Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail

HARD 1594 reviews
#1 of 234 trails in

Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail is a 6.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October.

Distance: 6.4 miles Elevation Gain: 2,191 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

partially paved

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

snow

no dogs

During the winter months, portions of the John Muir Trail in Yosemite are closed. Visitors can still visit the falls, but you must return on the stairs, instead of returning on the John Muir Trail. Hike to two breath-taking waterfalls along Yosemite Valley's most popular hiking trails. If you only have time for one hike while in Yosemite look no further: the Mist Trail is the hike for you. It is no wonder why this trail is one of the most popular trails in Yosemite Valley. You will hike so close to 2 massive waterfalls that it will be very difficult to avoid the mist from the falls. The best time to hike this trail is in Spring or early Summer, while the snow runoff is high and the falls are full of water. The Mist Trail starts at Happy Isles trailhead (YARTS shuttle stop #16, and within walking distance of Curry Village and parking lot). After a brief stroll along the river, you climb a pretty steep initial accent until you reach the footbridge, which offers the first glimpse of Vernal Fall in the distance (and a water-fountain and restrooms). You will then continue up to Vernal Fall, past Emerald Pool, and alongside Nevada Fall until you reach the high-point for this hike. Then take the alternate route down along the John Muir Trail to see views of Nevada Fall and Liberty Cap in the distance before meeting back up with the Mist Trail near the footbridge. The route back is slightly longer, but offers a change of scenery and is easier on the knees. Before hopping back on the YARTS shuttle, treat yourself to some ice cream or a refreshing drink at the small stand, or head over to Curry Village for a larger variety of choices.

hiking
rocky
1 day ago

hiking
2 days ago

NO Pictures could begin to do this hike justice. we started about 9am due to some heavy hiking yesterday. Tourist heavy up to Vernal then the crowd thins a bit. Mist is VERY heavy and wet on the stairs but there are rocks in the puddles to keep shoes mostly dry. Every single stair step is worth the climb and the views. Stop at the top of Nevada for a potty break, have a solid lunch on the ledge then move up stream a bit and filter some fresh cold water. maybe take a dip if you find a safe spot. Coming down is much faster even though the crowds are heavier after 12. be courteous to those coming and going Take a TON of pictures. We jogged down the flat paths after the stairs, easier on the legs and less chances to slip. keep moving on the stairs on the way down at a goof clip if you can.. spare your knees!!

hiking
4 days ago

This is a strenuous but beautiful hike. We did this yesterday exactly as shown here. It took 7 hours. Those who do it in less time are probably conditioned to hike in elevation and steep climbs. But it was worth every sore muscle. The top of Nevada Falls is my new favorite place. Next time I will consider going up the JMT rather than the mist trail as it was incredibly crowded and we ran into some rude people on the steps up Vernal. Otherwise this is a wonderful experience. But bring plenty of water. I used almost 3l. Also as of yesterday the bathrooms at the Vernal foot bridge are still closed. Enjoy!

hiking
4 days ago

Wear good traction shoes that are a half size bigger, this will keep your toes happy as you make your way back. Also I don’t really think you need a raincoat but you do want to wear a good fabric that dries quickly, nothing cotton.

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

beautiful trail. It is definitely hard if your are not prepared, so be ready to bring lots of water. It took me 7 hrs to finish it. I was pretty death but totally worth it.

hiking
4 days ago

Awesome hike. Took the mist trail up and John Muir on the way down. Take a poncho or a light raincoat on the way up. You will get wet. It's not very difficult. We finished the hike in about 4.30 hours with plenty of breaks for taking pics. Try to get there by 7 am so that you can find parking.

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

They don't lie about the mist at all. probably the best hike I've done.

hiking
5 days ago

Great hike, little too crowded

hiking
rocky
5 days ago

We took the John Muir trail back to save some of the damage to our knees. The view is absolutely beautiful. Once you get to the first flight to Vernal Falls, there’s a small off-road trail next to the stairs that allows you to get closer to underneath the waterfall. Take it. I never felt so alive standing underneath that waterfall.

hiking
6 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous trail! Instead of oab, we returned via the John Muir trail & we hit the parking lot with 12.5 miles total.

