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Yosemite Gateway Inn
40530 Highway 41, Oakhurst, California 93644
40530 Highway 41, Oakhurst, California 93644
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Vernal Fall at Oakhurst, California

Vernal Fall

Vernal Falls Trail, Yosemite National Park, California, 95389
Category: Attractions
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Before you go

Vernal Fall in Yosemite

One of the most popular waterfalls in Yosemite National Park, Vernal Fall is a 317-foot waterfall that gushes from the Merced River into beautiful Yosemite Valley. You can enjoy stellar views of Vernal Fall from Glacier Point or you can hike the challenging Mist Trail to the cascading waterfall and feel the incredible mist. Starting at Happy Isles, you can walk to the Vernal Fall footbridge for breathtaking views or continue on the trail to the top of Vernal Fall, where you will see the Enchanted Pool.


Hours -

Open daily. Mist Trail is closed in winter.

Price -

Entrance to Yosemite is $20 per vehicle.


  • Guided Ranger Hikes


  • Hiking / Walking
  • Seeing Waterfalls
  • Photography

Hiking to Vernal Fall

One the shortest and most spectacular trails in Yosemite Valley, the Mist Trail takes you to one of the park’s most breathtaking waterfalls – Vernal Fall. Starting just before Curry Village, you walk to the trailhead and hike up 1.3 miles to the top of the falls where you can stop and enjoy a picnic. Mist Trail has amazing views, beginning at the bridge overlook, ending with spectacular sights of Nevada Fall, Liberty Cap, and Half Dome. Below the falls is a huge pool where you can swim – but the water is cold and swift.

Mist Trail to Nevada Fall

Nevada Fall is majestic 594 foot waterfall that flows over a high ledge onto a jumble of large boulders. Hikers can reach the top of Nevada Fall by continuing along the Mist Trail. From Vernal Fall, you’ll pass the Emerald Pool and a beautiful cascade called the Silver Apron - formed as the Merced streams over smooth granite rocks - and then you’ll hike through the steep valley to Nevada Falls. The John Muir Trail also leads to the top of Nevada Fall.


  • When is the best time to visit?

    Vernal Fall flows all year and peaks during late May. If you want to see the falls gush into the valley, visit during the spring and early summer. Hikers will be drenched as they pass the mist from the waterfall. By late summer, the fall narrows and separates into two or three falls as water flows diminish. Mist Trail is closed in winter and the road to Glacier Point – the best overlook to see Vernal Fall - is open late May through November.
  • How long is the hike/walk to Vernal Fall?

    Starting at Happy Isles, it will take you about 1.5 hours round-trip to walk to the footbridge – which offers amazing views of Vernal Fall. If you’re feeling adventurous and continue to the Mist Trail, a ½ mile hike up to a steep granite stairway, it will take you a total of three hours round-trip. Prepare for slippery footing and a tremendous waterfall spray in spring and early summer.

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