The Mist Trail hike

Yosemite National Park
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The Mist Trail hike

Distance: 8.4mi
Elevation: 2,247ft
Time: 3-6h

Difficulty Rating:

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8.8 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
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We love The Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park. This hike takes you to Vernal and Nevada Falls where the refreshing cool down on hot days is incredible. There are also many options to shorten this hike, suitable for all levels, without the need to go to the top.

The Mist Trail hike Map

Getting there

Drive to the eastern end of Yosemite Valley and park in Happy Isle Loop parking lot. The YARTS bus can get you closer though!

I’ve done this 16 people have done this
I want to do this 37 want to do this route


When to do

June through October

Backcountry Campsites



Trailhead and on route

Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type

Out and back

The Mist Trail
Elevation Graph

Route Description for The Mist Trail hike

Begin the hike by heading up the world-famous Mist Trail. Follow the signs along the road, passing the campground on your left. Soon you are ascending a well-marked trail. This is a very wide trail and is even paved up until the first bridge and the adjacent washrooms. The path is too steep to take a stroller, unless you are an extremely fit parent.

After the bridge (where there is water and washrooms) you will have views looking up at Vernal Falls as you ascend a steep stone staircase. In big snow years the falls can get very wet, and the “mist” turns into a soaking rainstorm. Be prepared to get completely drenched. This is a definite plus on hot days (or on long camping trips without showers) but can be dangerous if doing the hike early or late in the season or in colder weather.

From the top you can look down the gorge and up to Nevada Falls. After Vernal Falls, continue going up some long switchbacks and gain more elevation. The trail is well marked and fairly uneventful. Getting to Nevada Falls gives wonderful views and a great place for a meal in the sun.

The best part of this hike is that no matter how far you go it is absolutely spectacular. So don’t worry if you’re tired and turn back early!

Insider Hints

  • Take a poncho and put your electronics into your bag if the falls are really flowing!

  • If you didn’t get enough water on the trail, head over to Half Dome Village and go for a swim in the public pool!


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MM 2 months ago

very popular and busy. the scene is different after each corner, definitely worth the climb

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
4h 00m Time Taken
Peggy Rosie 2 months ago

Good hike. Mist trail hike was a perfect level of strenuous for my liking.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
4h 00m Time Taken
mountaincat 3 months ago

It's a very popular hike and it seems like everybody is rushing to get to the top of Nevada Falls. The squirrels around are crazy and almost attacking people with the food. The scenery is nice and worth the effort. To avoid the crowd we've hiked down through the Clark point. It wasn't as spectacular but really less busy and it was nice to keep the pace up going down without any distractions so we've finished the hike way quicker than we've planned to

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
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9h 00m Time Taken
JoZ 3 months ago

too many people. very bad for hike. nice scenery but no time to enjoy, they push you

7.0 Overall Rating
Physical Difficulty
4h 15m Time Taken
Mikey 3 months ago

the mist trail hike is enjoyable but again, the crowds here are really bad. i mean the amount of people that stroll with you is ridiculous. it is one of the most beautiful national parks so i do understand why everyone wants to be here, but still.

7.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
4h 00m Time Taken

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