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Vernal Falls

MODERATE 1339 reviews
#5 of 244 trails in

Vernal Falls is a 3.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September.

Distance: 3.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,335 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

partially paved

river

views

waterfall

snow

There is some seasonality on this trail which may lead some temporary route closures. For more information, please check here: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/vernalnevadatrail.htm

hiking
2 days ago

Definitely on the tougher side of moderate. Rewarding views if I could only get people coming downhill 3 wide to remember folks are coming uphill too! Good steep trail though

hiking
3 days ago

The trail is paved and really steep. I couldn’t make it all the way to the top because I started having heart palpitations (have a heart condition). Such a regret but will come back and aim on completing the whole thing soon (weather permitting). There were so many people on this trail but everyone who went up said it was worth the views.

recorded Vernal Falls

hiking
7 days ago

Lots of people mid week in October! Be prepared for steep inclines and steps. Beautiful views along the whole trail.

hiking
7 days ago

Spectacular views and impressive waterfall. I’d say moderate plus or strenuous through steps. Continued up to Muir Trail and took that down (not about the steps on downslope).

recorded Vernal Falls

hiking
rocky
scramble
12 days ago

Steep but paved to bridge 0.8 miles. Another.7 miles very steep with uneven, rock steps some very high step ups. Beautiful views of falls during climb and at top.

Difficult climb but rewarded with awesome views. October hike sonwarwe flow was down, but well worth it.

hiking
16 days ago

Trail seemed more on the hard side, than moderate. I am still a new hiker, but have been on trails that were about the same that were labeled “strenuous.” Lots of steep/ uphill steps. Views were worth it!! Great pics.

hiking
17 days ago

Great trail. Too many people!

hiking
closed
20 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

This was a difficult trail. I could not finish it all because of the 600 steps and the crowds.

hiking
22 days ago

stunning views and strenuous hike. did it with 4 kids 7-15. totally worth it!

hiking
23 days ago

Nice trails, quite a strenuous hike but worth it with amazing views. Beginning almost till vernor fall with paved, which we’re not fans of therefore four not five stars.

hiking
rocky
scramble
24 days ago

hiking
rocky
25 days ago

A great moderate trail. Has well laid road/concrete to walk on. Has rocky steps towards the end but it's worth it to see great view of falls

hiking
28 days ago

Good hike but the steepness really got my legs tired and weak. Had to stop a few times on the hike. Waterfall walkway is slippery and no rails to hold onto.

hiking
29 days ago

Heavily packed trail with beautiful views and many steps going up to Vernal Falls. Started the hike around 9am and was never without a group of people in front or behind me. As I was descending I noticed much more people ascending later in the afternoon so be sure to arrive early! Vernal Falls was absolutely gorgeous and we came at a good time to see the rainbow too! Make sure to wear shoes with good traction if you plan to continue up to Nevada Falls, as the stone steps can become quite slippery.

hiking
29 days ago

Awesome hike! Lots of people on the trail. The stairs are pretty brutal.

hiking
1 month ago

Wow what a hike! Pretty great views made the constant incline bearable! The falls were gorgeous! Worth the hike for sure!

hiking
1 month ago

fun hike. be sure to take some water

hiking
1 month ago

The most amazing experience I have ever had.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiking the Mist Trail up to the top of Vernal Falls was my first real hike ever and what a great way to start getting into hiking! The beginning of the hike is definitely steep and hard on your quads, once you hit the bottom of Vernal you’re greeted by beautiful stair way to heaven. At least that’s what it looks like but quite tiring on your quads again. It’s quite wet so be careful and wear good shoes and expect to get wet. The view is spectacular; lush greenery and trees, rainbows, and droplets of mists in the air. The only downfall about this hike is how crowded it is so expect some traffic along the way. Happy hiking! :)

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
muddy
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail with my wife today on our first ever trip to Yosemite. Started at about 7:45 and there was already quite a few others on the trail. Two beautiful waterfalls and more million dollar views than we could count. We hiked up the Mist Trail and came down the John Muir Trail and our knees were very glad we did. Strenuous and worth it.

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

I went around 5pm and most folks were headed out. In no way did we have the trail to ourselves, but there were definitely less people than earlier in the day. This is a cool hike but I didn’t really feel like going all the way to the top of Vernal Falls made the hike feel worth it. Looking at the waterfall from below was gorgeous, and I kind of wish I had just taken that in and turned back/saved my knees.

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