Explore the most popular birding trails near Yosemite Village with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This trail has amazing views! We hiked all the way up to Nevada falls, it was a hard hike with A LOT of stairs. Once you get to venal falls, the crowd starts to disperse. Bring lots of water for this hike and sunscreen. This hike is on the hard side but the views from the top make it worth it!! Take the John Muir trail back, it adds a mile but you get to see another side of the waterfall by taking the John Muir trail back.

My best friend and I found this trail when we visited Yosemite a few summers ago. This was a bit difficult as it was ALL uphill so go prepared with water and light snacks! Once you hike about 30 min, you will come up to a break area with water fountains for drinks/bathrooms, etc.
Then after, there are some stone steps which are very steep and possibly slippery due to the mist waterfall. Those will take you all the way up to the top of the waterfall, as well as a cold swimming hole to swim in after the hike! There is an area where you can slide down the smooth rock into the water. We just jumped in and swam to the other side of the hole. We went in late June so it was amazing to jump into and then lay on the hot rock on the other end. No towel needed since we dried off pretty quick! I know the hike continued on but we stopped there, turned around and made our way back down to the bottom. That was the easy part since it was all downhill,especially after the cool down in the swimming hole.

I’d do this hike again but I’d be more prepared next time physically! If you aren’t in shape physically, this will be a tough hike for you! You probably won’t make it to the top if you bring young children due to the steepness towards the top. Can be a bit dangerous. If they are older and mature enough to handle the hike, it would be worth it as they would enjoy the swimming hole! Makes for a great reward! The trail was pretty populated, but it will thin out towards the top due to the length & difficulty of the hike. Very beautiful scenery during the entire hike! Bring a camera! Afterwards, we couldn’t believe we’d only hiked 1.5 miles up to the top! Felt much longer!

I feel like I would have enjoyed this more if I weren’t shoulder to shoulder with other hikers. Especially with the narrowing of the trail along the steps close to the falls. The trail was PACKED.

Take the mist trail up to Nevada Falls, and then come back down the John Muir Trail. The views of Liberty Cap are amazing from the ridge line as you are leaving Nevada Falls. The trail is crammed with people, so be prepared and leave early. Hike is much harder than you would think based on the number of people there.

oh my goodness. I did this hike with a 25 pound child on my back which made the hike 10x harder. very steep climb to the top and very slippery. the view was stunning on the bright side.

Seen a reviewer post previous to mine asking about dogs (Lauren Woods)...i believe i did see a dog on this trail when we went BUT i wouldnt recommend taking a dog to the top of the falls. The trail starts off paved before tuning to dirt mixed with stone staircase...the stones arent an even 8" or 10" step, they vary alot and some of the steepest parts its easily 18"-2ft in a step up height, plus a narrow railing at the end to get to the top of first falls. PLUS this is a very crowded hike, so if you arent on your way down and almost finished with the hike by 10AM u will be dodging the "ant trail" of people on their way up that started at like 9:30 or 10am. The hike down was not fun with all the people but overall avery fun trail moderate trail. Not sure how much water is left but we hike 1st week of June and it was perfect. I have some photos posted of the trip, specifically a couple of the falls if anyone want to see for perspective. My IG is @m_packmore

I have a quick question- I am gearing up to go on this hike! Are dogs allowed?

Very cool and relaxing hike up the falls. Took about 3 1/2 hours round trip but that was just to the top of Nevada fall. The most from the falls feels good for about the last 1/2 mile. Very populated trail btw. Also accesible form the John Muir trail

Stair master 8000! This trail is very difficult and left me exhausted when completed. With that being said, it was one of the most rewarding hikes. Great views and amazing lookout areas. We even swam in the upper Falls river although it is not recommended and can be dangerous. Pack lots of water and be prepared for constant inclines, switchbacks and steps. The footing can be tough so be safe and conquer this difficult hike.

- the boosk

Unrelenting and rigorous uphill switchbacks but well worth the glorious views up top. Take a break at Columbia Rock and brace yourself for a rocky path for at least a couple more hours (moderate pace). Recommend hiking poles and plenty of water, 3L minimum per person. Start early and take bug spray if you descend around sunset. Hard climb but well worth it, you’ll see!

Amazing hike, falls, and final destination at the top of the falls!

Great trail, if you doing a full loop it is probably too hard for younger kids and Its just over 12 miles. Make sure you have plenty of water.

An absolute must for first timers, soak your feet at the top in the ice cold water until they’re numb, it’ll make the trip down easier.

Absolutely wonderful! A little tough if you aren’t used to hiking a lot but the views are well worth it!

My favorite hike in Yosemite. However I did it in the other direction, hiking up Mist Trail to Panorama, then down by the Four Mile trail. I find it more pleasant and the views more stunning this way.

Left upper pines campground at 5AM, was at glacier point at 9AM and took the shuttle at the four mile trailhead to the upper pines campground at approximately 11AM. I saw literally no one between Nevada Falls and Glacier point. There were heavy forest fires when I went so the view was a little hazy and there was a strong smoke odor, but it was still very much worth it!

