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

To Hike Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Hiked this trail years ago, great experience for a new hiker. It was my first hike. Hiked the shorter trail up to the falls, it was challenging for my first time. Worth it though when we made it to the falls. Took the longer route back, much easier for beginners.

backpacking
1 day ago

I did a couple of nights on the trail and opted for the counterclockwise route from Black Lake to First Lake (~20 miles with all the side trips). Less crowded campsites are Fifth Lake and Summit Lake. Explored all the seven lakes including Black Lake and Summit Lake. Reserved permits are hard to come by, but easy to obtain walk-in permits in October

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike, waterfall, view of the river nearly the entire time. There's a small path off to the right, coming in, maybe a quarter or half of the way in, and it leads to a great view on some large rocks. You have to duck a little to walk through the path. Hope you find it.

Wonderful and relaxing hike. Easier, but longer to head down to the camp and walk up the beach to see the falls, quite the long route. Or, make sure to take a small trail to the left where a pile of painted rocks are, paint is worn FYI. Then you can head down another path that is quite steep with loose gravel requiring some climbing. Be safe and be smart.

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!

this is the easiest over 10,000 feet in the Tahoe areai have done 4 others that are harder

The hike was beautiful. I brought my dog and there were tons of ticks on him. This is definitely an intermediate hike. The way back was a bit of a challenge since it’s mostly uphill but the views made it worth it.

Takes close to 3.5 to 4 hours round trip including breaks. The end point is beaultiful with a view of the beach. Beware of the cliffs, and there is no proper trail to get down to the beach for the view of the falls. Be safe, and enjoy the trail!

Best hike in the Bay Area. Good mix of ecosystems and wildlife, while providing a good workout through length and climb.

Amazing course where there’s a little of everything, including a secret entrance. Be prepared for the slight rock climbing when reaching the falls.

One of my favorite hikes in the Bay! The scramble down to the beach was a bit precarious but beyond worth it! Just advisable to do with a friend or get help from another hiker to prevent falling. I’d imagine it would be challenging for older / less agile folks.

Nice trail!! Would recommend. Steep when getting down to the beach. No shorts because you need to climb on the rock. The rocks were sharp, pls be careful

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

backpacking
13 days ago

Backpacked one night (Dec. 1-2nd). This was my third time on this trail. I was hoping to reach the top of the first lake, between the first and second, to get a good morning photo. I got a late start and the snow kept me from even making the first lake. I ended up camping at the Cabin and didn't have enough time to continue on. Can't say what the conditions are after the Cabin, but expect deeper snow. It was about knee deep in most places and deeper after the first falls. Its all fresh snow and soft.
Overall amazing trail in summer and winter. Temps were around 1-5F at night with a negative wind chill, but the wind died down. It was about 11F this morning around 8am. Nice easy hike down after plowing.

I was wearing outer shells and snow shoes. I'll post some pics. Happy backpacking.

Very steep, and slippery when muddy! But very pretty trail, and saw several deer.

Hiked this back in September. Took the lower trail to the falls and the upper trail returning. The lower trail needed some upkeep. There were parts that were washed out and fallen trees that required maneuvering to get around. The insects were constant and my husband and I spent the entire hike out there madly swatting at buzzing creatures. The falls were gorgeous. Hike back was longer but fewer flying friends. About 4 hours total.

Recent snowfall from Nov 29/30 will make your trek longer if you decide to do the full loop...not sure what the conditions look like as I only hiked a mile in to scope out the trail and will return in the spring! It is gorgeous. If someone does the full loop with the current snow let us know the conditions and time!

hiking
15 days ago

Easy but beautiful trail. All I want to see is the second lake!

Nice hiking beautiful waterfall

Tip: to avoid the unofficial and potentially dangerous descent down to the falls that some folks are warning about, the official park map has you going approx 1 mile north past the falls on Coast Trail and/or Ocean Loop trail towards the Wildcat Camp. From Wildcat you go down onto the beach and head back south to the falls, returning the same way.

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.

Very Crowded. The heavy traffic on this trail has degraded the already super sketchy descent to the beach at the falls. Hopefully there are friendly hikers to help you get down. Otherwise, its questionable weather it’s worth it to go down to the beach at all. Nice trail though. Cool views and flat trails.

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

ocean, trees, & fresh air, does it get better?

hiking
20 days ago

Went on a Saturday, and saw about a dozen other people throughout our hike. We got lost because a tree had fallen shortly after the difficult crossing (you'll know it when you get there), and it covered the path. We ended up on the mountain biking path for awhile, and then circled back towards the beginning. We had plenty of time, so we did the hike again to see where we'd gone wrong. After the tough crossing, make sure you stay to the left, along the side of the canyon.

It's a pretty easy trail otherwise. Not too much elevation gain, and some really lovely views. It wasn't cold at all when we went. The lady bugs were incredible. We brought our dog, and she had a blast.

hiking
21 days ago

I LOVED this hike. It's about 11 mi round trip if you go to lakes 1-3. We went on November 23 which was the day after the first snowfall, and it was gorgeous -- I could see it getting slippery in certain places once the snow has a chance to melt and refreeze a couple of times. Nothing insurmountable, but hiking poles could be helpful in the winter.

As far as the level of hike -- I was bracing myself because people have been citing it as a pretty challenging hike, but there was not any particularly challenging moment -- the distance makes it tiring and by the end I was feeling my legs running out of steam, but neither my partner nor I are overly active (we've recently been doing a 2-3 mile hike maybe once a week and yoga maybe once or twice a week, in addition to daily walks with our dog) and it was totally doable with enough water, snacks, and layers. The way up is pretty consistently uphill, but you're not climbing boulders the whole time or anything; it's just a mountain!

Timing -- I think that for the average healthy person, 7-8 hours is probably a good amount of time to give the hike if you want to stop for photos, food, exploration. We left just before 8:30, got to the 1st lake around 11 AM, meandered to the 2nd and 3rd lakes and back to the 1st again, stopped for some food and chatting (and some dog play between our dogs and other awesome dogs on the trail), and were on our way down around 12:45, then back to the car by 3 PM.

I can't wait to come back and see how the lakes look in other seasons. Can't recommend this hike enough.

Stunning hike but we got a bit lost between Lakes 5-7 as the ground was covered in snow and we couldn’t find the trails (hiked November 24th). Might be advisable to turn around after lake 3 in snowy conditions if you’re not familiar with the route.

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
22 days ago

I hiked this from Vikingsholm a few miles down towards DL Bliss and back. It was a bright sunny walk along the edge of a beautiful mountain lake. Despite that I saw no other hikers on the trail. This was an amazing break between days of driving. So peaceful!

Load More