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Vernal Falls and Clark Point via Mist and John Muir Loop

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(824)
Yosemite Valley, California

Vernal Falls and Clark Point via Mist and John Muir Loop is a 4.2 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 and nature trips and is best used from April until October.

Length 4.2 mi Elevation gain 1,551 ft Route type Loop

Hiking

Nature trips

Partially paved

River

Views

Waterfall

Wildlife

Rocky

No shade

Description
Waypoints (0)

NOTE: The upper portion of the John Muir Trail between Clark Point and the top of Nevada Fall is closed in winter due to treacherously icy conditions. Keep in mind that the sections of trail that remain open in the winter may be very icy and/or snowy. View current conditions for trail closures and view historical opening and closing dates for this trail before attempting.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (829)
Photos (3768)
Recordings (761)
Completed (2913)
Ulrike Mayfield
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 16 2020
Hiking

Great trail that you should do early morning in the summer. I took my 6, 9, and 11 year old girls today and we finished it in 5 1/2 hours, including a long break at the top of the falls. Masses of people tried to go up when we were going down. Start before 9am.

Mel Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 15 2020
HikingRocky

Get there early - my wife and I started the trail at 0700 and ended a little over 4 hours later. I’m an avid hiker so I would have preferred to get to the trailhead at 0530 but wife likes sleep. Right now a portion of the trail is one way from 9-4 however seems many people do not care about this nor do they care about masking up when you cannot socially distant. The trail itself was strenuous but doable for anyone that is slightly in shape. Coming down the JMT was very slick for my wife in tennis shoes (she’s not a hiker hence improper shoes lol).

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Kerry Kennedy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 13 2020
Hiking

I absolutely LOVED this trail. The view of the falls from Clark is amazing. I did this trail as part of my trek up to Half Dome, and this was probably my favorite part! Tons of stairs to climb, but very unique trail portions where you feel like you’re in the jungle or something. I was on this portion in the evening and it was shaded and the view of the falls was just breathtaking! Highly recommend, but wear shoes with a good grip like hiking boots- not tennis shoes or sandals that you’ll slide around on.

Mark Shpall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 12 2020
HikingRockyScramble
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Oscar Mateo
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Hiking

Pretty hard, take a lot of water, eat a nice breakfast. Worth every step! Completed in 7 hours with some rest and taking photos.

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Amy S
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Hiking
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Dennis V.
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HikingRocky
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Sammy Sandhu
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Hiking

I’ve done this hike plenty of times and it’s breathtaking every time. We started at about 930am and finished about 2pm with stopping for food at the top of Nevada falls. The mist from Vernal Falls actually wasn’t anywhere enough to get you soaked this time but the spots for pictures were amazing. Weather was perfect. Nice and challenging hike with amazing views.

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jason hutt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 08 2020
Hiking

Amazing views. Be prepared for the uphill climb. Bring masks and use them.

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Leah Delim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 08 2020
Hiking

2nd time on this trail and it never disappoints. Did this on the 4th and it was epic. Not a lot of mist so you can take time to take pictures (no need for a rain gear) and because it’s 1 way up from 9-4, there’s more room to maneuver. We started at 7 am so we did met some coming down. If u bring water filter, u can refill at top of Nevada falls.

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Hilary B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 06 2020
Mountain biking

Best views I have ever experienced!! Hard hike for sure.

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Gautham Kannan
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Hiking

Great view points. Vernal and Nevada falls looked better than Yosemite falls.

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Ray Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
HikingRocky

Hit this trail with my wife. We’re in the 50-60 yr old group. Most definitely was a challenge but ever more; the sight sloth the misery cause by the uphill misery. If you go to Yosemite during the waterfall season, this is a MUST!!!

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Sarah Payne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
Hiking

Incredible hike! There was still plenty of water flowing over the falls. We did the hike with our 2 children. Our 5 year old had no problem making it up but our 3 year old got a lift in the carrier. There were plenty of other kids on the trail. The extra length added to the hike is completely worth it for the jaw dropping views of Navada Falls, Half Dome and Vernal Falls below.

