Explore the most popular River trails in Yosemite National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike, 2 hours up and 1:40 down at a quick pace and with a nice long stop at the top to take in a view. The first chunk of the trail is a lot more trafficked since people go to the lookout of the falls, from there it was less crowded, at least during the week.

It’s more than 7.2 Miles, should be close to 9 miles. The elevation gain is more than 5400ft from my Garmin watch. The first part is zig zag, quite challenging, the middle part trail is quite rocky and last part is zig zag too. The view of the valley and fall is amazing! Worth it! It will take a normal hiker 7 hours for round trip I believe.

This was an incredible trail with great views! We hiked it this morning, starting at around 7. It’s a pretty decent walk from the parking lots near the upper pines campground, but that is the closest parking you will find. We were able to get a sport in the closest lot a little before 7. The shuttle will take you closer, but the shuttles do not start running at a decent interval until almost 10. I absolutely recommend doing this hike at sunrise or right after. It was cool on the trail and very manageable temperature wise (around 65-70) on the way up. Also once we got back about a mile from the trailhead (around 11), it was miserably packed. We were able to hike at our own pace in the quiet. Plus the photos are much better before the sun is directly overhead and very bright! We did the hike in about 5 hours with about a 30 minute break at the top of Nevada falls for “lunch”. The part of the trail closest to Vernal Falls is very slick! Go down the John Muir as this trail suggests. I couldn’t imagine squeezing by someone on narrow, wet stairs. It was overall a great hike, but a challenge. It really clocks in at about 8 miles when you have to walk all the way back to your car and the John Muir trail on the way down is steepish. If you aren’t a regular hiker, this could be hard especially in the afternoon. The park recommends you take 3L of water, and I would go with no less.

We hiked this amazing trail yesterday. The falls were full and powerful. The trail is in excellent condition except for a few spots where the trail is under about 18” of water about a mile after reaching Glen Aulin. We brought water sandals to change into and just kept going. No problem. The hike is long and tiring but absolutely worth it. We left the trailhead at 6:30 am and returned at 5:30 pm, spending about 30 minutes at waterwheel falls.

on Elizabeth Lake Trail

hiking
bugs
1 day ago

This is a wonderful and gorgeoues hike but please please please MAKE SURE YOU ARE IN SHAPE AND HYDRATED before going to the top. I had the unfortunate experience of watching a guy (who looked very out of shape) have a seizure yesterday at one of the viewpoints and people around him had to do CPR for 45 minutes before a rescue helicopter arrived. I doubt he survived. A little girl in his group was traumatized and she was crying watching this and all of this was truly horrible. I started the hike at 07:00 when it was nice and cool and I was already on my way down after noon when I saw this tragic incident and it was already near 90 degrees. I saw a lot of people climb this trail without carrying water which is very very stupid in July. Sorry this is such a judgmental post but yesterday's experience saddened and angered me. Also, I know trekking poles aren't considered "cool" but they make life a lot friggin easier going down. It's also a good idea to wear shoes with some traction because I saw a lot of people slipping and sliding. It was superrrr crowded coming down near Vernal Falls after noon so if you start this hike around then you will be in a packed line getting up to the first falls. There were some Darwin Award Winners trying to swim in the Nevada Falls water and Park Ranger had to tell at him to get out. A little boy died last month doing this same thing. Also had to witness plenty of "let's do stupid stuff on the ledges of cliffs for a selfie" activity (which you can Google and see how many people die at Yosemite due to this idiocy). So the trail itself was wonderful but be prepared with water and decent talk shoes and go earlyyyyy. Basic stuff others have already said but I have to add the advice of not overestimating your fitness before going up to the top of Nevada Falls in summer.

This one is literally just a bridge and a small path before and after. great after a long day of hiking to cool down with.

hiking
2 days ago

My friends and I won multiple permits and we have permit available for 6 people on July 21st. Let me know if you are interested (surah123@gmail.com) and we can meet at cable tomorrow at 11am–noon.

Beautiful! The views are amazing, the hike is slightly strenuous but rewarding. Just waayyyyy too many people in summer. Parking is nearly impossible. Park far away and take shuttle in.

