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These two trails are awesome. Usually when I want to show someone Yosemite and bring them on a hike with me, I take them to these trails. Vernal falls is very amazing, especially in the late spring early summer. It has the most water late may! Taking the mist trail you get completely soaked. The first 1/2 mike of the trail is fairly easy, just lots of incline but on a paved path. The last part of it after the bridge is all stairs and water. So make sure you have boots that can track in water. Once you reach the top of vernal, you can relax on the pavement or choose to continue on to Nevada. Nevada is much harder to get to because it’s about 2-3 more miles of switchbacks. Bring lots of water for Nevada especially. These are 2 of my favorite trails in Yosemite!!!!

on Lands End Trail

hiking
1 day ago

The view never grows old. Elevation is just right.

We decided to continue hiking on the first trail to the left, about half way on this trail and hiked all the way out to where it comes back out on the lake. It’s only a few miles but the various switchbacks are pretty killer if you go that way and it is not a loop trail. This was a little while before I got the app so I was not ready for it. Very pretty though!

Fantastic hike with one amazing falls after another.

Start early in the morning (by 8am) to avoid crowds. We were there in mid-September and was not too crowded at that time, but was busy at the bottom when we were finishing up. Hard hike with a lot of vertical climb, but worth it for the views. Take the easier John Muir trail down for some added length and also for the views looking back at the falls you just climbed. Beautiful hike!

great trail with lots of shade, views are wonderful. Only downside for me was that it was very crowded, then again guess it's good that lots of people are able to enjoy being outside. Next time we're doing this very early in the morning

Exquisite and idyllic!

This was an easy hike with gorgeous waterfalls. It can get crowded, especially at the falls that are less than a mile from the trailhead, but the farther away from the trailhead I got the less people I saw.

hiking
3 days ago

Nearly got my left foot bitten off by a sea lion. Needless to say he won't be swimming straight for a while. Absolutely gorgeous trail, bring along sustenance to snack by the ocean and meditate.

Beautiful views. Nice for an easy stroll.

Absolutely my favorite day hike ever!!!! The stairs to Vernal Falls were intense. Although still a challenge the hike to Nevada Falls was a bit strenuous. The view at the top was breathtaking. We were also able to see some climbers on Half Dome. Heading down via the John Muir Trail was a great choice, peaceful. This is a must do hike!

hiking
7 days ago

Beautiful trail with beautiful views. I’ve been here twice in 3 weeks. I love it. Good for children also.

Very fun, but crowded hike. Go early to ensure fewer crowds. Gets pretty uphill towards the end

Beautiful trail (would be amazing in winter and spring when water was running in the creek), but hikers need to be prepared for the amount of climbing or descending (depending on which way you travel). The 1000 feet of elevation change is accomplished over MANY stairs created with wood, dirt, and rock. While I was able to handle the descent, the uneven wood and boulders were tough on the knees and ankles.

hiking
8 days ago

Hiked this trail on Sunday 9/9/18. Started about 2:00 pm and went counter clockwise. Clocked over 9 miles and 1400 feet of elevation gain. The falls are amazing, though a few were dry. Not as many people in the afternoon and going that direction. Make sure you have your Trail app on because some of the trail has no signage. Very well maintained hike with a push toward the end up switchback stairs. Will be back in spring when the water is higher!

Now my 2nd favorite hike in the nation. Sorry, it will be hard to beat the continental divide trail in northern Glacier NP. Due to the drought there were no falls flowing in the valley that we say. Vernal, Illouette and Nevada are flowing however. So let's get to the list.

Total of 7.4 miles in 5.5 hours. Tough trail is you are not in shape due to the elevation change in the short distance

1. Arrive early. We arrived at 7am at the public parking lot and it was already over 3/4 full.
2. The public parking is almost 1/2 mile to the trailhead
3. There is free shuttle service from all visitor centers so if the parking is full, just back up to another parking area, grab a shuttle and be dropped off at the trail head
4. the first mile is all asphalt and steep 10% +/- grade. Once you past the first bridge crossing the trail becomes more dirt and rock. However, the trail at one time was asphalt all the way up to Nevada Falls, That residual asphalt is smooth and slippery from sand so be sure your hiking shoes have good soles
5. Stairs to Vernal Falls. Who made those things/ The last 1/2 mile is practically all stairs and most are 12-18" high.
6.Vernal Falls is flowing. The pool above the falls is absolutely gorgeous but you cannot swim in it or slid a slick rock slide into it.
7. From Vernal to Nevada is mostly a rock path that has been laid down. I would not call it stairs but does have steps. Much easier
8. Nevada Falls is flowing as well.
9. You can swim the pool at the top of Nevada Falls.
10. We came down the John Muir Trail which involves nothing more than crossing the bridge above the falls and following the signs to the valley floor. It added about 1/2 mile but the trail was much easier, in the SHADE. but spots of old asphalt were slippery from sand
11. 2 separate bear encounters on the John Muir at less than 10 yards each. They were on the side of the trail eating acorns and could care less we were just yards from them.
12. Despite being the 2nd week of Sept, it was very busy coming down. People waited until late morning and it was a solid ant line of people coming up. However, most were visitors from other countries.

