Vernal Fall

Yosemite, California 95389

Vernal Fall

Vernal Fall Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The Mist Trail to Vernal Fall is one of Yosemite’s most popular, for good reason. It follows the thundering Merced River up to and then alongside the spectacular fall, topping out on a sun-washed slab that offers stellar views down valley past Grizzly Peak.

The Mist Trail is a bucket list hike. It’s simply that good. Yes, it’s steep, and the footing can be treacherous, but the experience is quintessential Yosemite, full of granite and spray and views that soar heavenward.

The trail begins gently, following the relatively quiet Merced River through a boulder garden. But the river gains vigor as the trail gains elevation, starting within 0.1 mile of the trailhead. The ascent is unbroken from the base to the bridge below the falls but is mitigated by the river cascading alongside, whitewater crashing among boulders as it completes the final flight of its Giant Staircase."

More Vernal Fall Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Top Trails Yosemite (Wilderness Press)
Jeffrey P. Schaffer & Elizabeth Wenk
View more trails from this guide book
"Like the base of Yosemite and Bridalveil Falls, a popular, paved path leads to the base of Vernal Fall—if you have a full day here, take all three walks because each is unique. However, unlike the other two destinations, the 1.0 mile to the Vernal Fall bridge gains significant elevation. Flatlanders will need to take it at a slow pace, and the grade is too steep for wheelchairs and just doable with a jogging stroller—but the effort is well worth it, as you hike past steep granite flanks to view the pounding falls. Perhaps several thousand hikers make this ascent on any sunny summer day." Read more

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Kid-friendly, Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
3-4 hours
Additional Use
Waterfalls, Views
Yosemite National Park, Public Information Office, PO Box 577, Yosemite, CA 95389; (209) 372-0200 (dial ext. 3, then 5); The website is extensive and should be every visitor’s first stop for information on the park.
Local Contacts
USGS Half Dome CA; park map available online and at park entrances. No map is needed; just follow the crowds.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018