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We only made it to the bridge, but it was well worth the climb. There are some very steep grades and a lot of beautiful scenery.

Extremely difficult for beginners but beautiful and breathtaking views of the Fall

The best hiking experiences ever! Took 5 hours total (2.5 to get to the top, .5 hours exploring the top and having a snack and 2 hours for the return). Included 10 minutes when trail was blocked to remove a falling boulder.

Nice but exausting

Short, easy and pretty. But also unbelievably crowded with many people being their most annoying selves, showing absolutely no regard for anyone or anything else, just so they have the "perfect" Instagram picture...

hiking
5 days ago

As far as reward to effort ratio goes, you can't get much better than this. The walk from the parking lot to the viewpoints is short, paved, mostly flat and, understandably, pretty crowded. Actually, just finding parking space can be quite tricky. The views of the valley and especially the Half Dome are absolutely stunning though and I really can't recommend this highly enough.

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful falls that are perhaps too close to the road. There are just too many people everywhere, scrambling on the rocks, screaming on top of their lungs and in general exhibiting the sort of "crowd behavior" that one would expect to see at an amusement park rather than in nature.
That said, it is definitely wort stopping by if you're driving past.

Had to take the shuttle in, I think 8 dollars round trip, but I think you can drive in before 830am but the road is narrow and buses are hard to get around. 10 dollars per car at the entrance pass the adventure center. Dogs need to be muzzled. Try not too take your dog if she/he is aggressive. Bus drivers don't like to take too many dog per trip so you may be asked to take the next bus. The drive is 30 miles. I have a lab so she barely fit underneath or in front of me. If you have a dog, make sure to get a seat. They have standing room but it's hard with a big dog.

Stop 6: Devil Postpile-0.5 miles; Rainbow Falls- extra 1.5-2miles (trail to lower falls is closed 2018) two viewpoints top of falls and lower falls viewpoints. First viewpoint to lower viewpoint is steep so climbing up is a pain. Trail itself is ok. Kinda up and down in elevation but not too steep. Well marked trail. Can deviate to the river to play in the water with dogs. You can also hike to the Mina--- Falls.

Stop 10: The other way to get in or get out: around 1 mile from rainbow falls. This trail is mildly challenging from falls to the stop so it's easier to walk down from this stop but you just see the falls. You are mostly gaining elevation coming back up. Pretty with wildflowers and Forest trees. Passes the PCT trail. There is a resupply general store here and a little restaurant that is heavily overpriced ($10+ hamburgers and $10 milkshakes)

The adventure center has tickets for the gondola and kid challenge structure/ rock wall. You can get a combo of gondola and shuttle 37 dollars each. Morning is best for gondola. No lines. But the food up there does not open till lunch. Summer time is for mountain/dirt bike and a beautiful view at the top. Construction at the top. The museum is nice for kids.

Cons: due to recent fires air quality and visibility was sub par.

Very busy trail at the end of July. Yosemite Valley was closed due to fires. Which explained the heavier crowds in Mammoth Lakes. As on all trails, take plenty of water for everyone in your group. Try the west side of the river. Much fewer people.

We started at the Rainbow Falls trailhead off of the Red Meadows Shuttle stop #9 which is a shorter hike than this one (1.3 miles one way so 2.6 round trip) You can change it up on the way back and take the Reds Meadow Resort path back to Shuttle stop #10 which is recommended to get out because it is the last shuttle stop and usually fills up the shuttles leaving the area. The trail to the base of the Falls is closed now for 2018 for rerouting and restructuring and will reopen in 2019. Air quality was fine despite the fires but it was dry, hot and windy so bring enough water. The waterfall was beautiful and well worth the hike according to my seven year old!

The waterfall is worth every step it took to get there!!

This trail has amazing views! We hiked all the way up to Nevada falls, it was a hard hike with A LOT of stairs. Once you get to venal falls, the crowd starts to disperse. Bring lots of water for this hike and sunscreen. This hike is on the hard side but the views from the top make it worth it!! Take the John Muir trail back, it adds a mile but you get to see another side of the waterfall by taking the John Muir trail back.

My best friend and I found this trail when we visited Yosemite a few summers ago. This was a bit difficult as it was ALL uphill so go prepared with water and light snacks! Once you hike about 30 min, you will come up to a break area with water fountains for drinks/bathrooms, etc.
Then after, there are some stone steps which are very steep and possibly slippery due to the mist waterfall. Those will take you all the way up to the top of the waterfall, as well as a cold swimming hole to swim in after the hike! There is an area where you can slide down the smooth rock into the water. We just jumped in and swam to the other side of the hole. We went in late June so it was amazing to jump into and then lay on the hot rock on the other end. No towel needed since we dried off pretty quick! I know the hike continued on but we stopped there, turned around and made our way back down to the bottom. That was the easy part since it was all downhill,especially after the cool down in the swimming hole.

