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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Debbie Murnan (688)

29 Completed0 Reviews

Jae B (676)

34 Completed29 Reviews

Josh Chesser (36)

1 Completed1 Reviews

Doris Wang (192)

10 Completed10 Reviews

Started at the parking lot across from Upper Pines Campsite. Follow the Happy Isle signs to the trail head. From there, we took the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall. If you just go to Vernal Fall and back it's 3 miles, but if you keep going to Nevada Fall it's about 7 miles round trip.

Mist Trail to Vernal Fall: pretty steep with stairs. You definitely get misted with the waterfall great view. There is a water fountain and sink on the Mist Trail you can fill up your bottle. We went on Saturday and the trail was very crowded.

Vernal Fall: gorgeous! Once at the top of this fall, there are a ton of people. If you keep going further you will see the more calm section of the Merced River. No swimming signs are up.

Keep going on Mist Trail: We kept going to hike up to Nevada Fall. It's pretty steep with a vertical gain of 2600 ft, round trip from Happy Isle to Nevada Fall and back down John Muir Trails is 6.8 miles.

There were highliners going when we got up to Nevada Fall (aka slacklining) which was pretty awesome to watch!

Steve Oswald (12237)

149 Completed151 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 (269)

5 Completed5 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 Completed33 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.