Vernal Fall
Vernal Fall
4.5
About
Though not as tall as Yosemite Falls, Vernal Fall is popular for the green foliage that surrounds it year-round and the rainbow mist it produces as the water cascades.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
1,401 reviews
Excellent
1,078
Very good
278
Average
35
Poor
7
Terrible
3

WanderingWithUsTwo
Phoenix, AZ737 contributions
Aug 2019
This area is very popular for hikes since there are several trailheads in the area. There’s a small lot that takes you close to this trailhead that fills up very early but the actual trail is still a good walk away from there. Most people will ride in on bikes and park near the trailhead or will take the shuttle which will stop at the nearest restrooms prior to the trails. Since this area is so busy the streets are closed off to all vehicles aside from the shuttles so it’s best to leave your car behind if you don’t plan on arriving prior to 8AM. To the bridge pictured it’s about 30-45 minutes of a steep incline on a paved winding trail up the mountainside. Because the elevation gains are so quick, it is easy to get out of breath. We suggest traveling light and going early to avoid adding more stress from the heat during the later times of day. It is also good to take breaks for water and catch your breath especially if you have prior medical conditions. From this point the trail splits and a more direct route can be taken to the top of the falls during the summer months. It is no longer paved from here forward but is mainly stone and is comprised of stairs most of the way which can be slippery. During the rainy season, and when the snow first begins to melt, the current is much stronger which leads to wetter conditions on the trail. In August the waterfall is more calm so it is only a light mist but you can still get pretty wet depending on how long you stand there taking pictures. Leading up to the falls there are steps made of stone which become wet and slippery and can be more treacherous when there are a lot of people going up and down the trail. We went up at 8AM and by the time we came down it took us a long time to traverse through all the people on their way up. Overall from the trailhead to the top is around 1.5 hours if you stop to take pictures and catch your breath. Once your reach the top there is a small lake which you aren’t allowed to get in to protect the local wildlife and plants but there is plenty of room to sit around and enjoy the view. After this point if you choose to continue you can hike further to Nevada falls which is still another 3 miles from this point. On the way back down from Nevada falls you can then opt to go back down through the mist trail or traverse around via the John Muir trail which we previously mentioned as also being the winter trail for Vernal falls. If you don’t mind getting your clothes wet we highly recommend the hike!
- @wanderingwithustwo
Written June 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lou181818
Bath, UK2,125 contributions
Aug 2022 • Family
This trail starts moderate but gets tougher with steep unsteady path and steps. You need sensible walking footwear and a level of fitness to get to the top of the waterfall and come back down the same way. We set off 8am and there were flies around but cool, returning 1-2pm it was much hotter, busier and no flies.
Written August 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lizpeth B
Chino Hills, CA4 contributions
Aug 2022 • Friends
Vernal Falls is just as beautiful from last time we visited . However, at this time, the water level was low and not misty as the trail was named towards the falls.
We did not bother to go to the Lower Yosemite Falls after the ranger advised us that the falls was dry .
We enjoyed the Mariposa Grove and learned a lot of things about the trees, thanks to a knowledgeable ranger who gave us an inspiring talk about the place.
Written September 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maria
Los Angeles, CA14 contributions
Jun 2020
I have not worked out in the past 4 years but yet I was able to do this without struggling and I was carrying 1 Gallons of water on my back. Wear good shoes with plenty of traction. There is NO SOCIAL DISTANCING and 25 % of the people were wearing masks. Allow 2-3 hours to do the regular loop. The way back down brings you down the hill a different way from the way up. Beware bc it can be steep and those not used to running on trails may fall. I did not need it but bring salty snacks just in case
Written October 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ash K.
3 contributions
May 2021
This hike was well worth the effort! Be aware that it is indeed a HIKE, though. It is all uphill, and the section by the falls is very, very, VERY wet (thus why it's called the Mist Trail - though we more felt like we had just jumped into the ocean). Make sure that every person in your group brings a water bottle! My group was a little naïve about the length of time it would take, and I was the only person that brought a water bottle. We refilled it once at the footbridge before the hike, and then from the Emerald Pool at the top of the falls. It took us (me and my cousin, both in university, and my dad) about 5hrs, including the time we spent at the top of Vernal falls. We hiked up the Mist Trail and then were directed to go down the John Muir Trail so as to not hinder hikers hiking up the Mist trail (it gets really narrow at points). All in all, while it was a bit moderate, it was a very beautiful and rewarding hike! Would definitely recommend!
Written July 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bobbyza
Phoenix, AZ313 contributions
Jul 2021
If you are adventurous , this hike is well worth it. The trail to Vernal falls is 1-1/2 miles round trip to footbridge( or about 2-1/2 miles roundtrip to top of falls) and considered to be "moderately strenuous". My wife and I were 64 and 63 years old when we did the hike in mid July of 2021. Note of caution however, is it can be really hot in July on that trail....so. instead of going in the afternoon, we opted for the next morning when it was considerably cooler , which was smart. Trail covers a little over 1000 feet in elevation and is mostly uphill with a few downhill stretches. A little over halfway to the falls proper, you come to the footbridge (0.8 miles in) , from whence you can see the falls in the distance, offering good photo ops. The reminder of the trail from the bridge to the falls is more uphill, and one should consider going on or not, depending on health, water, etc.. There is water available just past the bridge to refill bottles. My wife and I did do the second stretch to just beneath the falls, However, we did NOT do the additional distance from beneath the falls to the top of the falls- But a friend of ours had done it and thought it worth while, but being in our 60's and somewhat tired, we decided to turn around and head back. Overall the hike was roughly 3 hours for my wife and I due to the additional walking from the first parking area (not the second smaller trail head lot) to the Mist Trail trail head. My wife and I enjoyed it thoroughly and certainly recommend the hike! PS Falls are 317 feet in height with impressive different colored granite as backdrop!
Written August 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2BEis2SKI
Charlotte, NC1,340 contributions
Oct 2022
Falls were beautiful but not at full strength as it was October. For me, it was as much or more about the vistas and the exercise.

These trails are strenuous. There are very few places where there is flat ground and many places where there are at least 20-25 degree inclines as well as countless steps.

Once you reach Vernal Falls though, there is room to rest, take in the beauty and catch you breathe.

A word of caution too that a lot of people attempt this hike and you have to pass many that are moving more slowly. There were definitely some traffic jams on the way up and back.
Written November 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ron c
Finksburg, MD638 contributions
Sep 2022
Well we loved seeing the falls from the bridge, but really disappointed the Mist Trail was closed during the day. After the brutal climb up theJohn Muir trail, it was disappointing to not get that close to the falls. Maybe next time !
Written October 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Verthib123
7 contributions
Jun 2022 • Couples
Best hike of my life!! No words to describe how beautiful the trail and the falls are. 1) It’s nearly 4 miles roundrip if you stay on the mist trail (not 2.5 or 3 miles as some claim). 2) It’s 6.1 miles if you go up the mist trail and down the John Muir trail. 3) There is a TON of water in the summer, not sure what these other reviewer‘s were seeing or not seeing. 4) The stairs make it very strenuous. Be realistic about your abilities rather than and give les stars because of your physical condition. 5) If you’re not physically fit, go to the foot bridge and back. The views at the foot bridge are still worth it!!
Written June 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AFischer3
Grandville, MI14 contributions
Jun 2022
We started just after 7am and had few others with us on the trail. It was a steep incline, but most people can do this very popular hike. I wouldn’t have wanted to be starting this hike later in the day like the people we saw on our way back down from Nevada Fall.
Written June 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Vernal Fall (Yosemite National Park) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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