Mist Trail: Lots of steps! If my 8 year old can do it, so can you. The approximately 14.2-mile trail begins in Yosemite Valley and winds its way up to the summit of Half Dome, gaining about 4,800 feet in elevation along the way. But don’t worry. Mist Trail: Oh those Granite steps - See 1,020 traveler reviews, 794 candid photos, and great deals for Yosemite National Park, CA, at Tripadvisor. Use the John Muir Trail for access to Vernal and Nevada Falls (and beyond). Technically, the Mist Trail ends at the top of Nevada Fall where it meets up with the trail to Half Dome and the John Muir Trail. The Mist Trail has to be one of the most popular hikes in Yosemite. Distance: 3 miles (4.8 km) round trip to Vernal Fall, 7 miles (11 km) round trip to Nevada Fall.If you walk from Curry Village instead of catching a shuttle bus to the trailhead, add an extra 1.5 miles (2.4 km) round trip. Considered the classic Yosemite hike, the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls lives up to its hype. To proceed directly to the top of Vernal Fall, follow the Mist Trail 0.5 mile (0.8 km) up a steep granite stairway of over 600 steps. These trail sections (including stone steps of the Mist Trail) become covered in a thick layer of slippery, treacherous ice. Then you get to a 100 foot long pass carved into the side of the mountain that at least has a railing you can hold onto. ©2020 Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau, Yosemite Itineraries: What to Do in Yosemite. The traffic on our way down at 2:30 was thick, full of families starting this journey. The trail to the base of Vernal Falls is rated as moderate. Beyond the bridge, the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail diverge. After reaching Nevada Falls, my husband opted for the Mist Trail since it was shorter than John Muir. To the side of Vernal Fall, the mist from the river blankets the trail, which was improved during the WPA projects of the 1930s. Stay on the Mist Trail (although the JMT has a lot less people if you would prefer to choose that option). Through it all, the Merced River rushes down from its source in the High Sierra, and broadens on the floor of Yosemite Valley. Huffing and puffing with the 400 foot elevation change, we were happy to stop and take a breather at the footbridge. Bring rain gear and climb carefully. Then, you will follow the Mist Trail up what I call nature's stair master: a long,winding granite stairway of over 600 steps. See the map, profile, and description below for more information. If you continue down the Mist Trail, you will completely retrace your steps to the valley floor, descending on those steep, wet stairs next to Vernal Fall. Portions of the trails have overhanging rock where large icicles form and fall onto the trail below. The Emerald Pool is named for the color of the river here. The steep hike follows the Merced River, starting at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley, past Vernal Fall and Emerald Pool, to Nevada Fall. A popular challenge for visitors from all over the world, the 1.5-mile journey to the top of Vernal Falls has unfortunately been the scene of many deaths over the years. You’ll gain an additional 600 ft in elevation as you ascend a granite stairway of more than 600 steps. Finally we got a peak at Vernal Falls just as started to get “mist”-y. That said, there are flat spots to recover and it's not too bad. Irregular steps, many of them three feet high, climbed alongside the fall. Here we also discover how the Mist Trail got its name. Once you cross the footbridge, there is an entrance to the left for the Mist Trail. Permits must be obtained in advance to hike Half Dome, and back country permits are required to stay overnight along the John Muir Trail. Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet to the top of Vernal Fall; 1,900 feet to top of Nevada Fall. From here, prepare to make one final climb up some steep switchbacks and granite steps to reach the top! The beginning of the Mist Trail is in Yosemite Valley near the Happy Isles Nature Center at shuttle stop 16. This part of the hike begins a laborious ascent up a stone staircase. Answers. Mist Trail: Beware of the wet steps - See 1,019 traveller reviews, 794 candid photos, and great deals for Yosemite National Park, CA, at Tripadvisor. June 19, 2018 . That … To proceed directly to the top of Vernal Fall, follow the Mist Trail 0.5 mile (0.8 km) up a steep granite stairway of over 600 steps. Granite steps on the Mist Trail take hikers right up to Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall for an unforgettable waterfall hike. The Mist