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“Mist Trail Lives Up to Its Name!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mist Trail

Mist Trail
Happy Isles, Yosemite National Park, CA
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Type: Trails
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Eminently accessible and popular, the Mist Trail takes hikers through Yosemite National Park to Vernal Fall Bridge, the best place to watch the waterfall.
Mountain View, California
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
40 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
185 helpful votes 185 helpful votes
“Mist Trail Lives Up to Its Name!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2011

Yosemite is filled with icons revered around the world: Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls and so much more. Yet, I haven't gone in decades because I've been deterred by the seemingly omnipresent and crushing crowds. This year, we decided to go despite the crowds because the huge runoff meant the waterfalls were running especially high.

We parked at Curry Village, took the shuttle to the Mist Trail trailhead, and hiked up the Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Falls. The Mist Trail is noteworthy on three fronts. First, the trail is beautiful, especially as it goes into the splash zone and then to the fall's top with its emerald pools. Second, the trail was PACKED with people. At some narrow junctures, we had to wait for traffic going in the opposite direction. Third, it is dangerous! We went right after 3 people went over Vernal Falls to their death, and more people have died since. Some of those folks made riskier choices than we did, but the trail is very steep and very slippery.

Remarkably, both kids handled the trail fine. My 8 year old son Jacob is a bit of a mountain goat, so I wasn't worried about him, but my 5 year old daughter Dina likes the concept of hiking more than she likes the reality. My wife found a way to motivate Dina, however, by promising an ice cream cone back at Curry Village if she got to the top without complaining much. Dina got to the top, didn't complain much, and got her earned treat. Everyone won!

We went on a Monday, and Yosemite was still quite crowded. It was unquestionably better than going on a weekend or holiday, but the off-season is a better time to visit.

Visited July 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Tampa, Florida
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“You have to do this one!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2011

Try to hit this Trail early when all the Bozos arent there.I have never experienced such carelessness as I did here.Please prepare people....proper footwear,snacks,plenty of water! I recommend that when you get to the top you go down the John Muir Trail to get back down,the walk DOWN the Mist trail is not that easy with young kids and again tons of people walking and slipping coming up the stairs.if you prepare this will be a hike to remember,breathtaking views,but again,PLEASE BE CAREFUL!

Visited August 2011
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suffolk
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“JUST THE BEST TRAIL IN YOSEMITE”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2011

Be sure to do this Trail in it's entirety you'll pas Vernal falls and max out at Nevada falls where we had our packed lunch Just most stunning picnic site in the world

Visited July 2011
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Michigan
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Glad we didnt miss Mist Trail”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

Hike early morning (8am latest). Park near Happy Isles trail head parking lot. You will see a sign that says road ends near campground - go past and on the right there will be a parking lot that should have room at this time of the day. There are also bear boxes to put your lunch in to protect your car from very hungry bears. Absolutely beautiful trail - saw three rainbows, one was a complete circle. The suns rays formed over our heads like an umbrella. My 13 year said it felt as though he was in a 3D movie! The stairs are not easy. They are at various heights, widths and lengths. The path reminds me of a Greek ruin! The path leading to Mist Trail - Happy Isles (1.5 mile path) is a gradual climb but is not an easy hike. I have a bad knee and decided not to tempt fate and climb back down the stairs, so we took the back side route back to the bridge at Vernal Falls. Not sure this was a better option - the path consisted of many switch backs for 3 miles. Tough on the knees I guess no matter what! Oh well! It was an awesome hike!!!! Well worth the trek and the stress on my knees!

Visited July 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Valley City, Utah
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
36 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“The Mist Trail deserves its name”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2011

My husband and I hiked up to Vernal Falls on the Mist Trail. Up to the footbridge it was pretty easy hiking, and you get a nice view of the falls. Many people turn around there, but the additional hike was worth our effort. The upper part of the trail was very misty, earning its name, but I didn't have trouble taking the pictures I wanted to take. Be sure to protect your camera equipment from the water. Beautiful mist and rainbows added to the pictures.

At the top is a large scenic area adjacent to where the river takes the huge plunge off an abrupt cliff. There we had a little lunch and picture-taking before setting out on the return trip. Not far above the falls is an awesome view of the Nevada falls further up the river. There is a trail that goes on up there, although we did not take it.

I won't sugar-coat, the 600 stone steps in the rain isn't the easiest section of trail I've ever been on, but all was forgiven when I saw the view at the top. Take your time and be careful, and you'll be OK. Take water and food as there are no services beyond the footbridge. If you are faint-hearted about heights--more specifically trails at the edge of a dropoff--I don't think I'd recommend the trail beyond the footbridge.

Amazing tiny flowers and ferns spring out of little cracks in rocks along the trail, and Stellar Jays and squirrels accompany you everywhere, so don't get so caught up with the large and awesome views that you miss the small and beautiful things along the way.

We returned by way of a section of the John Muir Trail, which also was very scenic although not as steep.

Visited May 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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