I’d do this hike again but I’d be more prepared next time physically! If you aren’t in shape physically, this will be a tough hike for you! You probably won’t make it to the top if you bring young children due to the steepness towards the top. Can be a bit dangerous. If they are older and mature enough to handle the hike, it would be worth it as they would enjoy the swimming hole! Makes for a great reward! The trail was pretty populated, but it will thin out towards the top due to the length & difficulty of the hike. Very beautiful scenery during the entire hike! Bring a camera! Afterwards, we couldn’t believe we’d only hiked 1.5 miles up to the top! Felt much longer!

I feel like I would have enjoyed this more if I weren’t shoulder to shoulder with other hikers. Especially with the narrowing of the trail along the steps close to the falls. The trail was PACKED.

Take the mist trail up to Nevada Falls, and then come back down the John Muir Trail. The views of Liberty Cap are amazing from the ridge line as you are leaving Nevada Falls. The trail is crammed with people, so be prepared and leave early. Hike is much harder than you would think based on the number of people there.

oh my goodness. I did this hike with a 25 pound child on my back which made the hike 10x harder. very steep climb to the top and very slippery. the view was stunning on the bright side.

Seen a reviewer post previous to mine asking about dogs (Lauren Woods)...i believe i did see a dog on this trail when we went BUT i wouldnt recommend taking a dog to the top of the falls. The trail starts off paved before tuning to dirt mixed with stone staircase...the stones arent an even 8" or 10" step, they vary alot and some of the steepest parts its easily 18"-2ft in a step up height, plus a narrow railing at the end to get to the top of first falls. PLUS this is a very crowded hike, so if you arent on your way down and almost finished with the hike by 10AM u will be dodging the "ant trail" of people on their way up that started at like 9:30 or 10am. The hike down was not fun with all the people but overall avery fun trail moderate trail. Not sure how much water is left but we hike 1st week of June and it was perfect. I have some photos posted of the trip, specifically a couple of the falls if anyone want to see for perspective. My IG is @m_packmore

I have a quick question- I am gearing up to go on this hike! Are dogs allowed?

longer than expected... well worth the walk! beautiful views. clear paths. well marked.

I made the hike to Rainbow Falls with my husband, two year old and five year old. We got dropped off at stop 6 for Devil’s Postpile.It took us a little longer than expected to complete the first leg of the trip (about 2.5 hours) so we decided to take the shortcut back to Red Meadows to make one of the last shuttles back. Mostly flat, sandy paths, with a little uphill/downhill incline on the way there. However the “shortcut” to Red Meadows is steep so be prepared! Devil’s Postpile and Rainbow Falls were pretty cool to see but I am not sure I would make this hike again, a little underwhelmed. We heard bears on the way back which was a little nerve wracking but no actual sightings. Still giving this trail five stars since it was so beautiful and would recommend this overall.

Very cool and relaxing hike up the falls. Took about 3 1/2 hours round trip but that was just to the top of Nevada fall. The most from the falls feels good for about the last 1/2 mile. Very populated trail btw. Also accesible form the John Muir trail

Stair master 8000! This trail is very difficult and left me exhausted when completed. With that being said, it was one of the most rewarding hikes. Great views and amazing lookout areas. We even swam in the upper Falls river although it is not recommended and can be dangerous. Pack lots of water and be prepared for constant inclines, switchbacks and steps. The footing can be tough so be safe and conquer this difficult hike.

- the boosk

Great for a day hike! Loved seeing the rainbow falls and then hiking down to the lower falls to get in the water. Very refreshing with great views the entire time. Brought our pup too. Should note that your dog has to be muzzled for the shuttle ride to the trailhead!

Great easy hike! Paved the whole way. Did this hike with a large group with an age range from 3 months old (in a stroller) up to 82 years old. We came in a dry season, so we were able to climb around the boulders below the falls to get pretty close to the falls.

Short, paved trail with lots of people. Takes maybe 10-15 minutes to make the bottom of the waterfall from the parking lot. Well worth the stop.

Unrelenting and rigorous uphill switchbacks but well worth the glorious views up top. Take a break at Columbia Rock and brace yourself for a rocky path for at least a couple more hours (moderate pace). Recommend hiking poles and plenty of water, 3L minimum per person. Start early and take bug spray if you descend around sunset. Hard climb but well worth it, you’ll see!

Amazing hike, falls, and final destination at the top of the falls!

Great trail, if you doing a full loop it is probably too hard for younger kids and Its just over 12 miles. Make sure you have plenty of water.

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