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“Steps, steps, and more steps!” 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.
Cerritos, California
Top Contributor
232 reviews 232 reviews
107 attraction reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
147 helpful votes 147 helpful votes
“Steps, steps, and more steps!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

This trail is VERY popular so start early. Started from parking lot near shuttle stop #16. The .6 mile walk to the trailhead via Happy Isles fen (a.k.a. wetlands) was a pleasant surprise.

The warm-up is the uphill walk on the paved trail which takes you to the base of Vernal Falls. The workout begins with the stone steps...over 600! The steps might look terrifying, but don't turn back. Not a standard rise and varies from 1-2 feet or more. A little mist would have felt great, but the dry steps were welcomed, especially in spots where handrails were absent!

Once at top, take photos, admire Emerald Pool (but don't go near) and continue on. Wanting to avoid the steps, opted to take the longer way utilizing the JMT...and so glad we did! It's uphill to Clark Point, but the view of Liberty Cap and the fabulous scenery was breathtaking!

The cool-down is where the trail splits and be sure to read the sign as one trail is for horses only. There's still a lot of 'mess' from horses, but an easier way down the mountain. In short, a nice hike w/restrooms, 20k steps logged over 6.3 miles and one for the bucket list.

Visited August 2013
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224 reviews from our community

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NYC
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
56 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“You will get Wet”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

This trail is properly named because for the last 100 feet or so when you climb up in front of Vernal Fall you will get soaked (probably), depends on which way the wind is blowing, but you will most likely get soaked.

It's not for those afraid of heights, or those unsure of their footings, there were about 700 "steps" of various height, and they were very slippery.

Then you get to a 100 foot long pass carved into the side of the mountain that at least has a railing you can hold onto.

Once you're at the top its wide open, and fenced in, so unless you get to the edge, there's not much to freak you out, except the long walk back down.

But it's worth it.

Visited June 2013
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Lastinjg Adventure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

We took the Mist Trail at the end of our 6 day hike. It was a great way to end the trip. We went in August so the river and the falls were low, but still a great view.

Visited August 2013
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Olympia, Washington
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Worn out”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

The Mist Trail was recommended by the Mariposa Yosemite Visitor center as a "must see ... if you do one hike this is it". I went on this trail at about 5 pm during the week that the Yosemite fire started. Many people were coming back from the hike and I was one of the few embarking. There were so many different languages I heard spoken. The trail is so overused. The falls were dry. It was sad for me to see.

Visited August 2013
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Bellevue, Washington
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
53 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“No mist but spectacular views”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

We started by having breakfast at the Curry village dining room, packed some sandwiches from the grocery store and took the shuttle to the Mist trail. We started the hike at 11 am. We took some breaks along the way to catch our breath and to take some nice shots. The sound of the Merced river creeks was pleasant and soothing. We then reached the footbridge and could see the Vernal fall at a distance. Again, the waterfall was very thin at the end of summer. We moved on and reached the steep section. It was tough on the knees. We proceeded on the trail taking pictures and enjoying the rainbow at the base of the fall. We continued to climb the steep rocks to reach the top of the fall. We then had lunch at the Emerald pool and headed back to the valley following the Mist trail.

I recommend doing this in June when there is mist.

Visited September 2013
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