Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail

MODERATE 696 reviews
#1 of 150 trails in

Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail is a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Curry Village, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until November.

DISTANCE
6.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2437 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

no dogs

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.

11 minutes ago

16 minutes ago

The waterfalls are amazing this year at Yosemite. We were told by a park ranger right before getting on the trail that someone fell into a waterfall the day before. I believe it since the most from the waterfall made the walkways slippery and difficult to see. Note that once you get to the top of the first falls, there is a shortcut/connector that loops around without having to go back the slippery steps next to the waterfall (look for signs at the top of the waterfall). This gave us time to dry off too!

4 hours ago

hiking
12 hours ago

hiking
2 days ago

One of the best hiking trails there is in yosemite. We hiked to the footbridge this year because of lack of time. I would say it was moderate difficulty getting to the footbridge and strenuous getting to emerald pool. Definitely a ton of stairs! But totally worth the hike! The amount of water right now is amazing. Just be careful of the slippery rocks. You WILL get wet! Whether from sweat or waterfall, you will get wet. haha. Love this trial! I wish I could do it all the time!

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful breathtaking 360 views! Water is just raging and roaring! Be sure to take some rain gear because you will be completely soaked! Loved every minute of this trail! This trail is the stairmaster 2000!!!!! LOL I was hurting a bit with the never ending stairs but who could complain I was in Yosemite!

2 days ago

We Summer 17. lots of water made the views amazing. got drenched near vernal falls section.

3 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

On hot summer days, leave around 8 or 9 to avoid trekking uphill so much in the sun and to avoid heavy afternoon crowds. Be prepared for a cold mist shower from Vernal, can be freezing during morning hours. Favorite part is Muir trail close to Nevada. There is a calmer thin waterfall dripping down, like a weeping wall of water. Pretty much all uphill then all downhill. Knees and shins didn't like me

hiking
3 days ago

John Muir is my hero.

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

2017 is the year for waterfalls in Yosemite! If you're heading to Yosemite this summer and are feeling dragged down by the heat make your way to the Mist Trail! As the most popular trail at Yosemite, the first thirty-minute ascent is steep and very crowded. There are bathrooms and water fountains before you begin climbing again. The steps this year to Vernal Falls were flowing with water and can get very dangerous as this trail is very popular. For a heavy winter season, the mist trail turns more into the shower trail as you pass Nevada Falls. Don't expect to be able to keep yourself or your shoes dry. We lunched on top of Nevada Falls and made our way back down the JMT as it was the less steep option, and less crowded. For those of you who have sensitive/injured knees, like myself, make sure to bring trekking poles. All in all a majestic life-affirming hike.

4 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

Amazing views pretty much the whole way, definitely worth going while the Falls are so strong, but watch out for slippery stairs. Some parts were a little tough with an incline but overall would highly recommend it!

hiking
5 days ago

What a memory! Excellent trail. We hiked from the Vernal Falls bridge. Up the stairs to the brink of Vernal Falls. We then hiked to the Clark Point cut off. Nevada Falls was just too much. We hiked .4 miles up switchbacks to Clark Point. Took the John Muir Trail back to the bridge. The crowds at the bridge were overwhelming. Get there early for a peaceful hike!

hiking
6 days ago

I hiked up the mist trail to Nevada falls and took the JMT back down as it was less steep and slippery, although a little longer mileage-wise. The trail is slippery and wet so be prepared. Great dayhike!

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

Glorious hike! The water levels are so high right now that it makes it extra impressive. Slippery and you'll get soaked up to Vernal Falls but worth it!

6 days ago