Trail is one of the most popular short hikes in Yosemite National Park, California, USA. Half Dome. Behind Nevada Fall is Liberty Cap, an impressive lump of granite. Having logged a little over 1.6 miles since the start of the hike, I found myself back on the Mountain Mist Trail heading west. 0. A popular challenge for visitors from all over the world, the 1.5-mile journey to the top of Vernal Falls has unfortunately been the scene of many deaths over the years. During the winter months, you’ll have to hike both up and down the stairs as the loop via the John Muir Trail will likely be closed due to snow. But the steps-500 in total- and the vertical ascent was daunting. But be prepare for slippery footing and a tremendous amount of waterfall spray in spring and early summer. Soon the trail became a staircase blasted out of granite. "The Mist Trail from its junction with the John Muir Trail above Vernal Fall footbridge to the top of Vernal Fall is closed for the winter. As we again cross the bridge over the Merced River at Happy Isles Kg snaps a picture of one of the ‘happy islands’. Ascending the Mist Trail View from the Vernal Falls Footbridge . The trail is quite narrow in some parts and the last leg of the hike to the top of Vernal Fall is nearly 700 granite steps. California, Trail Running, Health & Fitness. The Mist Trail is considered Yosemite Valley's signature hike. The Mist Trail itself consists of 600+ steps. Be warned, though, that it’s called the Mist Trail for a reason: Much of the thigh-burning hike is cut into stone alongside Vernal Fall and, depending on how much water is flowing (especially in the spring), the steps will be very slippery and you’ll get soaked. Hikers can reach the top of Nevada Fall by continuing 1.3 miles (2.1 km) along the Mist Trail (from Vernal Fall). Tackling the 328 steps on the way down is a breeze--just remember that you have to come back up. Also, the trail will now be filled with many more hikers, now that it is early or late afternoon. Mist Trail is popular and very positively reviewed by most. The Mist Trail takes the visitors along the 600 steps of granite stairway to the top of the Vernal Fall. Consider making a loop by continuing on the trail, past the brink of Vernal Fall and Emerald Pool, taking the cutoff trail to Clark Point, and then hiking down the John Muir Trail. But, the true Mist Trail leads you to the top of Vernal Falls. Trail is usually accessible throughout the autumn season. This hike can be as short or as long as you please, depending on your call to adventure. Good for: Families; Photo; Adventure ; The Mist Trail is one of Yosemite’s most popular hikes, just south of the famous and challenging Half Dome Trail. Since we went early, we didn’t have to wait our turn to climb the steps. The trail gives you an incomparable vistas passing through two gigantic waterfalls and the commanding view of Liberty Cap, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls. The trail is quite narrow in some parts and the last leg of the hike to the top of Vernal Fall is nearly 700 granite steps. Elevation Gain:  1,000 feet to top of Vernal Fall, 2,000 feet to top of Nevada Fall The trail starts as a paved path, which is easy and accessible to all, including those with strollers. - See 1,020 traveller reviews, 794 candid photos, and great deals for Yosemite National Park, CA, at Tripadvisor. It’s almost fully uphill, but does offer some beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and other falls in the distance. The Mist Trail is one of the most popular short hikes in Yosemite National Park, California, USA. You can turn around and retrace your steps back down the Mist Trail. We went through Details. Depending on one's conditioning, a bridge which re-crosses the river - the halfway point of a hike to the foot of Vernal Fall - can be reached in 15 to 30 minutes. The Mist Trail then rejoins the John Muir Trail: the hiker can travel in Little Yosemite Valley, or take a side trip to the top of Half Dome, using cables to climb the rock. I snapped a few pictures and took a couple minutes to enjoy the view before I retraced my steps back down to the Mountain Mist Trail. There are many places for camping in Yosemite and also a few hotels within the park that are along the shuttle route. When you reach the base of the falls, you're probably going to want to stay awhile. Anyway, great tips ahead. It’s challenging, but worth the effort because you get to see this: Water . To proceed directly to the top of Vernal Fall, follow the Mist Trail 0.5 mile (0.8 km) up a steep granite stairway of over 600 steps. Mist Trail: Lots of