Explore California Trails Completed - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

California Trails Completed Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Woah! Great hike, straight up at some points but worth it. Some ice on the steps toward the top. Amazing views, wonderful waterfall and less than 10 people!

My girlfriend and I did this hike on Sunday (12/2) after having camped in the Upper Pines Campground the night before.

After watching sunrise at Tunnel View and exploring the Yosemite Valley Village, we made the short drive over to the small parking lot closest to the trail. We began our trek around 11:30 am and arrived back at our car around 4 pm.

From the very beginning of our hike it was incredibly icy. We saw a multitude of "tourists" attempting to climb the steep walkway leading to the Vernal Footbridge in nothing more than sneakers and other forms of unseasonable footwear. However, after this point we saw only three or four other groups of hikers on our way up Nevada Falls, all adequately prepared to take on the elements.

The initial staircase to the top of Vernal Falls wasn't too frozen over, until the very end, and that's when it became very slick. Luckily, my girlfriend and I were wearing our Yaktrax and that allowed us to maneuver our way up the stairs without issue.

Although neither one of the falls were gushing (as they do in the spring and summer) enough to give us the spray that The Mist Trail gets its namesake, it was probably for the best, as the vast majority of the trail was in the shade and I don't think it got above freezing. However, that didn't deter us from thoroughly enjoying this majestic hike with the stark contrast of sunshine reflecting off granite rocks against the fresh coat of snow on the shaded riverbank; which made for some magnificent photography opportunities!

This hike definitely lived up to the hype!

hiking
5 days ago

Easy, beautiful hike.

Spectacular views from the top. A good trail after a rainy day as the whole trail is paved.

Wonderful hiking trail! A bit challenging with the incline but worth every step. Spectacular view of the waterfall and Yosemite rock structure.

Son of a gun, this trail was tough. This was due to the rock stairs and almost constant steepness. It got my knees on the way down - I had to stop and stretch those knees out from time to time. I split off to check out Little Yosemite at the top intersection because it was only 1 mile away, but then I got about halfway and saw the trail headed down which meant I'd have to go up again to come back. By then, I reached a "nope" point so I turned around and just went to Nevada. The falls were beautiful and the views from the top of Nevada were breathtaking. I had my snack on a ledge overlooking the fall edge. It was the best. I headed back down on John Muir Trail. I felt like both routes were equally steep.

Not much of a hike but the view of the falls is stellar. Parking lot fills up quickly so plan a very early trip. Stop by tunnel view afterwards just up the road

Hiked to the Backpacker’s camp. It was covered it snow. So beautiful. The hike is grueling but worth it.

We walked this trail back in July. It was a pretty quick walk so we decided to go off the regular trail. We went over the rocks and right up to the falls. It was still flowing in July.

Great hike! Did this in mid October, the waterfalls weren’t at full volume but the weather was great. Saw a momma bear and 2 cubs between Vernal and Nevada falls, and the views were incredible. Challenging but worth it. Came back the John Muir trail to change the scenery a bit. A must do

We hiked to Nevada Falls vía this trail back in September and absolutely loved it! The hike starts with an uphill on a paved trail for a few miles and the crowd of people starts to diminish once you get closer to Vernal Falls. The uphill is tough but don’t get discouraged, it’s worth the effort!! Vernal fall was not as strong during September which was helpful because there’s a few slippery rocks going up to Vernal. Once you pass Vernal and start reaching Nevada Falls the views are even more spectacular with Half Dome looking larger because you’re closer to it! Hiking shoes are helpful but you’ll get by with some running shoes. Take plenty of water, and a flashlight in case you get caught in the dark like we did. The hike took us about 7 hours round trip with sightseeing and lunch. Get out there and have fun!!

This hike was my first hike in Yosemite during my first visit to this amazing National Park. As others have mentioned, the stairs are challenging but well worth the views at Vernal Falls. During the Fall/Winter season the falls are not flowing as Spring/Summer but a beautiful sight nonetheless. Amazing hike, highly recommend.

walking
25 days ago

Super short hike but the views are pretty!!

If you take the shorter route up, be prepared for STAIRS FROM HELL- but super worth it. We took the shorter (but harder) route up, and the longer route down so it would be easier on the knees going down. Amazing views!!

Beautiful! Amazing views all around. It was a tough climb for sure but I highly recommend it. Both waterfalls were still gorgeous even though they aren’t flowing at full capacity. We saw a mama bear and her two cubs as well as a bobcat on trail, pretty amazing!!

super easy hike!

Awesome hike, definitely strenuous going up some of the steep areas. But it was worth it going up to Nevada Falls. Took the John Muir trail on the way down, much easier on the knees. Careful, There were some icy patches at the top of that trail. Took us 4 hours to hike, we covered about 8 miles.

Magical, went all the way to the top, where the waterfall hits the ground, pure heaven ☺️

Don’t miss the magnificent views here! And don’t be scared by the 252 feet—the elevation gain is less than that.

hiking
1 month ago

Bridalveil Falls trail, Yosemite. Water still falling in November when some of the other Yosemite Falls have dried up. Beautiful, ethereal, don’t miss it. I’ll be coming back in late spring.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike but only 4 stars as the falls have dried up until snow melt in late spring. I’ll be back then.

Awesome! Still had water at both Vernal and Nevada Falls. We took the entire route listed but didn’t take the “shortcuts” on the recorded map (short stairs to curb the corners on the switchbacks) and our route total walking from the Half Dome Campgrounds was over 10 miles! The stairs at Vernal Falls were tough but the stairs to the top of Nevada were tougher. Single ledge “more natural stairs” were definitely more unnerving than the Vernal Falls portion. Total flights of stairs recorded were 180! What a great way to spend a Sunday morning!

Great hike. I recommend starting around 8 to beat most of the crowds. We went on Nov 11 and it was COLD in the morning so bring layers. This hike is not challenging if you are in shape but there are a lot of stairs around the two falls which can make it difficult.

Good. Some parts were super easy, a few right before Nevada falls were steep and technical for the average person.

Short easy paved trail. The waterfall was non-existent this time.

Attempted 5 days ago, made it to Drakes Beach, only confirming, that yes, the lighthouse is closed. Bummer.... Walked Drakes Beach and took in its stunning, beautiful, ocean and mountain view’s!! The drive is gorgeous!! Worth our little “disbelief”. ALSO, there is next to no cell service up that way. If you plan on hiking, make sure you have downloaded maps on your phone to pull up, or best bet, have old fashioned, hard core, hiking topo maps!

Great trail, hard work. Wife was absolutely spent after we got down - stairs prior to both falls, but especially Nevada were a killer. Great view all the way. Saw deer, Mumma Bear and 2 baby bears!

1 month ago

We took this trail after Canopy-Lost-Fern Creek trail. This trail passes Cathedral Grove, Bohemian Grove and Founders Grove. This trail is popular for public even children and elderly.

Quick and effective! Great photo op.

This hike was CAKE with an amazing view over the valley. Two water falls. Hit it early and make sure to go up vernal then Nevada and John Muir Trail on the return.

Load More