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Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Panorama Trail

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Yosemite National Park

Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Panorama Trail is a 10 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until October.

Length 10.0 mi Elevation gain 977 ft Route type Point to Point
Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Forest River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Fee No dogs
Description
Waypoints (17)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

Yosemite National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $20 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70. 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.

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

You can modify the hike to end near Curry Village where you can grab a bite to eat or take the free shuttle to anywhere in the park.

Directions from Arch Rock Entrance: Follow Highway 140 into the Yosemite Valley. Turn right on to Southside Drive and turn left, approximately one mile east, on Highway 41 to Wawona. Drive nine miles to the Glacier Point Road and turn left. Follow Glacier Point Road almost 16 miles to Glacier Point Road and look for the Panorama Trailhead in the parking area.

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Reviews (237)
Photos (7325)
Recordings (94)
Completed (1404)
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Gerald Kowalski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 24, 2020
HikingGreat!

Absolutely fabulous, stunning! Allow time to soak it all in - I took 7 hours to complete it, with all the gaping and photo-taking, and just stopping to sit.

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Kasen Barrolaza
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 1, 2020
WalkingGreat!Rocky

Amazing views from all points.

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Rene Beemsterboer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
HikingGreat!

Een lange en toch wel zware hike. begint een atuk downhill maar later veel klimwerk. Zeer mooie uitzichten.

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alex vega
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 18, 2020
Hiking

Glacier point to Nevada Fall & Liberty Cap peak. Illilouette fall and Nevada Fall are very beautiful and great to hike through. Liberty Cap is an unofficial trail and is about 1.5 miles to peak and 1.5 miles back. Cap trail easy to find as you head toward backside and easy to hike until you hit the granite. Trail is marked with cairns and gets very hard as you have to get through many manzanita bushes. To top, just concentrate on the crevice or buttcrack all the way up, it can be done if your crazy enough.

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Urzulka User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2020
HikingNo shade

I hiked this starting at the base of glacier point trail - we hiked up to glacier point then met this trail at the beginning of panorama trail. This was a crazy hike - beautiful views of Half Dome and the valley. It was very hot and the sun really took it out of us. The falls along the way are beautiful; a lovely reprieve from the heat. Nevada falls are cool and have a crazy view.

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Tyler King
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 22, 2020
Hiking

Life changing hike for my 25th with my girlfriend! We started at glacier point and went to Nevada Fall and back. Took most of the day. It stormed midway through. It was unreal. The views were about as good as they get on this entire planet. Reaching Nevada Fall was like an oasis. On the way back, we skinny dipped alone in Illilouette Fall swimming area before the sun went down! It’s not an easy hike, but it’s worth it!

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MaRy Watts
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2020
Hiking

Oh man, this was such a great hike. Wading in the water (in a safe spot) was necessary to cool off, since it is 5 miles is up hill. Make sure not to go down the same way you came up, the best view is on the cliff overlooking the waterfall and half dome. Have fun!!!

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Kasen Barrolaza
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

Stunning views from every point of the hike. Probably the best day hike to do do in Yosemite. If you have kids above the age of five, that have hiked a lot before, this is great. Low traffic. Some sketchy areas.

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Chris Nguyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 2, 2020
Hiking

Well marked trail with amazing views. Bring lunch and plenty of water. One of our favorite hikes in Yosemite. Please pack out your trash to keep our parks clean. Enjoy!

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Cami Marculescu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 29, 2020
Hiking

Amazing hike. I started at Glacier point and marveled at the beauty of the valley. Ample panoramic , breathtaking views of the valley, half dome. The trail is mostly downhill with the exception of some switchbacks. Went to Nevada and then to Vernal falls, which are spectacular, particularly Vernal. Then all the way back, almost 13 mile round trip. Took a lunch break and multiple photo stops, but I did all in 8 hours. Bring at least 2 liters of water if cooler weather ( as I had) and more if it is a hot day. Occasionally you will find bugs, so be prepared. The trail is easy to follow, and way less rocky compared to Upper Yosemite falls trail. If you come back the same way, be prepared to climb.

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Vishal Arora
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 28, 2020
Hiking

Tough hike! Day of hiking: 26th June 2020. We continued this trail, from Glacier Point, after doing Four miles hike and resting for 30 minutes at the Glacier Point. I do not recommend to do this hike if you are not prepared. It’s very strenuous. Less shades on elevation gain which is around 1000ft. If you take Mist trail it’s all rocks that you have to descend. So every step is crucial and hiking poles are recommended. Rocks are all stair types but still you are descending on rock stairs which is uneven. Cut your toe nails before doing this hike. Carry enough water, electrolytes, energy drink, energy gels, energy bars. Do not carry dead weight. Carry only what you need. All the falls Enroute is worth. Very exotic and beautiful! If you love taking photographs then this is the treat for you. Best to do bagpacking and camp. You will get to dip your feet into the water on all falls. Make sure you only dip your feet if you can dry it completely. Moist feet will give you blisters. Always wear blister free socks during hiking. Don’t wear cotton socks on any hike! We encountered two bears but didn’t see them. We heard the sound and we left quietly.

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Mikhail Schv
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 17, 2020
Hiking

Awesome!

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Scott Mulvaney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 2, 2020
Hiking

Awesome hike. Started at Glacier Point and hiked down.

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Don McKnight
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 19, 2020
Backpacking

I did this hike my first trip to Yosemite and it was absolutely amazing! I took the shuttle from the valley up one way to glacier point and hiked down to the back country campsites behind the falls for 2 nights and then used the John Muir trail to get back down. Amazing views and since it starts off downhill you can make good timing for the first portion. I did see a light sand colored black bear on the switch backs while going uphill but it didn’t seem to care I was passing by. Easy to follow trail with great views and little traffic even on a sunny August day.