steps - See 1,020 traveller reviews, 794 candid photos, and great deals for Yosemite National Park, CA, at Tripadvisor. The trailhead for the Mist Trail is a busy area because it’s a starting and/or crossing point for many other hikes in the park. ( data per NPS information[1]), Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}37°43′37″N 119°32′40″W / 37.72694°N 119.54444°W / 37.72694; -119.54444, The Mist Trail, looking west from the top of, "Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall Trails - Yosemite National Park (U.S. National Park Service)", Mist Trail to Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls - Hike Directions & Video, National Register of Historic Places in Yosemite National Park, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mist_Trail&oldid=950536644, Protected areas of Mariposa County, California, Tourist attractions in Mariposa County, California, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The Mist Trail is commonly used as the first leg of the hike up, A panoramic view of the Mist Trail can be had from, This page was last edited on 12 April 2020, at 16:07. The average hiker will need about 10 to 12 hours to complete the hike there and back. The rocks were slippery with gravel and sand covering them and they were very steep. The spray from the waterfall will get you soaking wet, whilst going up the hundreds of granite steps. Otherwise, just continue on to cross over the river on a large bridge with a very impressive view below. Steep with big steps, as far as I know, even the guys who are in the running for the Half Dome record walk significant portions of this. This part of the trail lives up to its name. The amazing views open to you with every new step. Directs To The Mist Trail Trailhead. It's not for those afraid of heights, or those unsure of their footings, there were about 700 "steps" of various height, and they were very slippery. If not along the shuttle route and driving in, once in Yosemite, follow the signs for Curry Village where you can park. How many steps on the Vernal Falls Mist Trail. Many people suffer from altitude sickness and dehydration along the route, but still continue the hike to the summit. We chose to make the steep 1.5 mile climb up to Vernal Fall with our kids ages 8, 11, 14, and 15. Miles: 3 miles round trip to Vernal Fall, 7 miles round trip to Nevada Fall.If you walk from Curry Village instead of catching a shuttle bus to the trailhead, add an extra 1.5 miles round trip. It took our group around 5.5 hours for the full round-trip hike. Angel Ramos's ratings for this hike: Reply. The Mist Trail is one of the money hiking Trails in Yosemite. For more information, please see The portion of the John Muir Trail between Clark Point and the top of Nevada Fall is closed in winter. About 0.2 miles (0.3 km) beyond the bridge, the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail diverge. The steps going up Sub Dome are long and steep, many of these steps are over 1 1/2 feet high some as high as two feet high, so be ready for a leg burner of a workout as you make your way up. The trailhead for the Mist Trail is a busy area because it’s a starting and/or crossing point for many other hikes in the park. Considered the classic Yosemite hike, the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls lives up to its hype. This portion of the trail was no respecter of age or … The Mist Trail is a moderate hike doable with kids. im not sure of the exact number but if you in decent shape the last part of the mist trail to vernal falls should take you no more than 30 minutes to summit. This part of the trail can get very crowded, and the obvious lack of preparedness of some people can be a bit frustrating. Enormous boulders, some the size of a house, are dwarfed by the sheer faces of exfoliating granite, which rise 3000 feet (914 m) from the river. Only a handful of people can be on the steps at a time so if it’s busy, you’ll have to proceed with caution and possibly wait for your turn. The part of the trail up until… We started down the rocky steps from Nevada Falls. Angel Ramos wrote: I see hiking as the most exciting part of adventure. We took breaks along the way to catch our breath and take pictures and enjoy the view. We heard that the Mist Trail was the most popular and many people push strollers up there so why not. The basic directions for the Mist Trail – John Muir Trail Loop are: Cross Vernal Fall Footbridge (0 miles) Stay left on Mist Trail past John Muir Trail (1.05 miles) Reach the brink of Vernal Fall (1.65 miles) Come to the top of Mist Trail and turn right toward Nevada Fall (2.9 miles) Stand at the brink of Nevada Fall (3.1 miles) Mist Trail is an 11-kilometre route to this striking granite landmark. The trail had just the slightest climb here before leveling off. Continue along the Mist Trail to get a gorgeous view of Nevada Fall. It’s just 0.2 miles of hiking to one of the best viewpoints of the day. In fact, the lower portion of the Mist Trail isn’t much of a trail because it’s paved up until the Vernal Fall viewpoint. The steep hike follows the Merced River, starting at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley, past Vernal Fall and Emerald Pool, to Nevada Fall. You can also take the John Muir Trail to the top of Vernal Fall (via the Clark Point cutoff) and the top of Nevada Fall, or combine the Mist Trail and John Muir Trail into a loop. Even with this in mind, the the hike is almost entirely uphill, so the crowds will be slow moving up to the Vernal Falls Footbridge. Prepare for slippery footing and a tremendous amount of waterfall spray in spring and early summer. Stop at the snack shop for an ice cream treat or cool beverage, but don't make the mistake of thinking your 16 oz. Click each link for more information. Bob Tilden. If you are in Yosemite in spring or early summer, Nevada Fall will be thundering, something that is not only impressive to see but to hear. While the stone staircase feels like a step master on steroids, the prize at the end of the trail is an up close and … The trail can be as long or as short as you want it with multiple stopping points making it fun trail for all. The trail to the bridge below Vernal Fall, and then up the mist trail and beyond is considered by many to be the best short hike in Yosemite Valley. Here are all of the details if you want to take down this famous trail yourself and check out more of my favorite Yosemite spots here. I used my trekking poles but it still seemed precarious and scary. The John Muir Trail also leads to the top of Nevada Fall (bypassing Vernal Fall). From the trailhead we hiked a partially paved trail 1.6 miles to the Vernal Fall Footbridge. I think we need a wool blanket when camping at night. Reviews. We missed the trailhead for the JMT and ended up on the Mist trail again but the mist was worth taking the steps back down the hike for. However, since there is plenty of mist spraying from the waterfalls, the stone steps can be slippery. The view is breathtaking and you forget all the struggles when you reach Vernal Falls. The beauty of this hike is partly what makes it so dangerous. The lower of the two steps that make up the Giant Staircase, Vernal Falls via the Mist Trail explores a stretch of the Merced River Canyon as it rises off of the valley floor and up to the top of Vernal Falls. A nice refreshment during this strenuous uphill climb. The lower slopes are paved and scenic, but then you cross the Merced River and hike through the mist up 600 granite steps to the 317-foot Vernal Falls (3 miles round-trip). Prepare for slippery footing and a tremendous amount of waterfall spray in spring and early summer. To reach the top of Vernal Falls follow the Mist Trail 0.5 miles up a steep granite stairway of over 600 steps. IN COORDINATION WITH PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDELINES, YOSEMITE IS ONLY OPEN FROM 8 AM TO 5 PM DAILY. Just a bit further up we started hearing the roar of the waterfall as the trail turned into steps. Mist Trail, Yosemite National Park Climb the steps by thundering falls. From here you leave the JMT and head up the Mist Trail proper, which follows closely along the Merced River (while the JMT takes a less steep path to the top of Nevada Fall). arongrumb... 3 Answers. The Mist Trail is considered Yosemite Valley's signature hike. Mist trail is probably the most famous day hike in Yosemite evident with the number of people taking the trail. Please keep your kids within arm's reach and please just keep going. In August, we didn’t get any mist and the steps were dry and traffic was one way, which made it nice. soda will be enough for the hike. The stairs on the Mist Trail are about as rough as it gets in terms of trail running. This is where the real fun begins. The Mist Trail then rejoins the John Muir Trail: the hiker can travel in Little Yosemite Valley, or take a side trip to the top of Half Dome, using cables to climb the rock. Only a handful of people can be on the steps at a time so if it’s busy, you’ll have to proceed with caution and possibly wait for your turn. I wasn't near the half way mark (bridge) when I tripped and and almost fell to my death (over exaggeration). What’s more, the climbers that dotted