Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail is a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Yosemite National Park, 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.
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.
Very busy but great views - and pack a rain coat - and I'd recommend hiking boots - you can't believe the amount of atypical tourists wearing shorts and tennis shoes, then getting absolutely soaked / slipping throughout the hike
We only made it to the bridge before we turned back. we also started out pretty late. Absolutely coming back in the summer to do the whole trail.
Very very populated. Take lots of water with you. And take lots of breaks. Also don't rush yourself. There is so much to see.
Only mistake I made was rushing out of the gate when the trail is paved near Happy Isles. The granite stair steps would take your breath away if it weren't for the breathtaking views. Rather than turning around and taking the JMT back down, I continued along the Panoramic Trail -- which I would highly suggest. If you're interested in a long day loop hike with continuous views, combine the Mist, Panorama and Four Mile trails.
One of the absolute must-do hikes in Yosemite Valley, the Mist Trail from Happy Isles to the top of Vernal Falls. Going early in the day is how we always do it. As this trail is heavily trafficked, it can get pretty unpassable on the portion with the granite steps. This is especially true as the day goes on. Pretty amazing view from the top though.
Always crowded but the hike is well worth it for the continuous, stunning views. Watch for extremely wet rocks/steps the second half.
By far one of my top hiking experiences! Everything about this hike was gorgeously grand!