Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail

MODERATE 1,096 reviews
#1 of 166 trails in

Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail is a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Yosemite 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
2162 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

snow

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.

13 minutes ago

Honestly, this was a bit tougher than I anticipated. We left half dome village around 11 am and it took us SO LONG to ascend to the higher waterfall. We didn’t get there until around 3 pm. (I neglected to record our trip and service was really terrible for us.)

If you want to go up to the top, veer left and take John Muir coming down. It’s a lot less steep and exactly what we needed.

Difficult but totally worth it!

hiking
2 days ago

This trail was amazing back in August! My first time to Yosemite and I chose the Mist Trail. Will be back VERY soon! Amazing views and beautiful scenery all around!

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7 days ago

Great weather for ducks! Having said that, I was completely blown away, humbled, and mesmerised by the falls. The rains over the past few days (and significantly added to today!) meant the waterfalls were in full flow. So dramatic. Don't miss this. A very good reason to go out of season (OK several reasons):

No crowds
Not too hot
Bags of water

Hard work, yes, and for those who suffer with a touch of vertigo (I realise I do), I'd say that's yet another reason to go out of season. You need good boots, not trainers as it does get slippery. Take care, I'm not exactly lacking in fitness, but I did a solid face plant having caught my boot in a root....

Wonderful walk, by the time I finished (and thank you to my occasional companion from Chicago) I knew I'd been on a fairly serious hike.

Doooo itttttttttttt....

9 days ago

Views are spectacular.. loved this hike. The ascent was tougher than I anticipated but the top of Nevada falls is amazing. You can hike this trail if you're not in good shape but you will be pretty miserable by the end. Leave early

hiking
10 days ago

Will always do this hike when I have the chance. Hiked this last Sunday and the falls were lower but still beautiful. As of 11/12/17 the JMT from Nevada Falls is closed due to ice and you have to go back down to Vernal in order to take the easier switchbacks down. (Be warned after the initial 2,300 ascent the link to JMT requires about 500 more feet of stairs to reach.) Excellent views all around!

hiking
10 days ago

Sore legs, great memories!

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12 days ago

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14 days ago

Absolutely amazing! If you go in May, June, or July, prepare to get wet. I brought a cheat poncho when I went, and I definitely made use of it! Incredible views throughout the entire hike and at the top!

hiking
16 days ago

A great hike and one golf my faves can’t go wrong either hiking up the jmt or the mist trail... steps up to verbal is a task in its own then even tougher task going up the mist and on to Nevada falls .. great swimming hike right above Nevada falls the cool water rejuvenates u if ur going further to little Yosemite valley or to the high country