Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Panorama Trail

HARD 107 reviews
#9 of 154 trails in

Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Panorama Trail is a 9.5 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Mariposa, 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.

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2 days ago

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7 days ago

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7 days ago

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12 days ago

12 days ago

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12 days ago

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12 days ago

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13 days ago

This is an AMAZING hike. I did it in the opposite direction--from the valley floor up to Glacier Point, and then came down the 4-mile trail. The whole 14-mile haul was quite strenuous, but the views were incredible.

The beginning of the hike (near Vernal Falls, especially) is packed with people--but the mist from the waterfalls keeps you cool going up, and the falls are well worth seeing despite the crowds. Once you get past Nevada Falls (heading towards Glacier Point) the crowds thin out substantially. You've also done a substantial portion of the uphill by that point, though past Nevada Falls there's a switchbacking climb, a bit of downhill to hit Illilouette Falls, and then a final uphill push from the falls to Glacier Point. (The last uphill mile felt really tough. I don't think it's actually that steep at that point, but the trail there is sunny and I'd been hiking for a while.) The views of Half Dome and Yosemite Valley along this trail were awesome. Highly recommended, but pack lots of water and snacks. I had a great summit picnic just before Glacier Point!

hiking
13 days ago

Really good hike. Just the the overview reads up top - phenomenal views. Poor CA air quality can ruin some otherwise great photo opportunities. I started my hike at 0600 sharp and ran into a doe after the first switchback less than a 1/4 mile down the trail. Just prior to Illilouette Fall ran into a big Black Bear (rocking the summer coat no doubt) on the trail itself. Went for about another 1/2 mile up and it felt like uphill switchbacks so decided to head back to the truck. Getting back up there about 0930-10 and the parking lot was beyond packed. If you plan on doing this hike highly recommend you start early and bring a buddy (or some bear mace).

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike started at about 7:30 am after a 2.5hr drive, well worth it. The falls were over flowing due to the bad winter and a lot of snow, at one point one of the falls was overflowing and created a waterfall over the trail which we had to hike through, one of many times I got wet... but it felt good. I would advise getting there early, as the park tends to fill up making it impossible to park.

hiking
19 days ago

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19 days ago

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19 days ago

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20 days ago

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21 days ago

Truly amazing hike. Just remember: bring sun blocker, mosquito repellent, good hiking shoes, plenty water and there is no regular shuttle bus between Glacier Point and the Valley so add almost 5 more beautiful but challenging miles to your hike.

22 days ago

22 days ago

Stunning views of waterfalls and famous peaks on this trail, views that literally take your breath away. You get to cross Illilouette Creek once and the Merced 3 times, once at top of Nevada falls, once at top of Vernal, and last at the Vernal footbridge. These crossings lend a lot of charm and interest to the hike. Make sure you have good shoes. The footing can be quite slippery at many points along the way, plus the almost relentless downhill can be a toe-buster if your feet slide forward and your toes jam up against the shoe. :( Add 1.5 miles if you opt to take John Muir (from Clark Point) in the final stretch instead of Mist Trail. And I know a bunch of the reviewers thought the trail was moderate, but for this 46-year old in moderate shape, it felt closer to difficult.

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24 days ago

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25 days ago