Enjoy

I recommend arriving by 9a otherwise the trail gets crowded. My walk out to the falls I more or less had the trail to myself. The walk back was busy. The trail is lovely. Oddly there’s graffiti wherever there’s a marker but otherwise the views of the ocean are hard to beat. The more wooded parts of the trail are nice too though don’t compare to nearby Mt Tam. There’s a large arrow made of pieces of shale on the Coastal trail to indicate where to turn for the falls. By the time I arrived at the falls there were around 15 other people there. The view is expansive and climbing/ rock scrambling down to the beach to seeing the falls come over the cliff above and drain into the ocean is unique. I took my shoes off and went calf deep into the ocean. There were three sea lions/ seals floating in the water 15 feet from me. Otherwise on the trail I saw a rabbit, banana slug and a bunch of quail.

trail running
11 days ago

This was a beautiful run to do, definitely stopped a few times to take in the sites, going counterclockwise around the loop, you get the gradual climb done first and then you have a gradual downhill and steep uphill to finish on.

beautiful hike, we ended up doing 10 miles by the time we got back to the car to make sure we saw everything we came to see.

Great trails for all, you can make it difficult to moderate. Lots of stairs going down to the ocean. Beautiful views, however the downfall is how many people were there. Everyone was friendly and politely passed the slower people. Lots of dogs through the trails, not all on leashes.

very good hike down to the ocean. The views change all along the hike. The last stretch is bit tricky to walk down to the ocean

gorgeous hike. majority of the time it feels like you are climbing the stairs to Mordor. nice views of Nevada falls after Vernon falls on the way up. The view of half dome is great on the way down the John Muir trail. you can see liberty cap, half dome, and Nevada falls at the same time. walking 1 mile past nevada falls to towards half dome is relatively flat and has a nice view of half dome, backside of liberty cap, and follows the river and is a good way to add some distance/time to the hike.

in September the hike started at 47 degrees at 8am and it was 96 when we left the valley floor at 1:30. highly recommend doing it early as the trail was less populated in the fall on a Friday.

Amazing, amazing, amazing!!
Winter Falls and Double Falls are both dry at the moment, so unless there’s a bit of rain soon, probably not worth the trip - but even with the falls a bit drier, and having a lighter flow, I would highly recommend this. It’s not too difficult but it’s absolutely beautiful. It took me about 4 hours all up to do the loop, and I was taking my sweet time.
I did the loop counterclockwise (aka South Falls last) which I was happy with - except between South Falls and Lower South Falls there’s about 180 steps... that’s hard to get up after already clocking in a few miles haha. Barely saw anyone going that way for whatever reason - I barely saw anyone at all really. Early September, on a Thursday in the middle of the day... apparently a pretty quiet time for the trail ha!

Fantastic hike! We started early in the morning, around 7:30am when the trail did not have too many people on it. The trail is fairly well maintained throughout and signage being fairly good. The two sets of stairs to the top of Vernal and Nevada falls can be difficult if you are not used to going up that number of stairs. Outside of the stairs the trail is not too steep. There are plenty of opportunities to take a break and enjoy the number of stunning reviews across the area. A word of warning, starting the hike later in the morning will leave you with the crowds, making it hard to navigate the stairs.

Be sure to take plenty of water with you (2-3L per person) and snacks. The hike is long (took us nearly 5 hours to complete with breaks).

The hike is also longer than 6.4 miles. The National park site has this hike (Mist trail/ John Muir trail) rated closer to 8 miles. My fitbit also tracked it at 8 miles as well. Long but absolutely stunning and worth every step.

I wholeheartedly enjoyed this hike so much, that i take anyone willing to go with me, just to show them the beautiful views! Its not too difficult of a hike either which makes it even more enjoyable.

I took my nieces and nephew whom range from 11 to 16. I've also seen young kids on the trail, I dont k ow how far they got, but none the less.

Go and do this hike... you're gunna love it!

Awesome views of the ocean and golden gate. Downside is how much foot traffic there is.

The mist trail is one of my favorite trails ever! This trail is best when it is not too crowded (avoid weekends or holidays) as it becomes a lot like a theme park and you can't really enjoy the beauty of the hike when you are hiking in a single file line of hundreds of tourists and screaming children.

This trail is definitely tough as you climb stairs straight up Vernal Falls and climb the switchbacks up to Nevada Falls. It is totally worth it! The views are spectacular! If you go during or immediately after a heavy rainy season, bring waterproof gear because you will get drenched.

If you go during the warmer months when the John Muir Trail is open, take the JMT back down to get beautiful panoramic views of Half Dome and Nevada Falls. This section of the JMT is shady and the switchbacks can get a little slick with loose gravel and dirt. I recommend good hiking shoes and trekking poles.

This trail also has restrooms galore! There are restrooms with flushing toilets at the trailhead and at the Vernal Falls Footbridge. There are vault toilets at the top of Vernal Falls and at the top of Nevada Falls. You never really need to worry about needing to go.

Definitely bring lots of water. Our group brought about 3 liters each and had to filter and refill water at the top of Nevada Falls. There is a drinking water filling station at the base of Vernal Falls at the Footbridge (about 1 mile in from the trail head) and there are no other opportunities to fill up after that unless you bring your own filtration system.

Awesome hike! Must do if you’re looking for a hard, 4-6 hour trail. Do the loop. Stairs from hell, then a nice stroll down the Muir Trail. Bring plenty of water. At least 2 liters.

The hike was great but too short, though it has Beautiful sceneries along the way which is great. Waterfalls are ok. It was much too crowded with children running around and more touristy than I like. Like other reviewer mentioned, many people carried portable speaker and people/children kicking around rocks.

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