot fathom how any of the other comments can say anything negative about it. you have to remember that all forks of the Kings river are fed by snowmelt. so, if you hike later in the year, say September, the river levels are way down and are nothing compared to the awe inspiring and spectacular torrent of power you will see in May and early June. so naturally, mist falls will also be very lackluster well. The hike is not hard but it is also not easy. for the most part the footing is solid and the trail well worn into the soil. there are a few Rocky and uneven places, though. no matter, being able to stare up at the canyon walls high above you and being able to follow and listen to the river near you makes up for any hardship. a little over halfway through you come to a large exposed rock that you can stand on and look back down canyon. the views of the Sphinx rock formation and the canyon from there are some of the tastiest that my eyes have ever had the pleasure of feasting on. simply beautiful. the words of man simply cannot explain the wondrous sight. surely, somewhere, the heavens have a text that more accurately describes it. I simply find that standing and gazing in awe and after respect for nature was about the best I could manage to do for several moments.

the falls are not super tall but the sheer amount of water coming over them creates quite a misty breeze that will get you soaking wet in very little time at all! bring a dry bag for your camera or if you a choice, bring a waterproof camera. taking a short stroll above the falls let's you get a while different perspective. just above you get a pretty close up view of a few waterwheels as the massive amount of spring runoff sheets across the granite slab. quite an awesome sight!

also, beware of rattlesnakes. remember, they will not hurt you if you leave them alone. we encountered two on the trail and one actually ran scared. it barely even ticked its rattle. the other was nowhere near cover so it got defensive but did not pose a threat in any way to anyone. it simply coiled and rattled away. I also managed to catch a beautiful Sierra mountain kingsnake! I felt privileged to have the opportunity to catch one as it was the first one I've seen in the wild. it was grumpy and bit me but remember, they are non-venomous and there are no coral snakes in the Sierras to confuse them with. if you are afraid of any snakes, just remember to leave them alone and they will leave you alone.

this hike is well worth any hardship it may pose to you. no mere words or photographs can accurately describe the raw beauty and power you will encounter in Kings canyon NP. I recommend this hike, go and see for yourself!

3 months ago

3 months ago

Absolutely amazing!

hiking
3 months ago

This was an excellent hike. It was a little longer than I'm used to, but the beginning is super flat and easy. Most of the gain is towards the end, but it gets shadier as you go along and there are plenty of great views along the way that make you want to keep going. There are plenty of photo ops that I took advantage of and I even got some pictures of some black-tailed deer on the way back.
I highly recommend this hike! I only wish I had brought lunch with me as well as some bug spray.

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

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5 months ago

5 months ago

Hate to say it but this was my least favorite hike we did in the Sierra Nevada's, Besides been "Eaten Alive" ( & Yes we did have spray on, It didn't seem to matter) Views were nothing spectacular, Neither was the waterfall. Granted we did just come from Yosemite, so maybe we were spoiled. Just found the whole hike disappointing, was expecting much more with the good rating it received, Maybe the trail gets better above the falls. but if that's as far as your going, you might wanna look for something else to do. Roaring River Falls was a better falls

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike with lots of entertainment. The drive in is beautiful. The hike is just long enough to feel like you got a good workout without being totally exhausted. The falls are beautiful and the mist is refreshing. We have usually seen some sort of wildlife in the trail...momma bear with cubs, snakes .... pay attention to both sides of the trail and the rocks on the trail. Last time I saw a baby snake swimming from shore to a rock near the falls. AND yes as other posters have said - bring bug spray!

hiking
6 months ago

Did this hike yesterday, it was fantastic! Definitely got a good workout in and the views were stunning. We didn't start the hike until 12:30 which I don't necessarily recommend because the first couple miles are in mostly direct sunlight. Once we got into the forest it cooled off but BEWARE-BRING BUG SPRAY. I did not have any bug spray on and I got about 50 bites on my arms and face, it was terrible. There were points where I felt like I was being swarmed. We took a cat nap just below mist falls on the rocks near the river and some water falls. Totally peaceful. My favorite part of this hike was looking back at the view from the top of the switchbacks. So beautiful! I definitely recommend this hike to everyone. On the way back down just before the split in the trail, I ran into a small black bear. Other than my heart racing, it was completely fine, I climbed down onto some rocks and let the bear climb up the hill and out of range. I also saw a few mellow deer. This hike would be great for wildlife and bird watchers. Next time I am bringing my fishing pole as we saw lots of brown trout in the river.

hiking
6 months ago

What a fun hike…the trail basically starts at the furthest point of Roads End. Towering granite peaks funnel you into a dense forest where you wind back and forth along the South Fork Kings River. After about two miles into the hike there is a split in the trail…off to the right and over the bridge you will meet up with Kanawyer Loop amongst other trails…I stayed left and headed up towards Mist Falls. The trail is mostly level so I move pretty quick till the last mile or so where I begin to climb up out of the trees and onto a giant granite slab…make sure you take a moment and look behind you at the canyon walls that surround you. Before climbing back into the woods I took a quick peek at the river which was moving pretty good downhill through a narrow channel of rocks. From this point it didn’t take long to reach Mist Falls. There is a great open area at the base of the falls to take pictures and to just chill if you don’t mind getting soaked. On most days I could have turned around and headed back content for having experienced so many fantastic sites but with Paradise Valley just a couple miles away I started climbing. This part of the hike was a bit more challenging having to climb some stone steps and weave through series of switchbacks. After the trail leveled out I was rewarded with some amazing views and some clear green waters. After throwing down some lunch and a tasty beverage I headed down the hill. At the split I decided to take Kanawyers trail to mix things up. Probably not my most favorite part of the hike but any new trail is an adventure. I started this hike looking forward to visiting Mist Falls but what I wasn’t prepared for was how much I would enjoy the many other sites and experiences this hike offers.

hiking
6 months ago

6 months ago

6 months ago

A beautiful hike. Start early there are parts are not shaded. Bring lots of water and bring a good bug spray we were eaten alive by mosquitoes and we were wearing bug spray but still a great hike.

hiking
7 months ago

This hike is fantastic! It's pretty easy on the feet and plenty of areas to rest between the elevation increases. Can easily be done as a day home or the beginning of a backpacking trip. Watch out for slippery rocks, silent rattle snakes and plenty of bears.

7 months ago

One of my favorite hikes while in Cedar Grove. Definitely have to watch for rattlesnakes. Start early because it does get extremely hot in the afternoon!

hiking
7 months ago

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7 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful hike and views. Very nice trail and easy to follow. We saw a mama black bear with her cub and deer. My husband and I hiked this trail April 30, 2016. There was a lot of water in the Kings River. Loved the hike.

1 year ago