Explore Team VL 1st trip - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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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!

Decent views on the trail and at the lake. Water took on an amazing shade of aquamarine. It was the most underwhelming hike in Glacier NP for us. Way too crowded. Very little change in elevation, views weren't as dramatic as I hoped.

hiking
10 days ago

Hiked this trail with my grandson. The views are beyond spectacular

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

Our whole family ages 7-47 lived this hike. The view at the lake was amazing!

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.

Easy and fun hike and amazing 360 degrees view of Yosemite at the end. Loved it!

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

hiking
21 days ago

Beautiful hike with beautiful views! Bring lots of water and enjoy lunch at the lake.

hiking
21 days ago

Hiked in August 2018 from the parking area. Our trip lasted 6 hours total, 3 hours up, 1 hour for lunch near the glaciers, and 2 hours down. Beautiful views of lakes, waterfalls, and mountains. Saw a few mountain goats and bighorn sheet. Very congested with hikers at midday. I highly recommend starting early in the morning. We wore long sleeves and long pants at 7am, but quickly stripped into short sleeves and shorts by 8am. Bring lots of water and stop to enjoy the views!

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.

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!!

I got to the trail head right at 4pm and hiked at full pace and made it to the lake in about 20min even with recording video of a white tail buck crossing the trail about 40 yards ahead of me. The trail was frozen and slippery in some areas. I made it back with barely any daylight left in the forested trails(there were two groups of hikers behind me that I passed)

Easy, fun, 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!!

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.

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

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.

off road driving
1 month ago

We've driven this trail two times and it was great both times. This trail afforded many scenic views and photo opportunities. This is a great journey for returning to Moab from Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park.

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!

This is one of the best hikes in one of the best national parks and arguably one of the best hikes in the country. The trail along the north or south shores of Lake Josephine are flat but it is heavy grizzly territory. After a little more than 2 miles from the trailhead you will begin the ascent up Mt. Grinnell. The climb is difficult but extremely rewarding. The views of the surrounding Many Glacier area are some of the best in the park and depending on the season, waterfalls are present along the cliff face from glacier runoffs. Once you get to the top you are greeted by Grinnell and Salamander Glaciers. The crystal clear blue glacier water is even more beautiful in person than it is in the photographs. Hikers can take a break relaxing near the glaciers before heading back down. Although it's a challenge, I think everyone that visits GNP should check-out this hike; you won't regret it! Check out my website for some more of the best hikes in Glacier National Park:

https://trailheadtraveler.com/best-day-hikes-in-glacier-national-park/

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.

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