gem icon Vernal Falls

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A gorgeous waterfall at the end of a short, fairly steep, and wet run (hence the name of the Mist Trail). This is a highly visited destination so don't expect to avoid the crowds, but visitors come here for a reason. With breathtaking views of the falls and the surrounding park, it's hard to know where to look!

From the top of Vernal Fall, you can experience stunning views back down the entirety of the 317-foot waterfall. Please respect the signs and railings and use extreme caution while you're close to any flowing water or wet rock in this area, as it can be slippery. The nearby Merced River is also a bit more treacherous than it appears due to a strong current and visitors should take care not to slip into the water.

The Mist Trail should provide folks with more than enough up-close-and-personal opportunities to enjoy this area.

Short Run: From Happy Isles (shuttle stop #16), this is a 2.4-mile, round-trip run to the top of the falls. Don't let the distance fool you, as this one climbs fairly steeply and the rewards are well deserved from the top.

Family Friendly: A short hike to an impressive and iconic waterfall with plenty to see along the way.

Gem Type: Waterfall

Shared by:
Zander Göpfert

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4.6 from 8 votes


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Nov 1, 2016
Maddy Gill

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Shared by Zander Göpfert on May 18, 2016. All Page Views: 104. Last Month: 29.