I didn’t have too much prior knowledge about Yosemite National Park, but as I was preparing to go a friend said “Be sure to hike the Mist Trail. You’ll be surrounded by rainbows.”
I did a little more research and I wasn’t looking forward to the 600+ granite steps that make up the trail.
But every single, excruciating step was worth it.
I found no bad views anywhere in Yosemite, but the sights along the Mist Trail were highlights of the trip.
The Mist Trail begins near Happy Isles. I parked across from the Upper Pines Campground and walked a connector trail since parking is not available at the trailhead. The first mile of the trail is paved and often crowded. Like I’ve said for all of the hikes – get an early start. This is a good National Park rule of thumb.
Even if you have a stroller or slight mobility issues, brave the crowd and walk the first mile. As a result, you’ll see views like the one below. The scenery is worth it.
If you are able, continue on and begin the climb up to Vernal Falls.
After reaching the top of Vernal Fall follow the river until you can see Nevada Fall. Keep climbing and you’ll reach the top of this waterfall as well.
You can come down the same way, but depending on seasons and trail conditions you may be able to return via the John Muir Trail. This section of the JMT opened only days prior to my visit. While I enjoyed this different perspective of the falls, but portions of the trail were flooded and icy.
I visited Yosemite in mid-April and that year (2016) it was perfect timing for the waterfalls. Spring runoff was in full effect and the scene was spectacular.
Here’s a video of my journey along the Mist and John Muir Trails.
Thanks again for an amazing trip Yosemite!!