Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail

MODERATE 280 reviews
#1 of 125 trails in

Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail is a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Yosemite National Park, CA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from April until November.

6.7 miles 2162 feet Loop

kid friendly



nature trips






wild flowers




no dogs

Hike to two breath-taking waterfalls along Yosemite Valley's most popular hiking trails. If you only have time for one hike while in Yosemite look no further: the Mist Trail is the hike for you. It is no wonder why this trail is one of the most popular trails in Yosemite Valley. You will hike so close to 2 massive waterfalls that it will be very difficult to avoid the mist from the falls. The best time to hike this trail is in Spring or early Summer, while the snow runoff is high and the falls are full of water. The Mist Trail starts at Happy Isles trailhead (YARTS shuttle stop #16, and within walking distance of Curry Village and parking lot). After a brief stroll along the river, you climb a pretty steep initial accent until you reach the footbridge, which offers the first glimpse of Vernal Fall in the distance (and a water-fountain and restrooms). You will then continue up to Vernal Fall, past Emerald Pool, and alongside Nevada Fall until you reach the high-point for this hike. Then take the alternate route down along the John Muir Trail to see views of Nevada Fall and Liberty Cap in the distance before meeting back up with the Mist Trail near the footbridge. The route back is slightly longer, but offers a change of scenery and is easier on the knees. Before hopping back on the YARTS shuttle, treat yourself to some ice cream or a refreshing drink at the small stand, or head over to Curry Village for a larger variety of choices.

5 hours ago


This trail is mostly uphill. It is not an easy trail. Not suitable for children, dog, or elderly people. Take a LOT of water and snacks. You must wear hiking shoes to not slip. Go early in the morning because this trail gets packed!

1 day ago

I think it should be rated higher degree of difficulty to properly warn folks the incline and steps are not for the weekend warrior. What goes up must come down ! Emerald pool at top is a gem if you want to sneak a swim!

2 days ago


ate lunch with a squirrel, the way down the is awesome

3 days ago


Did this hike as my first official hike and it was well worth every step! Amazing views amazing scenery a bit challenging for a first timer but again it was well worth it!

5 days ago

Beautiful! Watch out for hungry squirrels

6 days ago

Amazing! Worth the steep uphill hike. The view was amazing. Don't stop at the bridge, go all the way up

6 days ago


very beautiful views of the falls and great workout climbing granite steps.

17 days ago


The views were incredible. However, there were a lot of steep switch-backs on the Mist Trail which led us to take the John Muir trail back down to the trailhead. This was great because it gave us different views on the way back down.

20 days ago


I took the MIst trail on my way to Clounds Rest going by Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall. I think the falls are very pretty and enjoyed the scenery. It was so nice being there early with less people coming back was very crowded at Vernal Fall especially.

21 days ago


22 days ago

One of my favorites for sure, We went up the JMT & Down the mist, worked well except the mist was beyond crowded on the way down. Would love to go back & try it the other way. Gorgeous to whole way, will push you if you are not ready for it

23 days ago

Beautiful trail! Super busy though, which I guess it's expected in Yosemite. My hubby and I were able to find quiet resting spots which were beautiful, quiet, and romantic! Overall great trail for some good exercise and beautiful scenery!

24 days ago


Amazing trail. Definitely crowded during the summer months but totally worth it. Went up to see the falls and took John Muir trail back down. It was much less crowded, had some extra sights to see, and more shade for an cool, easy hike down.

27 days ago


It was my first real trail hike. Majestic views all around you. Definitely a great work out! Can't wait to come back and do Half Dome.

1 month ago


Amazing hike, with amazing views. This place can be very over crowded during the summer months, but don't let that keep you from doing it. Well worth the traffic of people. Mist Trail can be dangerous and slick, but not bad if you go slow and take your time. People can be pushy and rude if overcrowded, this is when people can get hurt.....just be advised. Well worth the trip to the top of both falls.

1 month ago


Forever one of my favorite hikes! Not too much most on the mist trail but that's to be expected during summer.

1 month ago

Amazing views. Worth every step.

1 month ago


Super popular hike in Yosemite NP and for good reason. Been doing this one since I was a kid and it really doesn't get old, although last time it was part of getting up to Half Dome. Recently brought a poncho in my pack in case it got really wet but it felt great in the midsummer.

Wonderful waterfalls and rainbows but yes, of course it's crowded. Luckily it's easy to see past that with all that natural beauty in front of you!

1 month ago

loved this hike. amazing time. beautiful view.