Mist Trail - Backpack and Hike near Yosemite National Park
Mist Trail, California 95389, USA,Yosemite National Park,California
37.73285247067764, -119.55774486064911
9.2 miles S of Yosemite National Park
Address: Mist Trail, California 95389, USA
GPS: 37°43'58.3"N 119°33'27.9"W
Maps | Directions
State: California

Rivers Waterfalls Streams Trails Rocks National Park

Backpack and Hike

The mist trail is a small breakoff from the John Muir Trail through Yosemite National Park. It's called the mist trail because of the heavy amount of mist that hikers walk through as Vernal and Nevada Falls crash hundreds of feet below. The hike is short as for horizontal distance traveled but the incline will give you a run for your money. You'll ascend 639 stone stairs to reach the top of Vernal Falls. There's a waterfall in between the two that is a sight all it's own but is often forgotten because of the behemoths on either side. The hike between the falls is a nice break as it is fairly flat relative to the rest of the trail. Once you get to the base of Nevada Falls, you'll have to take switchbacks up the giant cliffs to the top.

These waterfalls are usually the last to dry up around Yellowstone Village. Whether you just love waterfalls or you want a closer view of Halfdome, Whitecap, or Mt. Broderick, the Mist Trail definitely offers world class views. There are bathroom facilities just above Vernal Falls and water just before you start to ascend the stairs. There's another trail that is less steep but that skips Vernal Falls. 

Distances (one-way):

Hike Distance Elevation Gain
Vernal Fall Bridge 0.8 miles 400 ft
Top of Vernal Falls 1.5 miles 1100 ft
Top of Nevada Falls 3.4 miles 2230 ft
34.4K Written by elico3000

Be courteous, informed, and prepared. Read trailhead guidelines, stay on the trail, and don’t feed the wildlife.

More Info
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel & camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Minimize campfire impacts
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Directions

From Yosemite National Park

  1. Head northeast on El Portal Rd
    Toll road
    (5.5 mi)
  2. El Portal Rd turns slightly right and becomes Southside Dr
    Partial toll road
    (6.1 mi)
  3. Continue straight onto Happy Isle Loop Rd
    Toll road
    (0.4 mi)
  4. Turn left to stay on Happy Isle Loop Rd
    Toll road
    (0.1 mi)
  5. Turn right
    Toll road
    Restricted usage road
    (0.5 mi)
or

From halfdome village, you can take a bus right to the trailhead.

to add photos & videos and suggest edits

Guest Review/Comments

/5

cteicheira

4/24/17 10:45 am 6/17/11
Went along the trail when I was hiking Half Dome. It can get slick up there from the mist on the rock. There are a lot of steps on the trail, so be prepared for that. It was really fun to be so close to a waterfall, though if you are afraid of heights, I wouldn't recommend this trail.
Reply

elico3000

4/8/17 12:54 am 10/6/16
We definitely didn't give much credit to the elevation gain in what seemed like it would be an easy 3 mile round trip to Vernal Falls. My wife was newly pregnant and it gave her a run for her money. We ended up going all the way to the base Nevada Falls. We were there in October and these were the only falls that still had water. There wasn't much as far as mist because of the low water but it was still very beautiful. There were still a lot of people up to the top of Vernal but after that it cleared up a lot. It never felt too crowded per se but it was really nice to be more alone between Vernal and Nevada Falls.
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8622867697 A4d457b08e B 8622867697 A4d457b08e B
Vernal Falls Rainbow Vernal Falls Rainbow Mist Trail Steps Mist Trail Steps Vernal Falls Vernal Falls Pond Below Vernal Falls Pond Below Vernal Falls Pond Above Vernal Falls Pond Above Vernal Falls Waterfall Above Vernal Falls Waterfall Above Vernal Falls Nevada Falls Nevada Falls Vernal Falls added by elico3000 Vernal Falls added by elico3000 Nevada Fall From Glacier Point added by elico3000 Nevada Fall From Glacier Point added by elico3000

Trails

Distance ?

2.9 miles Round Trip

Elevation Gain ?

945 feet

Real Ascent ?

1,185 feet

Real Descent ?

240 feet

Avg Grade (7°)

13%

Grade (-36° to 54°)

-74% to 140%

Distance ?

1.9 miles Round Trip

Elevation Gain ?

1,003 feet

Real Ascent ?

1,097 feet

Real Descent ?

94 feet

Avg Grade (12°)

21%

Grade (-22° to 39°)

-40% to 82%

Elevation differences are scaled for emphasis. While the numbers are accurate, the cut-away shown here is not to scale.

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