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Lisa Ouillette
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 11, 2020
HikingRocky

I absolutely loved this hike! I did it I think In 2009 and it’s 2020 now but I’d do it again. We took a shuttle up to glacier point and hiked down to the valley where the car was. We started a little to late about 10am. I’d start earlier. Only because I loved stopping for a bit at the 3 falls. We got back to the car just as the sun went down. It’s a hard hike in spots. But this was the first long hard hike I had ever done and I was fine. Also was not in the greatest shape... haha the kids were fine on the hike too.... (age ranges 10-13 years.

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Thibault LE DILASSER
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 10, 2020
Hiking

The elevation gain is significantly wrong It’s about 1100m, not 298m as stated in the app

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Noah Solis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 30, 2019
Hiking

This is a spectacular hike. I started from hiking from Curry Village to Happy Isles, worked my way up to Vernal and Neveda Falls and proceeded to Illiouette Falls, Glacier Point and worked my way down 4 Miles. This hike is easily 16 miles and offers sensational views along the way. If you plan to do the full Panorama Trial start early and depending on the season dress appropriately. It is a stellar loop hike. The trail is marked and well maintained. When you come down the mountain via 4 Miles Trail, if you miss the shuttle like I did plan to hike another 1.5 miles back to Curry Village. It made from a long day.

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Robbie Burton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 14, 2019
Hiking

This trail was amazing! I hiked it with 5 other friends. Now we are all active duty military and this was still a very challenging hike for us. A couple of us wore smart watches and clocked in our total mileage at 13.2 miles. The elevation for this trail says 977 ft, but about half way through the hike it was made very clear that the elevation was very wrong lol. Once you get to Nevada falls, it makes everything worth it. At the top of the falls there was a small pool of water that made a great are to cool down. We started at 11 and ended at about 1730. We took about an hour break at Nevada falls so our actual hiking time was about 5-5 1/2 hours. Highly recommend being in shape and coming prepared with lots of water!

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Marc Kaefer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 12, 2019
Hiking

Ich bin dem Wanderweg vom Yosemite Valley zum Glacier Point gegangen. Sehr anstrengende aber absolut belohnende Strecke!!. Bin um 9 Uhr gestartet und es waren somit nicht all zu viele Wanderer auf dem Weg zum Vernal und Nevada Falls. Die langen Naturtreppen entlang den Fällen sind anstrengend aber man kann dafür die Fälle aus allen Blickwinkeln bestaunen. Der weitere Weg auf dem Panorama Trail ist großartig (nur vereinzelte Wanderer!) und man hat einen tollen Blick auf dem Half Dome, das Merced Tal und die weiteren Hochebenen des Yosemite Parks. Insgesamt ist der gesamte Weg fast 16 km lang mit über 1.300 Höhenmetern. Es kann in der Mittagssonne, trotz vieler Schattenpassagen, sehr warm werden. Empfehlenswert: Vernünftige Wanderschuhe (keine Jogging Schuhe), Wechsel-Shirt, Wasser, etwas zu Essen, Sonnencreme und Fotoapparat. Nicht: Hunde

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Sylvia Gore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 9, 2019
HikingRocky

Hiked from Glacier Point through Nevada and Vernal falls. The hike is stunning though hard! Don't get fooled it's an easy hike down. Mostly downhill, but quite a hike up to Nevada fall. Next, long several miles down rocky stairs. The waterfall views are priceless, so definitely worth it! The trail was pretty dry at this time of the year.

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Bobbi Poirier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 3, 2019
Hiking

Made a full loop including the falls and came down four mile hike. It was a full day with lots of beautiful views.

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Whitney Rotrock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful trail, barely saw another soul for the first 6.5 miles and then it turned into a complete traffic jam at the falls. But the views are amazing!

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Don Charlton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2019
HikingRocky

Just and amazing hike. Definitely strenuous at the top. Best views of any hike I have ever dome. Great place to chill on rocks and have lunch at Nevada Falls.

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Joni Wu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 12, 2019
Hiking

I did it as a part of Half Dome last week, Mist Trail up, John Muir down. I wrote a blog piece about my experience called “A Non-Hikers Guide to Half Dome” which covers the Vernal/Nevada falls (and lots of pictures), along with how to prep. http://www.tofeelalive.com/2019/08/09/a-non-hikers-guide-to-half-dome/

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Triton Tunis-Mitchell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2019
Hiking

Great walk with incredible views. A bit hot and exposed in a couple of places but rest spots available to cool off. Rivers and falls the highlights, but views of the back side of halfdome and down the valley also worth the effort. Be sure to include the last falls (vernal) rather than getting tempted to clip it shorter- the spray and walk down refreshing from the heat.

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Leslie Hiemstra
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2019
Hiking

Started at Glacier Point at 6am. Met a large black bear walking on trail ahead of me 20 minutes into trail. Made noise & threw a large rock at his feet & he meandered out of sight. I was hiking solo so after taking a few minutes to collect myself after my bear encounter, I proceeded on Panarama Trail till half a mile or so before Nevada Falls before hiking back up to Glacier Point. Beautiful, beautiful hike...tough last 2 miles to the top in the heat & sun but a great hike!

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Maxime Brndn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 9, 2019
Hiking

We did this trail starting from Nevada falls to Glacier Point at around 1pm. Perfect since we were the only one doing the trail in that sense, we crossed many people hiking the regular way. We arrived at Glacier Point at around 5pm (after half hiking/running from Illilouette falls to Glacier Point; the running part was not a challenge, we were looking after a missing child that we found and brought back to his parents at the Illilouette Bridge). The view was amazing, Half dome, Nevada falls, etc. Strongly recommended !

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