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Mist Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.8 (68)

A steep trail along the Merced River leading past two awe-inspiring cascades.


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Map Key

1.6

Miles

2.6

KM

Point to Point

5,977' 1,822 m

High

4,510' 1,375 m

Low

1,466' 447 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

18%

Avg Grade (10°)

57%

Max Grade (30°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

Family Friendly This trail, although steep and rugged, is popular with families. Adventurous kids will love scrambling up the steep rocks and all will enjoy the stupendous waterfalls.

Description

Follow the Mist Trail for 0.5 miles (0.8 km) from the junction with John Muir Trail up a steep granite stairway of over 600 steps. Prepare for slippery footing and a tremendous amount of waterfall spray in spring and early summer (hence the name for this trail!). You'll delight in views of Vernal Fall all along this stretch of trail and may even be able to see a rainbow in the spray of the fall. At the top of Vernal Fall, you can experience jaw-dropping views straight down the length of the 317-foot waterfall (please don't cross the railings and use extreme caution while you're near any flowing water or wet rock in this area).

From this point, you can: choose to turn around and head back the way you came; continue up to the next junction (about 0.2 miles / 0.3 km) and take the longer route back via the John Muir Trail; or continue uphill on the Mist Trail to the top of Nevada Fall. If you choose to continue on the Mist Trail, shortly beyond Vernal Fall, you'll pass by Emerald Pool and Silver Apron. Both of these may look inviting on a hot summers day, but it is illegal and dangerous to swim here due to the extremely hazardous current.

Continuing along the Mist Trail, youll experience another 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of steep, rocky switchbacks in order to reach Nevada Fall. Crashing down 594 feet, this thunderous waterfall is fullest in spring and early summer, and you'll find terrific photographic opportunities along this stretch of trail. The trail ends at another junction with the John Muir Trail.

Contacts

Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

Shared By:

Brian Smith

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 68 votes

#8

Overall
  4.8 from 68 votes
5 Star
84%
4 Star
15%
3 Star
1%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#3

in California

#8

Overall
48 Views Last Month
3,726 Since May 7, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
25%
5%
70%
0%

Photos

Vernal Fall mistin' the rainbow
May 7, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park.
Aug 11, 2017 near Yosemit…, CA
Looking back down the Mist Trail, you can see it ascends this phenomenal valley.
Mar 31, 2017 near Yosemit…, CA
Mist Trail
Feb 12, 2018 near Yosemit…, CA
Vernal Falls is quite spectacular from above.
May 28, 2017 near Yosemit…, CA
Vernal Falls with rainbow.
Apr 26, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 15 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jun 12, 2021
Chelsea Hatfield
1.6mi
Jun 7, 2021
Marissa Ann
May 12, 2021
C Worthy
Apr 18, 2021
Monica Garcia
Mar 31, 2021
Thomas Shapaker
Oct 7, 2020
Miwa Takaki
Sep 12, 2020
Felipe Bolivar
Aug 29, 2020
Alma Gutierrez