Mist Trail

#4 of 173 trails in Yosemite National Park

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Mist Trail is a 6.50 mile out and back trail located in Yosemite National Park, California that offers a fantastic view of Vernal Falls and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

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Steve Oswald (11990)

148 Completed150 Reviews

I did this trail as part of the Half Dome hike. Wonderful section and the water coming down on you along the Mist trail is unreal. Wonderful experience!

Mike Row (889)

34 Completed29 Reviews

Done it twice now...and will do it again !!

Morgan Lardizabal (218)

4 Completed4 Reviews

We started this trail from Curry Village. We started about 7:15 AM and it was perfect timing. There were a few other groups with us so we never felt alone on the trail. We pretty much all played leap frog around taking breaks. The trail up to the bridge was steeper than I realized it was going to be. If you can't make it up that, you won't make it up to the falls easily. Can only imagine how gorgeous and loud Vernal Falls are in May. It wasn't dried up, but the fall wasn't large either. Stairs are strenuous. I'm in fairly decent shape and it definitely had me sweating and my heart pumping! The hardest part is the uneven aspect of the stairs. For those of us who are on the shorter end, this can be a bit challenging. Luckily, there's always rocks along one side and a rail up the last bit. This helps to balance and hop up onto the taller steps. Gorgeous up on top! Next we continued up to Nevada Falls. From Vernal Falls, you continue up along Emerald Pool (gorgeous! But don't swim, deceptively fast currents), get an amazing view of Half Dome, Mt. Broderick, and Liberty Cap, and a relatively easy stroll to lull you into a false sense of security. Then the climbing starts. Not sure which fall is actually more difficult. With Nevada, you've already been working, and it feels a bit steeper overall, but the rocks are easier than the uneven stairs. Amazing views from up there. There was still water up there as well (not much, it is the end of August during our extreme drought) which was nice. We crossed the falls and took the John Muir Trail back. It's much easier for going downhill. It's slightly longer, though not rocky and you can keep a faster, steadier pace than if you go back down the Mist Trail. Overall, completely worth it! We were back in camp (we were in North Pines) by 12:40. It was PACKED down below/around the bridge on our way back. People were showing up in droves for the day hike. It was really hot on our way out, however, and many were not even prepared for the incline up to the bridge. Start early to avoid crowds and the heat!

Matt Nolan (601)

35 Completed32 Reviews

Amanda J (446)

26 Completed14 Reviews

Absolutely breathtaking. A lot of "stairs" up to the top of the waterfall and you do get very wet from the mist while hiking. We hiked it early to avoid crowds and it was still pretty crowded. This is my favorite hike I have ever done. All of Yosemite is beautiful.

Trenton Helton (121)

7 Completed4 Reviews

Awesome day hike. If you decide to do this trail I would suggest you just continue on past Vernal Falls and go on up to Nevada Falls. Beautiful views. Take lots of water and a snack. If you are taking lunch with you keep an eye on it, we had some very friendly wildlife trying to get a quick snack.

Doug Baer (2545)

28 Completed7 Reviews

Great hike with beautiful views. The first part is paved and pretty steep. Rest as much as you need, but don't give up! Once you get past the lower falls (the bridge), the paving pretty much goes away and you're hiking on rocks and then stairs. So many stairs... Just keep going!

You may want to plan ahead and bring a poncho -- or at least something to keep your camera and phone dry as you hike up the stairs and through the heavy mist (more like light rain). There's a reason it is called the Mist Trail.

The views from the top are amazing, but it gets pretty crowded and the way up is also your way down. It's pretty narrow, so remember that uphill hikers have the right-of-way ... But they're usually happy to yield since it gives them a break from climbing all the stairs!

Jamie Atkins (745)

26 Completed27 Reviews

An amazing day hike! There is a reason it gets crowded. This climb takes you up some rugged stairs past vernal falls. Take lots of water and a camera. It is one spectacular view after another!

Kelly G (75)

3 Completed2 Reviews

a beautiful hike! a staircase takes you up the side of the mountain so be prepared for a good climb. There's a nice area to hang out at the top and a lot of mist on the way up. At times is crowded and it is quite a change in elevation over a short distance so it might take some time. We took a lot of water and picture breaks, climbed to Vernal Falls then on to Nevada Falls, hung out at the top and came back down in about 6 hours. Worth every step!

Justin Rice (1097)

133 Completed19 Reviews

The Mist Trail is a MUST while visiting Yosemite Valley. Vernal Fall is fantastic. Even the distant view of Illilouette Fall is impressive. The Merced River is absolutely stunning. The name of the trail very much lives up to its reputation. I became just as soaked here as I was while visiting Niagara Falls. If you're going to want to really experience this hike, go all out and get up to the little open caves near Vernal Fall. The cooling water is exhilarating! Spray on your camera lens is a major problem. I found a nice rock downstream on the Merced River where I captured my images from. This is beyond busy! It is slow going with tourists near the waterfall. Just get yourself mentally prepared for the foot traffic and enjoy the experience!