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Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail

MODERATE 1,115 reviews
#1 of 167 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.

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful trail. You get to see alot of waterfalls, two upclose and some from afar. The weather was a little challenging since it was freezing at 37deg. Bring alot of water and snacks, you will need it on the way up.

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

Started at 7am and only ran into one other person on the way up. Amazing views and two lovely waterfalls that were still flowing pretty good. Hope you like stairs because you will be climbing quite a bit of them to reach vernal falls and even more if you want to reach the top of Nevada falls. Bring lots of water!

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

This trail is absolutely gorgeous when waterfalls are full. We got fully drenched in the mist. Highly recommended to go in summer when the waterfalls are full as they are the star attraction and can make a huge difference in the experience. We saw a bunch of rainbows. Also made sure to see the waterfalls from distance and not to cross the fence at any cost. The elevation gain gave us a serious workout but coming down was pretty fast ( be careful if you have bad knees ). Be sure to carry a lot of water.

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

Lots of people but it’s definitely worth it because of the views

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

Went here on Thanksgiving and took my brother (11 yrs) and sister (13yrs) and they loved it. It is absolutely gorgeous. Make sure you take food and have lunch at the top of Nevada Falls. You'll experience some of the most beautiful sights in the entire world. Definitely a challenging hike, especially the staircase to the top of Vernal Falls but it is worth it. I've done this hike alone as well and it is just as amazing. Be aware that the JMT is already closed for the winter so you will have to come back down via the Mist trail...which isn't that fun. LOL

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

Third time completing this hike and it never gets easier. Absolutely beautiful but high traffic, even on a Black Friday. Day after thanksgiving. Please come prepared. We've seen people roll their ankles yesterday from wearing wrong shoes not made for hiking or terrain trekking. Diabetic seizures because they are not prepared with food and water. People taking pictures from dangerous risky ledges etc. the list goes on. Overall great hike.

I can't record any of my trips because there's usually no connection in the mountains and I'm not about to pay for pro Version of this app

16 days 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.

18 days ago

Difficult but totally worth it!

hiking
18 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!