Rosie Brady
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 01 2020
Hiking

Steep trail but worth the views, the other hikers disappear the farther you go. My boyfriend- now fiancé- proposed on the trail, hike of a lifetime!

Jack Bray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 30 2020
Hiking

Very steep bring mask for covid, beautiful views of vernal falls, you will get wet so be prepared, it’s a stair master of a hike but beautiful, plan for lots of stops for pictures

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Joshua May
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HikingRocky
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Angela Kim Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 29 2020
HikingOff trail

The top .6 miles of the trail is one way because of COVID. You have to go almost 2 extra miles out of the way on the John Muir trail to come back down. About .6 of the John Muir trail is uphill in the sun. But the falls were beautiful and the mist felt nice!

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Brittney Sullivan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 29 2020
Hiking

Holy Moly! incredible views, incredible hike. my husband and I and our 4 boys went to Vernal Falls and tool Clark point back to the Mist to circle around. absolutely breathtaking

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Nathan Serota
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 29 2020
Hiking

First time in Yosemite and I highly recommend this trail. Minimal crowd given the popularity of this trail due to virus-related restrictions. It took roughly three and a half hours to complete the full loop (for an infrequent hiker in relatively good shape).

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Meaghan Shaffer
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HikingRocky
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Ryan Johnston
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020
Hiking

Trail is very well maintained at the beginning and paved. The trail is now one way due to COVID but many inexperienced hikers disregard this and come back down the same trail. This leads to lots of points where you are close others. After Vernal falls there’s still quite a steep hike up to Clark pt. And after that there’s a long downhill section filled with switchbacks. The top is very hot on a summer day but near the falls is nice as you get the “mist” from the mist trail. Overall, recommend being prepared with water and hiking boots as I saw many miserable people who didn’t know what they got themselves into.

Elissa Flandro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
Hiking

Bring your mask! The beginning of this trail was super busy. The majority of people were not wearing masks and it was crowded for the first mile or so. Gorgeous hike! Bring plenty of water and fill your bottle at the bottom.

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Michele Condit
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HikingNo shadeRocky

Start early, before 8am, hydrate well before you begin. Drink a protein drink and eat a protein bar before you start. Bring lots of water, and healthy, high protein snacks, (cliff bars), trail mix, carrot sticks, celery etc. I can’t stress enough about the water. I Highly recommend buying a trekking pole or two as I really needed them to help me get up the tall steps. The trail is one way now due to COVID, so be prepared to hike up further in full sun, before getting to Clark Point. The descent down has a ton of switch backs and is fairly steep. My heart only functions at 32% since my heart attack, but I took my time and took several rest breaks while staying hydrated. I wouldn’t recommend this hike for small kids. If you do bring kids, stop at the Vernal Falls Bridge and don’t go any further. It’s just too difficult for the littles. This was a huge accomplishment for me.

Ben Buor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 26 2020
Hiking

Wow what a hike. Definitely will test your cardio and legs. Absolutely beautiful I’ve never seen such beauty in my life as I did here at Yosemite and on this trail. Bring 2-3 L there’s one refill on the way up. Make sure you eat a couple hours before and bring snacks then jump in the cold ass water after.

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Melanie Nichols
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 26 2020
Hiking

Hardly any bugs and a decent amount of shade. Oh, and did I mention the amazing views! Pretty crowded up to Vernal falls but far quieter up to Nevada Falls. Steep but easy footing. I managed fine without hiking boots in my ASICS. Part of Mist trail was one-way because of COVID, but John Muir trail is beautiful as well and nice to have a change of scenery.

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Ron Michael
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 24 2020
HikingRocky

Beautiful views, moderately challenging with the heat. Not much cover from the sun, be prepared during sunny, hot weather with sunscreen and water. Pictures don’t do justice for the actual landscape. Squirrels are very sexually aggressive and flirty.

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Lucas Lichtenwaldt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jun 24 2020
Hiking

The trail was just about as good as it gets in summer. Thanks to COVID the trail was only about 1/3 -1/2 of the usual number of hikers. Waterfalls were flowing and trail was in good condition.

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