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful. Loved this trail. Bring sunscreen and bug spray. You will get soaking wet going up to Vernal falls. I would recommend those disposable rain covers. WEAR HIKING BOOTS. The trail is slippery at some points. The way up to Nevada falls was strenuous as it is a climb. But the views are worth it. Relax next to the bridge across Nevada falls and enjoy the scenery. The way down you may get soaked again as there might be water sprinkling down on the trail for a few feet. BRING HIKING POLES if you want the descent to be easier. It helps stabilize your descent. We also saw a bear on the way down.

hiking
7 days ago

beautiful views definitely going back for more❤

hiking
8 days ago

This hike takes you through 2 amazing and huge waterfalls. The trail goes through the mist trail. Make sure you bring a rain jacket. The hike pretty strenuous on the way up. Took around 6 hours with many stops due to the amazing views.

hiking
9 days ago

AMAZING Hike to literally the top of 2 waterfalls! Lots of climbing, but if you're in decent shape you'll be able to handle it, my other app clocked this hike in at 8.97 miles with 2700 feet elevation (not sure why on this app it shows "6.4" miles). Essentials: bug spray, a hat & a light rain jacket unless you don't mind getting soaked on the Mist Trail before reaching the top of Vernal Falls.

hiking
9 days ago

I really like this hike. It is a very popular hike with a lot of traffic. You will need to get out by 6 am to beat the morning hikers. Expect a lot of traffic when you are coming down. Beautiful waterfalls!

hiking
10 days ago

The Mist trail was spectacular! I hiked this trail a couple of weeks ago with a large group of friends, and we all agreed it was one of the best hikes we’ve ever done. We picked the perfect time of year to go because the falls are at full strength with all the snowmelt this year. We were drenched from head to toe after passing Vernal Fall but loved every second of it! The trail might be rated as a little harder than moderate, but there are plenty of places to stop to rest, catch your breath, or spend some time drying off.

hiking
11 days ago

was an amazing hike

hiking
11 days ago

I've hike this trail a few times and its amazing every time....must do the loop.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
11 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

Such a gorgeous hike. Moderately difficult for a beginner level hiker. I loved this more than the upper falls hike. You get to walk right along the waterfall. You’d get completely drenched but if you got waterproof hiking boots, you should be good. We took the vernal and Nevada falls trail up and the John Muir trail down which seems to be the best route since you get to climb up close to the falls and then look at the amazing views of Half dome while you descend via the switchbacks along the John Muir trail.

hiking
11 days ago

For the 3 Rd time taking this trail and it seems easy-peasy now. Amazingly beautiful views. Definitely worth it going.

hiking
12 days ago

It was amazing view. Finished it within 4 hours. The trail is hard from vernal fall to Nevada fall but definitely worth it

hiking
12 days ago

Amazing and beautiful views! we started at 6am and hardly anyone on trail. we got back at 1030 and tons of people headed up.

hiking
12 days ago

My favorite hike.

hiking
no shade
12 days ago

Hiked yesterday morning starting around 8am. Nice hike! Make sure to bring some rain jacket and a backpack cover for the mist part. Lots of people out hiking. Great views and excellent places to stop to rest and relax for a picnic. Gets hot in the middle of the day so make sure to bring lots of water and sunscreen.

hiking
rocky
13 days ago

Amazing views, be prepared to get drenched. Totally worth all the efforts. We started the hike early in the morning, so we had less crowds while climbing up. Need to be extra careful while climbing down. The path is extremely rocky from Vernal falls onwards and is less misty. Make sure to wear good hiking shoes.

hiking
13 days ago

Be prepared to get drenched. The first three quarters of a mile to the bridge is quite steep and heavily trafficked. Still a decent amount of people hiking up to Vernal Falls, the steps are very slippery and can get crowded at some points. Crowds thin out after Vernal Falls but still beautiful views at the top of Nevada Falls. We hiked John Muir trail back down, it was less crowded and not as wet as Mist Trail.

hiking
13 days ago

Trail with spectacular views of Vernal and Nevada Falls. We hiked up to the top of Vernal Falls and then continued and took the turn for Clark Point. Continue up to Clark Point As this route gives great views of Vernal Falls from above and Nevada Falls in the near distance. At Vernal Falls be prepared to get wet.....very wet!!

hiking
14 days ago

absolutely loved this one. brought my friend who doesn't hike as often and she said this was hard, but she would want to do it again because of how amazing this was.

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