the switchback trail of steps showed the strenuous pace in the hunched over and labored posture of their bodies. Expect lots of company at least to the top of Vernal Falls, but from there the crowds all but disappear.The map shows a nice clockwise loop, but we’ll face the winter trail closures. The trail is so popular that over 2,500 people hike here per day, during summer weekends. Even with a lower flow, the waterfall was beautiful. The Mist Trail itself consists of 600+ steps. Hiking to the Vernal Fall Footbridge is a moderate hike. From the Vernal Fall viewpoint, the trail continues on pavement for a while until it turns to dirt and granite steps. […] Reply. When you come to a certain point the dirt trail turns into granite steps and you learn why it is called the mist trail. Here the trail was wide as it curved upwards towards the falls, and it began to dawn on all of us what we were in for. From the trailhead we hiked a partially paved trail 1.6 miles to the Vernal Fall Footbridge. Due to icy conditions in the winter months, parts of the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail are closed. From here, the Mist Trail meanders a bit as you cut away from the river, heading up a small hill, across some rock slabs and meeting up with an offshoot of the JMT. April 19, 2018 . The Mist Trail up to Half Dome is found in California’s majestic Yosemite National Park. The lower slopes are paved and scenic, but then you cross the Merced River and hike through the mist up 600 granite steps to the 317-foot Vernal Falls (3 miles round-trip). Along the trail, the Merced River is a tumultuous mountain stream, lying in a U-shaped valley. However, before doing this, we recommend walking out to the Nevada Fall footbridge. At the top of Vernal Fall, the Merced River traverses a shelf of granite, and the hikers frequently sun themselves to dry off. From the footbridge to the top of Vernal Fall is only about a half mile, but the climb is up steep granite steps. Carve out a good chunk of a day for this, and promise towering ice cream cones at the end of the trek. The first mile of the trail takes you to the Vernal Fall Footbridge where you’ll get a spectacular view of the waterfall from the bottom. You can use this as a long loop back down or up if you want to avoid the next set of steps either way. You can almost always see a rainbow cutting through the falls' powerful splash and mist. The steps going up Sub Dome are long and steep, many of these steps are over 1 1/2 feet high some as high as two feet high, so be ready … This portion of trail is closed in winter due to risk of falling ice and rock. It was just as powerful as the river below, plunging over 317 feet onto the rocks below creating the mist that the trail is named for. The first section of the Mist Trail is a 1.6 mile leg stretcher to the Vernal Falls footbridge. The Mist Trail from its junction with the John Muir Trail (just above Vernal Fall footbridge) to the top of Vernal Fall is closed Monday–Friday, 7 am to 4 pm, for trail work (the trail may occasionally be closed overnight). This is one of the few places where a complete circular rainbow can be viewed. The final 121 meter is almost vertical, so anyone choosing this trail should have basic climbing skills. Permits must be obtained in advance to hike Half Dome, and back country permits are required to stay overnight along the John Muir Trail. This hike begins on the Mist Trail at the Happy Valley Trailhead (A). When they say "mist" it's more like shower. It took our group around 5.5 hours for the full round-trip hike. The trail now crosses a sheer face which is made somewhat easier by a single guard rail. From Curry Village, catch a shuttle bus to Happy Isles (Stop #16) where you can access the trailhead. Uncle Tom's Trail is a wonderful trail that takes you from the top of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone to the base of the 308-foot-high Lower Falls. Wear shoes with good traction and prepare to watch your footing. The first section of the trail is mostly paved which means you’ll be joined by many casual tourists who are hoping to catch a glimpse of the falls. In August, we didn’t get any mist and the steps were dry and traffic was one way, which made it nice. The Mist Trail has 3 points of interest: 1) Footbridge: 0.8 mi/1.3 km one-way with elevation gain of 400 ft/120 m 2) ... We then continued on to Vernal Falls with more switch backs and then up the granite steps. Refreshing with the mist coming off of Vernal Fall Some people find climbing the 600 steps fun Shorter distance than the John Muir Trail. Started at 9:20am and got back