A classic Yosemite hike with waterfalls that run all summer
The Mist Trail is a great walk on a hot day. The steep climb is rewarded by fantastic “up close” views of Vernal and Nevada Falls. At high flows, the mist off the falls will soak you to the bone (raincoats suggested). As the summer wears on, these falls are still magnificent, with reliable flows even in the driest years.
Your first glimpse of Vernal Falls comes about 0.6 miles (1km) in and 1.2 miles (2 kms) and 1000 vertical feet (300m) gets you to the top where you can stand just a few feet from the Merced River as it tumbles 318 feet onto the rocks below.
For those with the stamina, another mile and a quarter brings you to the top of the 594-foot high Nevada Fall, another stunning fall that, like Vernal, cannot be seen from the road. If you want to enjoy these waterfalls, you’ll have to hike. But it’s worth it!
Did you know?
Did you know that in the clearing where you get your first glimpse of Nevada Fall there once stood a hotel? From 1870 to 1889, Emily and Albert Snow maintained what would become known as La Casa Nevada, a reference both to Nevada Fall and to the Snows themselves (Nevada means "snow" in Spanish). The hotel ceased operation in 1891 and the building finally burned down in 1900. Learn more about La Casa Nevada.