hiking
2 days ago

This was a challenging one for sure, but worth it for the views that only get better as you ascend. My thighs were burning on the way up with the never ending switchbacks. We left around 7 AM and it took 7 hours round trip including a lunch break and the wife taking countless photos. If you go in the morning, most of the ascent will be in the shade which was nice. But I would suggest 3L of water minimum

on Four Mile Trail

hiking
2 days ago

This hike was a tough one because of the constant climb up. But it is worth it considering the SPECTACULAR views up top. You can see the valley once you reach the halfway point. The views were amazing along the hiking trail! The trail is well marked and will take you to Glacier Point. Up there you can enjoy breathtaking views of Yosemite. You can see all of Yosemite Falls, Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls, Half Dome and much more. Anyone can drive up to Glacier Point, but hiking up to it will make the trip much more memorable. We started 10:30 am and got back to our vehicle at 6 pm. We did take many breaks along the way and enjoyed our time up top. You can visit the shop up top and get some snacks or souvenirs. It was a little over 10 miles in total. Advice: Get Hiking Sticks, it will make your descent easier. And TAKE YOUR TIME, this isn’t a race

hiking
2 days ago

The hike is long and difficult, but the views at the top are so worth it! Please don’t listen to anyone who says this is not a difficult hike or that you don’t need gloves for the cables. One wrong move on those cables and it’s all over. Do your research, prepare in advance, take plenty of food and water, and you will make it to the top. Get ready for the longest but most rewarding day ever!

Loved this hike! Be sure to wear hiking shoes as it very wet and slippery! The waterfall is beautiful so be sure to go to the top!

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful walk. It's not an easy stroll but with the shade pretty much the whole way up (we started at 11am) we didn't find it too tough (about 2.5hours to Glacier Point). We joined this on to the Nevada, Vernal Falls walk for an epic day of hiking. 4 stars just because it's being compared to the rest of Yosemite (and the other half of the walk was next level). If you have time and energy for both trails linked up I'd highly recommend it- get to see most of the major features of the valley from a bunch of different angles. Possibly best hiking I've ever done!

Great walk with incredible views. A bit hot and exposed in a couple of places but rest spots available to cool off. Rivers and falls the highlights, but views of the back side of halfdome and down the valley also worth the effort. Be sure to include the last falls (vernal) rather than getting tempted to clip it shorter- the spray and walk down refreshing from the heat.

Difficult trail but picturesque panoramic view, awesome hike. Nevada and Vernal Falls were incredible.

This is a gorgeous hike to several big waterfalls in Yosemite's high country. I think it is a hike that you have to finish if you get close-- all the waterfalls are at the end. You'll definitely need sunscreen and bug repellent. There are some places along the river that would be great for swimming. The toilets at Glen Aulin were open. We drank all of our water (100 ounces/each) with a mile or two to go. Distances are not perfect-- the signs going in suggest it is a 10.8-mile road trip, signs coming out add up to as much as a 12.4-mile road trip, Alltrails clocked it at 12.6 miles, a Yosemite hiking site says it is 13.1 miles and my Garmin watch said 13.8. The Tuolumne Meadows store is just a mile or two down the road from the trailhead and has anything you may need. Make sure to stop at Soda Springs either on the way up or coming out. Great hike!

Busy trail but would recommend going on the rocks on the east side of the falls to get a better view, lots of people but it is beautiful!

hiking
bugs
4 days ago

My one piece of advice that I don’t see many sharing is that there are a few pieces of wood going up the cables that are crooked. Try to avoid passing others on those pieces of wood. That’s the only time I did not feel in control on the cables. This is probably more so the responsibility of the people on their way up but also take a glance if you are on your way down and ty to remember where they are. Very worth it! 10/10

Pretty easy trail but the lake had receded so it looked more like river. We went in the afternoon, it was hot and lot of people. The water was nice and cool. Recommend jumping in and also bring bug spray. We needed this when hiking back.

hiking
4 days ago

Good easy trail

Good. Easy tail. Went two miles on it.

hiking
4 days ago

Went to the top of Vernal Falls via Mist Trail. I can see why this trail is rated as moderate. The steps were wet and some slippery. Go slow down and you’ll be fine. My husband and I did this with our 8 & 10 year old and they did fine! 3 miles round trip I believe. Definitely hike the extra to the top of the falls..... don’t just stop at the footbridge. We had lunch at the top! Great hike and workout.

hiking
4 days ago

Lovely trail with quite an ascent even to the bridge section. Towards middle of the day it was getting quite hot and sunny, I’d recommend going earlier in the day to enjoy the shade.

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

Much like a leisurely walk. No particularly spectacular views, but still very enjoyable.

Very pretty and very easy. Will be crowded at any given point so don't worry about coming early or late.

hiking
5 days ago

Probably my favorite trial in the US. The views are absolutely unbelievable. Be prepared to work as the switchbacks are intense, but every area to stop and take a break is absolutely breathtaking. Give yourself plenty of time to get back before dark.

hiking
5 days ago

Possibly the most rewarding hike I’ve completed in a long time. The uphill effort is so worth seeing the mist trail and the overlooks at Nevada Falls. We continued up to Nevada falls so we could have an easier descent down the stock trail and make a loop. This avoided descending the wet stairs of vernal falls. Take lots of water and snacks. Hiking poles are very helpful for this trail.

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