Nevada Falls Hike

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
3.5-4.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
8.7 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
670 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

Hiking the Nevada Falls Trail is an unforgettable experience. This amazing adventure in Yosemite National Park climbs uphill through mixed pine forests and rocky terrain, leading up through the mist of the cascades that surge into Yosemite Valley below. Though demanding, the scenery along this route proves well worth the effort.

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Route Description for Nevada Falls Hike

Seeking an exciting adventure? The Nevada Falls Trail presents breathtaking scenery that is sure to motivate even the most discouraged hikers to persist up the vertiginous terrain to the 594 ft waterfall. The impeccable views come at a cost, demanding stamina and concentration to ascend over 2,198 ft in less than 6.2 mi. Ascending uneven and rocky terrain, we strongly suggest a sturdy pair of footwear, and in the winter— microspikes. Sections of the path are also single track, so be mindful of eager passers-by. Be sure to stay on the marked path for the entirety of the hike, especially near the falls. Note: the National Park charges an entrance fee, check out the NPS website for the fee information.

The Nevada Falls Hike is a unique excursion in the Yosemite National Park that provides an other-worldly experience. Flowing year-round, the falls can be enjoyed equally by those visiting in the height of summer or in the off-season. Immerse yourself in California’s high country and revel in its unparalleled beauty. Not for the faint of heart, those who do make it to the top of Nevada Falls will be granted breathtaking views of the dramatic landscape decorated with famous granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Get in a full-on workout and put your stamina to the test along the Nevada Falls Trail!

Embark on your exciting expedition along the Nevada Falls Hike from the Mist Trailhead off Happy Isles Loop Road. From here, track south on the John Muir Trail as it runs alongside the Merced River. Soon the path will guide you over a footbridge, granting distant views of the Vernal Falls above. At the intersection, instead of veering left onto the Mist Trail, keep on the John Muir Trail. This section of the path will lead you up several sets of narrow switchbacks to Clark Point. From here you will be granted jaw-dropping views of the famous Half-Dome and Nevada Falls. Revel in the grandeur of the granite outcrop and continue hiking along the John Muir Trail in an eastward direction.

Following the John Muir Trail, you will be granted awe-inspiring views of the cascades as you near the top of the falls. Soon, you will reach the famous Nevada Falls, where you can take in the natural beauty of the rushing water, making sure to keep a safe distance from the cliff’s edge. From here, you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains that bound Yosemite Valley. Admire the beauty of the landscape and appreciate the grandeur of the Liberty Cap and Mount Broderick that tower above the falls. Once you are through staring at the mesmerizing views, carefully retrace your footing down the path back to the trailhead.

Trail Highlights

Nevada Falls

Nevada Falls is a 594 ft waterfall in the Yosemite National Park. Following from the Merced River, the impressive cascade feeds the Vernal Falls below and into the Yosemite Valley. Famous for its bent shape, this incredible waterfall makes for a picturesque scene.

Frequently Asked Questions

How tall are Nevada Falls?

Nevada Falls is a 594 ft waterfall in Yosemite National Park.

How long is the Nevada Falls Hike?

The Nevada Falls Trail is an 8.7 km out-and-back hike.

Is the Nevada Falls Trail dangerous?

The Nevada Falls Trail is a strenuous adventure up to the cascades. With dramatic drop-off and strong currents, it is important you stay on the marked path and avoid wading into the inviting waters of Emerald Pool.

Insider Hints for Nevada Falls Hike

  • Maintain on the marked path as diverging off the route can prove fatal
  • In the spring when the cascades surge, we suggest wearing a rain poncho and sealing your electronics as you will likely get drenched
  • Charge your camera, this trek warrants countless photo opportunities
  • Pack plenty of water and snacks to stay fueled along the way

Getting to the Nevada Falls Hike Trailhead

The Nevada Falls Hike departs from the Mist Trailhead off Happy Isles Loop Road in Yosemite Valley.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    May-November

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Nevada Falls Hike Elevation Graph

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