Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Panorama Trail

HARD 74 reviews
#10 of 145 trails in

Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Panorama Trail is a 9.5 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Yosemite National Park, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until October.

DISTANCE
9.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1227 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

A mostly-downhill hike with views of Half Dome, Nevada Fall, Vernal Fall, Yosemite Falls and the Yosemite Valley. There is no better hike in Yosemite National Park which offers the amazing views of Half Dome, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, Illilouette Fall, Yosemite Fall, and the entire Valley than the Panorama Trail. This hike will take you on an adventure from Glacier Point, high above the valley, down to the Mist Trail where you will hike next to both Nevada and Vernal Falls. The hike ends near Curry Village where you can grab a bite to eat or take the free shuttle to anywhere in the park. While this hike loses 2,800ft in elevation, it is not an easy hike; some would even rate it as strenuous. After the initial climb down to Illilouette Fall you will hike back up 800ft of steep switchbacks before hiking down the same distance immediately after. The Mist Trail can be especially tough on the knees, especially the section from the top of Nevada Fall to Vernal Fall, which is almost exclusively made up of small stone steps. But don't let that discourage you, the views of the Falls, the Valley, and the surrounding area more than make up for the aches and pains you may keep with you the next few days.

hiking
6 days ago

Just finished this yesterday. Great hike! If you're coming from Glacier Point down the hike should be rated as moderate. The only strenuous part coming down from Glacier Point was after the Illilouette footbridge. It took me 2.5 hours to get to the top of Nevada falls and another hour to get down to the bus stop. The person who said it was potentially a7 hour hike from Glacier Point isn't quite right. 7 hours is insanely long for this trail! It was a somewhat busy trail; I passed between 30-40 people between Glacier point and Nevada falls on a Friday afternoon. Overall it is a beautiful trail and I look forward to doing it again.

If your feeling up to adding some milage to your hike you can head back towards little yosemite valley/JMT. It's very beautiful (but wet) there behind all the different domes.

hiking
7 days ago

AWESOME trail with the best views of Yosemite. TONs of waterfalls and creeks. Some tips to pass along from our first time in Yosemite and doing this hike.
Take the Glacier Point tour bus to the top! Make your reservation online first to secure your spot. We were able to park in the first lot on the left when you turn in to get to Yosemite lodge. Park there and head over to the Tours desk to pick up you tickets. Once at the top make sure you spend some time there! Head over to Glacier Point and get a good view of the valley and falls. Then you're off!

The trail was busy at the start but lined out after 1 mile in. It will get buys once you start getting closer to the falls. The Mist trail is VERY popular and crowded. If you are worried about getting "misted" bring a light weight poncho that will cover you AND your pack.

Recommend stopping for lunch and the top of Nevada falls. Also because from this point on its allll steps down. You can refill with water at the bottom of Vernal Falls if you need - though you nearly to the end at this point and a majority of the trail is paved from here.

Once you pop out at the end of Happy Isles trail, head left. If you're tired get in line for the free shuttle that can take back to the lodge. When we were there the shuttle line was 3 buses long according to the ranger. So we opted to walk. Since it was 5 pm shuttle are usually VERY full and can often get stuck in traffic, even though they are supposed to come every 20 mins, it is more like every 30-45 mins. So enjoy the flat, paved 2.2 mile walk from the trail head of Happy Isles back to the lodge. GREAT hike!

hiking
19 days ago

Incredible views and a lightly trafficked trail between Glacier Point and Vernal Falls. We first started with the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point and then the Panorama Trail to Vernal Falls and back down to the valley floor. Amazing hike with incredible views the entire time. Would highly recommend

hiking
20 days ago

27 days ago

Ah-freaking-mazing. With the rain this year the falls are ridiculously beautiful. Took John Muir trail to Nevada. There is a "new" mini waterfall to get to the top of Nevada so be prepared to get wet. TOTALLY WORTH THE HIKE

I would rate this as moderate. Straight up with switchbacks. I'm an avid hiker and fitness enthusiast. Great workout for the day!!!

DO NOT COME TO YOSEMITE AND NOT DO THIS!!!!:):):)

28 days ago

a bit challenging, but totally worth the entire hike. Bring plenty of water and some snacks, when you reach Vernal falls take a Lil break if needed, and than continue to Nevada falls.

1 month ago

An amazing day hike. We thoroughly enjoyed the different views along the way. Don't give up before you reach Nevada Falls - you will be rewarded with the view and most wonderful falls.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent day hike trail with plenty of spots to stop and enjoy the views. Bring water, snacks and a sack lunch, this is one hike you'll want to take your time on.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Great full day hike...take the bus to Glacier Point and start your journey with great views from the start snd finishing with two great waterfalls and some lovely and quiet trails in between!

2 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

easy hiking
but beautiful place

hiking
3 months ago

Did this hike in late Spring of 2016. I absolutely loved it! It is definitely a knee buster though. Especially if you happen to have a dormant knee injury that you forgot about. It was an absolutely gorgeous experience starting 3,000 ft about the yosemite valley. (I would recommend parking for free in Yosemite Valley and purchasing a one-way ticket for the Glacier Point Tour Bus, which is what I did). Going in late spring meant there was a lot of water going through the falls and it highly recommended. Going down the Mist Trail had its problems for me with my knee injury but I got through it. Those steps are killer, and a bit scary. If I had my knee brace I would have been perfectly fine!

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail I think it was more moderate than difficult. It was beautiful and I would definitely go again but in the spring instead of the fall.

hiking
6 months ago

If you can only do one day hike in Yosemite this is it. Panorama Trail through hike to Half Dome Village. We started from Glacier Point and hiked down the Panorama Trail circling into the valley, joining the Mist Trail to Half Dome Village.


So beautiful, fun... of all my hikes to date this is my favorite. For now. Remind me to upload some pictures and you can describe.

hiking
6 months ago

awesome hike! started from the valley and ended in glacier point. no people once we went past the main falls at the beggining. be sure to check shuttle schedule! we had to hitch back to the valley!

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

I started at Glacier Point and made my way down to the Valley. Took Four Mile from the Valley to Glacier Point.

The hike has a bit of elevation, but the overall 14 miles was a breeze compared to El Capitan & Clouds Rest.

I really enjoyed the scenery throughout the entire hike. I'd vote that it has better views and scenery than El Capitan, but nothing even close to as epic as Clouds Rest. If you're willing to knock out this much mileage, I'd highly recommend going the extra distance for Clouds Rest.

7 months ago

We started at Glacier Point and hiked down to the valley. Awesome views! This is by far the best hike in Yosemite. Very challenging but worth it.