Panoramic views of the Mist Trail hike in Yosemite National Park

The Mist Trail hike

Yosemite National Park
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Man hiking with gear at The Mist Trail Hike Yosemite National ParkMist Trail Hike in Yosemite ValleySunshine at The Mist Trail Hike Yosemite National ParkThe Mist Trail Hike, Yosemite National ParkMist Trail Hike, Yosemite National ParkView of the trees at Hike Mist Trail in Yosemite National ParkMan hiking over the rocks at Hike Mist Trail in Yosemite National ParkTree at Hike Mist Trail at Yosemite National ParkNevada Falls at Hike Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park

The Mist Trail hike

Distance: 13.5km
Elevation: 685m
Time: 3-6h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
8.9 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

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 18 people have done this
I want to do this 37 want to do this route

About

When to do

June through October

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

Trailhead and on route

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Extreme

Route Type

Out and back


The Mist Trail
Elevation Graph


Route Description for The Mist Trail

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 Curry Village and go for a swim in the public pool!

Comments

Carlos Gómez Sánchez-Lafuente 4 months ago

One of my favourite trails. We did this in a Saturday morning in October. Many people until Vernal Falls, not crowded after that. The views are amazing from the top of nevada falls. The steps to Nevada falls make you sweat.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
3h 30m Time Taken
Cindy Thompson 7 months ago

Nice views but too many people! Although it's similar in the whole park.

8.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
MM 10 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 10 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 10 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
Physical Difficulty
9h 00m Time Taken
JoZ 10 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 10 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
7 Comments

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