I preferred this hike to half dome, although the cables at half dome are quite an experience...

Finally, I would not call this hike Moderate but Difficult due to the distance and elevation gain. Getting from illilouette falls to glacier point was quite grueling, and the hike down from glacier point basically exhausted any remaining energy I had left in my legs.

ENDLESS. SWITCHBACKS. I really enjoyed this hike because I don't really have any beef with switchbacks. But once you start scaling the granite face, there's no shade or cloud cover, so if you're hiking in the dead of summer (like we were) you need to make sure you have a lot of water (2-3 L/person). The view from the top was great and it was really cool to be able to get close to the fall (though, that was a bit scary to me).

An absolute must! An amazing hike to soak in the magnitude that is Yosemite. If hiking in the summer, start early to avoid the sun as well as the crowds. As others before have, I suggest taking the John Muir trail back down to avoid the crowds and the wet rock steps going back down the trail. This is one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done! .....when you do it early.

Rigorous uphill climb no reprieve but the views are beautiful.. do not forget to climb down from top to view the falls. This trail is very rocky with lots of rocks ... so adding to the degree of difficulty to the steep gradient throughout . start the hike early as the heat in summer and even late spring gets you..Parking is an issue so get dropped off or take the early park bus and get dropped off.. It is hard hike up... Round trip back s close to 7.8 Miles not 5

This is my first time going to Nevada falls. I've done the Vernal Falls part of the trail multiple times. I loved making the entire loop. It was a beautiful hike that I can't wait to do again.

Up up and away. Phenomenal views of the valley throughout most of the vertical hike. With a pack it was pretty grueling, but everyone made it with 3 liters of water each. Everyone was quick to refill at the top and chug once it was ready. The dip in the river was extremely rewarding. Well worth the effort for the views. A very busy trail with a lot of day hikers, but that’s the valley so nothing out of the ordinary there.

backpacking
28 days ago

Did this trail as part of a backpacking overnight to Eagle Peak. This is a rough trail to do with packs because there is so much elevation gain in a relatively short time period, but the views are beautiful!! We started on the trail at 4pm (8pm sunset in July) and it was really nice to be in the shade for most of the way. Definitely would recommend this as an afternoon hike to avoid sun on the trail.

Parking was very difficult, as can be expected for Yosemite Valley in the summer.

First time to Yosemite and First hiking trail...I loved it great work out..

very difficult hike, rocks very brutal on feet, ankles, and knees! recommend hiking poles, ankles hiking boots. views are great! bring at least 2 liters of water, and snacks!

Holy incline! But holy views! Love it! Went in May and not very crowded so I enjoyed myself.

we just finish the trail in vernal waterfall, it's so beautiful there and I will give 5 stars for the trail!

Possibly my favorite hike in the world!

Honestly...the view of the falls is best at the "halfway" point. The "pool" or streams at the top were refreshing but holy moley the elevation gain destroyed me at the end. I guess I had a different experience because I am 5' 11" and over 250 lbs. Coming down one of my knees started to give out so I'd recommend braces for whatever joints you have issues with (i.e knees, ankles, etc). PLEASE TRAIN FOR THIS HIKE IF YOU ARE OUT OF SHAPE, YOU WILL REGRET IT IF YOU DON'T. Also be sure to have hiking shoes if you need the extra grip (I definitely did).

Great warm-up hike to start your day. Do this hike every day of your visit to get the juices flowing.

Family hike in mid June...on a Wednesday. Got to the trail head parking lot around 8am and there were still a few parking spots left. Much later and we would have ended up at the Yosemite Village lot.

You’re looking at this hike because you know how amazing the waterfalls are so I’m not going to comment on that other than it’s definitely worth going all the way up to the to of Nevada Falls.

We followed the Mist Trail up to the top of Nevada Falls. There was plenty of people on the trail but It wasn’t crowded that time of day. The steps heading up to Vernal were very wet (from the mist). It took about 3 hours to get to the top of Nevada...we were hiking with our 11 year old twins and 8 year old daughter. It was tough for the 8 year old but she made it with minimal complaints. We had lunch at the top and then decided to take John Muir trail back down...HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS!!! Looking at a trail map it added about a mile on to the hike vice going back the way we came, but it avoided having to go down the wet stairs and going against the traffic coming up. I’m positive it was faster then heading back the way we came. The John Muir trail joins the Mist Trail about 0.5 miles below Vernal Falls. Once we got back on the Mist Trail (now about 1pm) it was very crowded.
If you are concerned about the wet steps or step switch back you can take the John Muir trail up as well, but you will miss Vernal Falls and some great views along the Mist Trail.

Wonderful views of the whole valley a very good scenic hike. The trail it self is hard if you don’t like climbing stairs this trail is not for but if you power thru it it is worth the soreness. Start the hike early to avoid the heat not much shade from the sun and bring plenty of water no stops for water. Ended up finishing up at Yosemite point

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