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

Did this from Bear Lake to the Fern Lake Bus stop last Saturday 8/11. I am in Rock Mtn. NP most weekend either hiking or on snowshoes. This is my very favorite longer hike since Sky Pond has become so mobbed. I think the section around the side of Joe Mill Mtn is really fun - love the views down to Odessa Lake. You won't be by yourself but no where near as crowed as the Glacier Gorge trail system.

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
3 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
3 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.

A nicely restored area that we were lucky to see at all, as it reopened just a few days before we arrived. We only had a few hours, so we didn't manage the whole loop all the way to Wawona Point but the sequoias are definitely worth it, even if you only walk up to the Grizzly Giant and the Tunnel Tree.

Requires lots of effort to get to the good views but it is worth it. Starting at Fern and going to Bear lake is tough with a lot of uphill hiking

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.

Nice day hike up to Wawona Point and back.

We started in the late afternoon, enjoyed the Sequoias on the way up and the great view from Wawona Point.

Even though we went on a crowded Saturday we saw only a handful of hikers once we went beyond the Grizzly Giant loop. It's an incline all the way up but pretty shaded and easy. Did it in my flip-flops. Saw a black bear on the way down

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?

Did just point-to-point then took the shuttle, but this was one of my all-time favorite hikes from the picas above timberline, to the creekside columbines between Odessa & Fern Lakes, and topped by the black bear cub between Fern Falls & "The Pool." Others have reported moose sightings.. guess I need to go back!

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

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 trail, nicely restored

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!

Hiked and did some backcountry camping on this trail over the weekend. It really lives up to the dozens of reviews for being a really beautiful hike. Taking this route from the entry point of Bear Lake to the exit point at the Fern Lake trailhead is a great way to go- especially if you’re carrying about 25-30 lbs. on your back. There is some elevation gain at the start till you get to the hard right turn about 3.7 miles into the hike. At this point, some of the most beautiful views on the hike appear as you descend to Odessa Lake. While this trail does not take you right next to Odessa Lake, you get a nice view from the elevated trail vantage point. But, there is a trail that connects to the lake if you want to back-track to see it up close along with the rushing creek waters. Continuing on another .8 mile takes you to Fern lake. This is a beautiful high mountain lake with some overflow ponds and a creek with waterfall. All of this water is great for filtering and drinking and cooking. There was a duck family there with ducklings. Also there were quite a few cut throat trout in the lake too. We camped at the group camping spot which is a nice area not too far from the lake. We checked out the individual campsites, and they were quite a walk back up from the lake. I didn’t care for them too much. We hiked to Spruce lake in the evening and the trail is rougher but manageable. There is nothing spectacular about this lake. The campsite was quiet and the privy was not far off from the group camping area. The next day we headed for the Fern Lake trailhead. It’s basically a downhill journey all the way but passes through several waterfalls and rushing streams. There are a lot of wildflowers and you will want to visit the Arches Rocks formations. The views on this side aren’t as spectacular, but still nice. I am not happy about all the piles of horse poop on this side of the trail. I know they say it degrades, but it’s just a mess trying to dodge the nasty stuff IMO. The stated mileage is not correct from what I can see for this trail. With our extra hike to Spruce Lake, we clocked 14 miles. We had someone pick us up at the Fern Lake trailhead because there’s not much parking. See my recording and pic’s for a highlight of the trip. All in all, a beautiful hike.

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.

Do yourself a favor, take the bus to Glacier Point and hike all the way back down to the valley. You can hit up Nevada and Vernal falls on the way down, plus a bonus of crossing over Illilouette falls on the way to Nevada. This hike is for the most part all down hill, so for those who find going up the trail to Vernal and Nevada, this will be much more doable. The views are spectacular!

An absolute must for first timers, soak your feet at the top in the ice cold water until they’re numb, it’ll make the trip down easier.

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