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Holiday Travel Guide

Trek to the top of Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall along Yosemite National Park’s signature hiking trail. Expect to be generously sprayed by both waterfalls.

Yosemite National Park is full of iconic landscapes and Mist Trail is one of the best ways to experience many of them. As you trek along the short yet challenging trail, appreciate the postcard-worthy sights around every turn.

There is a reason that Mist Trail is considered Yosemite’s signature hike. Many of the park’s trails are popular because they lead to one spectacular destination, but Mist Trail offers several of them. As the name suggests, expect to be enveloped in a shroud of mist from the waterfalls.

Follow the first section of the trail to the Vernal Fall Footbridge, about 0.8 miles (1.3 kilometers) from the trailhead. From here, enjoy stunning views of the waterfall crashing before you. After the footbridge, follow Mist Trail directly to the top of Vernal Fall along a formidable granite stairway comprised of more than 600 steps.

At the top of the stairs, admire the 317-foot (97-meter) Vernal Fall and then continue back where you came from. If you want to go on, continue along the trail for 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) to the top of the 594-foot (181-meter) Nevada Fall. Get even better views from the footbridge over the Merced River above the waterfall.

Begin the hike at Happy Isles, shuttle stop #16. The trail is 2.4 miles (3.9 kilometers) round-trip to Vernal Fall or 5.4 miles (8.7 kilometers) round-trip to Nevada Fall. The distance may seem relatively short, but remember that the trail begins at 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) in elevation, with somewhat thin air. You will climb a further 1,000 feet (300 meters) to the top of Vernal Fall and another 1,000 feet (300 meters) to the top of Nevada Fall. This steep hike entails a lot of climbing. Allow 2 to 5 hours to complete the hike, depending on the distance you choose to climb.

Remember to dress appropriately for changeable weather. Park officials suggest wearing sturdy hiking boots and layers to adjust to changing temperatures during the day. They also recommend a rain jacket to stay dry as you pass by the falls as you follow the Mist Trail.

Top things to do in Mist Trail

Top Trending Hotels Near Mist Trail

The Ahwahnee
The Ahwahnee
4 out of 5
9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
The price is £358 per night from 5 Jan to 6 Jan

Situated in a national park, this historic hotel is steps away from Ahwahnee Meadow and Yosemite Valley. Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Visitor Center are also ...

4.3/5Excellent! (165 reviews)

"We love the old-world elegance of the property. If you plan on having dinner in the dining room, make sure you book your reservations when you book the room."…"

Reviewed on 13 Mar 2020

The Ahwahnee
Curry Village
Curry Village
2.5 out of 5
9010 Curry Village Dr., Yosemite National Park, CA
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Situated in Yosemite National Park, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Yosemite Mountaineering School and Yosemite Valley. Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Visitor ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (26 reviews)

"Very Clean. Cabin was in excellent condition. Comfy beds and warm blankets."…"

Reviewed on 16 Mar 2020

Curry Village
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
3 out of 5
9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £184 per night from 17 Dec to 18 Dec

Situated in a national park, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Yosemite Valley and Yosemite Falls. Yosemite Visitor Center is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) away.

4.2/5Excellent! (128 reviews)

"Excellent place , love to go back there again ☺️ Staff was very nice 👍"…"

Reviewed on 1 Dec 2020

Yosemite Valley Lodge
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Ginosi Metropolitan Apartel
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Lexen Hotel Hollywood Walk of Fame
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Top Hotel Deals

The Ahwahnee
The Ahwahnee
4 out of 5
9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
The price is £358 per night from 5 Jan to 6 Jan
The Ahwahnee
Curry Village
Curry Village
2.5 out of 5
9010 Curry Village Dr., Yosemite National Park, CA
Curry Village
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
3 out of 5
9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
The price is £184 per night from 17 Dec to 18 Dec
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite View Lodge
Yosemite View Lodge
2.5 out of 5
11136 Highway 140, El Portal, CA
The price is £103 per night from 13 Dec to 14 Dec
Yosemite View Lodge
Brookside Cottage
Brookside Cottage
3.5 out of 5
7201 Yosemite Parkway, Yosemite National Park, CA
Brookside Cottage
Forest Glen-yw
Forest Glen-yw
3.5 out of 5
7515 Henness Circle, Yosemite National Park, CA
Forest Glen-yw
Timberlodge Cabin
Timberlodge Cabin
3 out of 5
7458 Yosemite Parkway, Yosemite National Park, CA
Timberlodge Cabin
Large Vacation Home, Former B&b, Inside Yosemite
Large Vacation Home, Former B&b, Inside Yosemite
7210 Yosemite Park Way, Yosemite National Park, CA
Large Vacation Home, Former B&b, Inside Yosemite
Scenic Wonders Blue Sky Lodge 3 Bedrooms
Scenic Wonders Blue Sky Lodge 3 Bedrooms
3.5 out of 5
7594 Azalea Lane, Yosemite National Park, CA
Scenic Wonders Blue Sky Lodge 3 Bedrooms
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.