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Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Mist Trail

HARD 2079 reviews
#1 of 244 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
1 day ago

Lots of freakin steps, but well worth the climb.

hiking
1 day ago

My favorite waterfall trail in Yosemite! A MUST! Just an FYI: I didn’t realize this trail was the first half of Cloud’s Rest which I planned on doing the following day. I didn’t want to repeat the same trail, so didn’t end up doing Cloud’s Rest.

hiking
2 days ago

We hiked up to Nevada Falls via Mist Trail ! Beautiful hike with some great views. The way up is very steep and has a lot of stairs. We clocked over 7 miles, just saying.

hiking
3 days ago

5 star because I survived! Views were spectacular! Although I believe I lost a lung somewhere on the climb up. Definite challenge but sense of accomplishment was worth everything. Roger S.

Amazing trail. Nice weather for us. We came up through Mist trail, then made a loop down by using John Muir trail (this trail for horses passing so there is a lot of horse’s wastes, but it’s easier on our knees). Loved it.

Started hiking at 8am. Much less people than when we came back at 2pm!! Very chilly up there. Trail very well maintained. Terrific views.

hiking
4 days ago

Gorgeous hike. We took the John Muir Trail to the top and then returned via Mist Trail. The waterfalls are really amazing even in October when there's less water flowing. Bring water since it's a really long trail. There is a drinking fountain at the start of the trail after the first bridge.

Beautiful hike with steep steps as you approach the top of Vernal Fall. Only did it up to Vernal Fall and turned back due to time constraint.

Sneakers or hiking sandals (recommended minimal footwear). 2 liters water plus another on return. Take a bed if you want, but it is an easy half-day trip. Much of the trail is paved; includes stairs. Strenuous elevation changes. I Love this trail. This is the fourth time on at least some portion of it in the past 2 years. Spring and Early Summer you will get SOAKED. Autumn the water flow is much less but the scenery is still beautiful and the squirrels are so friendly.

hiking
rocky
6 days ago

I’ve done this hike up to Nevada Falls (but sadly never to the top of Half Dome) 5 times and its beauty takes my breath away each time. Must be in decent shape to do this! Will take approximately 5 hours or so, if you eat lunch on top.

hiking
7 days ago

Classic hike. A must on anyone's trip to Yosemite. Start by 6-7am, and have Nevada Falls to yourself!

hiking
7 days ago

Been doing this every year since I was a kid, now in my 60's. We did a beginner backpack to little Yosemite valley in the 1970's. Took an exchange student from Thailand. Myself (Navy) and 2 Marines. This guy from Thailand brought dried squid......cooked it over an open fire. Boy did we have Bears that night ! We couldn't get the exchange student out of the tent.....LOL! One of the Marines had a medical issue so he hiked down to the valley floor to get his Meds, then back at night. He pretty much jogged it, but things were going bump in the night. He was pretty scared when he got back. Lots of Granite, plenty of water if you filter it. Usually someone will get killed going over the falls every year or so, don't be stupid. One year a guy rode the chute (Slide) down into the Emerald pool. Shattered his ankle on the rock at the bottom. He had to sit there for many hours waiting for a Mule to get him out.

hiking
scramble
7 days ago

Quite easy! Nice chilling spot at the top of Nevada falls

This is a difficult difficult trail. My feet are killing me but the views were incredible. Definitely do it with friends who will keep you going!

Asphalt partially, rock steps that are nice. Some very narrow areas that have handrails. Beautiful views!!! Perfect weather today!

hiking
8 days ago

Great quick hike to Vernal Falls (did not continue to Nevada Falls). Took the kids (ages 9 & 10), they had no issues making the hike. Went fairly early in the morning and did not experience too much of a crowd.

hiking
11 days ago

Great trail! Definitely strenuous due to the steep steps you have to take on the way up, really gets your heart pumping but worth it! We are young, quick hikers; we finished the trail (from the trailhead parking and back) in a little more than four hours. We took 4 breaks in total.

hiking
11 days ago

First half of the hike to Vernal falls was packed. Second part a bit better. Beautiful falls worth the hike if you're not a misanthropic person. Hard to eat something at the top of Nevada falls because of the wasps. Walk a bit further (with a lesser good view) if you wanna have a lunch in peace.

hiking
13 days ago

A true classic! Not easy but worth it ....one of the better hikes in Yosemite! A must ....

hiking
rocky
13 days ago

Great hike! Great views! Been up and down this hike a few times!

hiking
13 days ago

Nice trail, beautiful views. But almost all paths are manmade. Kind of a shame that so many natural elements have been sculped into easy going and accesable paths. Very busy with loads of instagram-posers at the first stages of the trail.

hiking
14 days ago

great trail. we got to parking lot around 7am on Sat 9/28/19. already about 70 percent full. I think many of those cars were left overnight. didn't see too many people on the way up. once you get to Vernal falls the views become some of the best. plenty of steps and a few steep spots. we came down Muir trail. that is almost a must. some of the steps are narrow and there will be tons of people heading up. once we got back to the Muir mist junction it was.pretty crazy with folds heading up.

hiking
rocky
scramble
15 days ago

This hike is 13 miles one, but not 6,4. So I underestimated it a lot. It was hot during the day and really windy and cold in the evening, especially around the sunset and after. So I would highly recommend to have extra layers just in case. John Muir part was fascinating! And it become even prettier with clouds and trees with orange and yellow leaves. I think so far it would be my favorite hike in Yosemite. It has sooo much to offer. So start early and do full loop. You will not regret it!

hiking
bridge out
rocky
16 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

it's uphill all the time, but I like this kind of hikes.

hiking
17 days ago

Really tough 33km from parking lot (both ways). Bring at least 5L of water per person...there’s nowhere to fill once you get past the beginning of the trail.

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