Vernal Falls and Clark Point 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.
2.5-3.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
6.8 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.
473 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

Hiking the Vernal Falls and Clark Point Trail is an exciting adventure that demands stamina and a sturdy pair of footwear. Ascend the famous mist trail through the spray of the Vernal Falls cascades, before rewarding yourself with a beautiful overlook of Yosemite Valley. We love this hike, and you will too!

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Route Description for Vernal Falls and Clark Point Hike

The Vernal Falls and Clark Point Hike is a demanding, but highly rewarding excursion in Yosemite. Hike along the valley floor, before ascending the craggy walls of the canyon to make your way up to the top of Vernal Falls. Let the cool mist of the cascades cool you off as you tackle the taxing climb. With ample scenery to admire as you wander, the beautiful views will certainly distract you from your aching feet. Note: sections of the path are steep/technical and will require concentration, endurance, and a comfortable pair of footwear. Additionally, the National Park charges an entrance fee; refer to the NPS website for additional information.

Embark on your journey along the Vernal Falls and Clark Point Hike from the Mist Trailhead. Setting out from here along the John Muir Trail, you will be guided south along the Merced River and Happy Isles. Soon you will cross over the Vernal Fall Footbridge, which reveals wonderful vistas of the cascades above. When you reach the intersection with the Mist Trail, keep left and hike this vertiginous path up the canyon wall as you are showered with the spray of the cascades. Eventually, you will reach the top of Vernal Falls, where you can admire the views of the cascades below and Nevada Falls above.

At the next junction, veer left to begin hiking up to Clark Point. Revel in the sights of the canyon, Liberty Cap, Grizzly Peak, and more. From here, track the rightmost John Muir Trail all the way back down to the trailhead.

Getting to the Vernal Falls and Clark Point Hike Trailhead

The Vernal Falls and Clark Point Hike departs from the Mist Trailhead off Happy Isles Loop Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    April-October

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

Vernal Falls and Clark Point Hike Elevation Graph

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