Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Panorama Trail

HARD 149 reviews
#10 of 203 trails in

Vernal and Nevada Falls via the Panorama Trail is a 9 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
9.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
977 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

Sublime! Besides the awesome views, mist, and enormity of experience from such perspectives as are offered on this route, it was a treat to finally see the enormous bird that we heard for at least a half-hour making an odd fog horn-like noise: a blue grouse!

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail I've been able to do a couple of times...

2 months ago

My favorite trail. The views are amazing.i hike this once a year!

3 months ago

Amazing when waterfalls are maxed

5 months ago

some spectacular views of the yosemite valley. I hiked from glacier point to Nevada falls and back up to glacier point. 2nd day, hiked sentinel dome. I will do it again.

hiking
5 months ago

By far my favorite hike I have done in Yosemite from glacier point down to illohoutte falls cross a bridge upside of another mountain then down to Nevada and then vernal falls and back to the valley .. amazing views the whole entire time

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked this WED, JUL 20, 2016 then back up to the start by way of the Four Mile Trail. Best day of hiking in my life. This trail is ranked #1 in my books. Beautiful! I can't wait to do it again!

7 months ago

Great Views of Yosemite Valley! We'll work the 8.5miles to the top of Glacier Point!

hiking
7 months ago

Took this trail on the way down from glacier point after taking the four-mile trail up. The views are amazing and it's a great hike! Challenging by the waterfall but so pretty!

hiking
7 months ago

Intense hike with breath taking views. Took me 6hrs for the round trip.

8 months ago

One of my favorites at Yosemite!

hiking
9 months 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
9 months 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
9 months 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
9 months 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.

9 months 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.

9 months ago

you get WET!

10 months ago

Take your time enjoy it

10 months ago

Take your time enjoy it

10 months ago

Take your time enjoy it

hiking
10 months ago

We did the Panorama trail on the Memorial Day weekend and it was just spectacular. The waterfalls right now are gigantic and the trail wasn't crowded at all. We hiked up to Glacier Point and then did the trail back to the Valley. I wouldn't consider this hike being difficult except for the steps along the Vernal Falls at the end of the trail which can be quite slippery and you really need to pay full attention after hiking for a couple of hours.

hiking
10 months ago

So I decided to convince my group of friends to do this hike from the Valley Floor to Glacier Point Rd in the middle of August. It was ambitious, but to this day it is one of my fondest memories of Yosemite. The incline was really steep to get to the falls, but I would say there were about a few miles here and there where it was relatively flat switchbacks. We started our day early and I think it took us about 6.5 hours to complete the hike with breaks, lunch and pictures, Stunning scenery and there is an incredible feeling of achievement when you reach Glacier Point Rd and you can look upon the panorama trail and be able to identify all the falls you hiked past. If I were to do it again I would have done the hike in late spring.

hiking
10 months 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
11 months 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
11 months 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

11 months 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!!!!:):):)

11 months 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.

11 months 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
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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.

Monday, April 03, 2017

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!

Load More