FATMAP by Strava

Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls

Yosemite National Park

A stunning hike up steep climbs, passing close to Vernal and Nevada Falls.

Hiking Difficult

11 km
753 m
752 m
3-4 hrs
Low Point
1.2 km
High Point
1.8 km
Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls Map

This trail is a mellower yet still amazingly-stunning alternate to the Half Dome Trail. Furthermore, it is a great option for a shorter day if you haven't been able to secure a permit for the Half Dome route.


The Mist Trail ascends steeply to Vernal and Nevada Falls. The beauty of the two falls provides a fitting opportunity to break and rest while along the course of your hike. The name of the trail comes from the fact that the trail is in such proximity to Vernal and Nevada Falls that it is nearly impossible to avoid being misted by the cascading water. This particular route is ideal for those who only want to or only have the time to be out for 1.5-2 hours. There are stairs along the route, so runners should expect some stair running!

After ascending to the trail’s high point above Nevada Falls, you can either return on the same path or take an alternative trail for the descent, providing a loop option rather than an out-and-back. The alternate return trail is the John Muir Trail. You could reconnect with the Mist Trail at a few different points lower down on the route.

It is not surprising that this route is one of the most popular routes to run or hike in the Yosemite Valley.



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between April and November


  • Picturesque
  • Water features

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area