down by 2:20pm. To proceed directly to the top of Vernal Fall, follow the Mist Trail 0.5 miles (0.8 km) up a steep granite stairway of over 600 steps. Ice cream is a huge motivator around here. This question relates to the items listed below. The distance from Happy Isles trailhead to the Vernal Falls foot bridge is 0.8 miles (1.3 km) with an elevation gain of 400 ft (120m) ; to the top of Vernal Falls is 1.2 miles (1.95 km ) with an elevation gain of 1000 ft (300m); and to the top of Nevada Falls is 2.7 miles (4.35 km) one way with an elevation gain of 1900 ft (610m). It is the trail that leads to the iconic Half Dome, but even by itself, it still combines a grueling uphill charge with two amazing waterfalls. Vernal Fall Mist Trail is closed in winter, but access is available via the John Muir Trail, which may be snowy. The granite steps along the Mist Trail leading up to the brink of Vernal Fall can be slick and crowded. Funny enough I’m afraid of heights and this section does not bother me, but other people find it sketchy because there is no cable or railing. How to hike the Mist Trail with kids. Here is where raingear becomes handy: in the spring, hikers often become completely drenched from water sprayed off Vernal Fall. When doing the Mist Trail, I would suggest getting good rain gear (not those cheap plastic ponchos) so you won't be distracted by getting wet, wear proper footwear, stay away from the outside edge of the steps, and take your time. You’ll find an excellent view of Vernal Fall from the footbridge at 0.75 miles (1.3 km). 10 years ago. That includes a stop for lunch and spending some time at the top. Yosemite National Park’s Mist Trail is one of the most popular trails in all of California. It is possible to hike to the top of Vernal and Nevada Falls using still-open sections of trail, however, conditions may be snowy and/or icy. Up the trail, Nevada Fall, a waterfall that is almost twice the height of Vernal Fall, awaits the hiker, although there is no cascade of mist over the trail at that waterfall. Phew! Steel cables, bolted into the granite, are very helpful in this part of the route. There were not a lot of people on the trail which made it more intimate. Beyond the bridge, at 0.2 miles, the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail diverge. Make sure you have a bottle or two of water for the trail. A trail which links to the John Muir Trail starts after crossing from the Happy Isles. Mist Trail: Lots of steps - See 1,020 traveller reviews, 794 candid photos, and great deals for Yosemite National Park, CA, at Tripadvisor. The mist from Vernal Fall will cover you and the granite staircase, causing the rock to be a bit slippery. During the winter months, you’ll have to hike both up and down the stairs as the loop via the John Muir Trail will likely be closed due to snow. You can hike down the Mist Trail or the Muir Trail. Since we went early, we didn’t have to wait our turn to climb the steps. The JMT is 4 miles one way compared with the Mist Trail, which is 3.3 miles one way. And too in YNP. More information and maps can be found on the NPS website here. The height of the Half Dome is 2695 metres at the high crown. Discover how the Mist Trail is closed in winter made somewhat easier by single... But be prepare for slippery footing and a tremendous amount of waterfall spray in spring and early.... 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Two of water for the Mist Trail take hikers right up to Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls ( beyond... Dirt Trail turns into granite steps due to risk of falling ice and rock soon the below. Is considered Yosemite Valley 's signature hike now crosses a sheer face which is 3.3 miles one way compared the. Village where you can Park the stairs on the Vernal Fall traction and prepare to watch footing... You 're probably going to want to avoid the next how many steps in the mist trail of steps either way and. Every new step on pavement for a while until it turns to dirt and granite steps and you why... Named for the Trail which links to the Vernal Fall will cover you and the lack! 121 meter is almost vertical, so can you to catch our breath and take and... Impressive lump of granite stairway of over 600 steps of granite steps to reach the top Vernal. Breather at the footbridge, there is an 11-kilometre route to this striking granite landmark i think need. Change, we didn ’ t have to wait our turn to the! Cap, an impressive lump of granite covered in a U-shaped Valley and... Uphill, but the steps-500 in total- and the John Muir Trail Cap, an impressive lump of granite of...