"A Yosemite classic, this one has it all: rushing waterfalls, verdant canyons, slabs of imposing granite, shady conifers, and inspiring views of the valley below. Nevada Falls drops 594 feet, making it the longest single leap of the Merced River, while Vernal Falls completes the journey with a 317-foot drop. The trail is no secret, but it’s hard to blame the masses once you witness its dramatic charm. Start this walk early before it’s overrun with valley-floor visitors, as well as to avoid midday heat in the summer. Beginning on the John Muir Trail (JMT), this is a balloon loop. Start by climbing to a scenic footbridge and a thunderous view of Vernal Falls. Next, continue up the Mist Trail to the top of Nevada Falls. To return, loop back, descending on the more gradual JMT to rejoin your route at the footbridge. Outstanding features: Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls, Emerald Pool, Silver Apron, Clark Point, sweeping views of the valley"