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Location: Yosemite Village, Yosemite National Park, Mariposa County
Stream: Merced River
Alternate Names:

Height: 317 ft.
Access:   hike   nodog  
Distance: 4.4 miles (RT)
Elevation: 4000 ft. (+1000 ft.)
Season: Apr-Jul
Form:   curtain
Lat/Long:37.72743, -119.54377
Directions:On Southside Drive, drive to Curry Village and park. Then take the free shuttle to Happy Isles, stop #16. Start walking up the paved trail to the Vernal Falls bridge.   Vernal Falls pictures for sale; Click to view gallery

Vernal Falls is one of my favourite waterfalls in Yosemite National Park. What I love so much about Vernal Falls is how smooth Merced River flows over the rock ledge, and yet the waterfall is 80 ft. wide. The waterfall is incredibly picturesque.

On the hike up to the falls, you will get quite wet on the infamous Mist Trail even in the summer, so bring rain gear. The hike itself is a wonderful experience, as you climb up a stair ledge, right beside Vernal Falls. It is perhaps the best waterfall hike in the country, the only drawback is the large number of people on the trail (I recommend going in the early morning). However, it is not a particularly easy hike, as you gain 1000 ft. just up to the top of Vernal Falls. The Mist Trail is closed in winter months from the junction of the John Muir Trail just past the Vernal Falls bridge.

There are great views from the top as you stand beside Vernal Falls. For a more strenuous hike from here, you can continue up to the top of Nevada Falls, another highly recommended hike.

Get Google Maps directions to trailhead

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Other waterfalls nearby:

Silver Apron Falls 0.12 miles
Nevada Falls 0.62 miles
Illilouette Falls 1.31 miles
Staircase Falls 1.74 miles
Royal Arch Cascade 2.10 miles
Tenaya Falls 2.36 miles
Snow Creek Falls 2.66 miles
Sentinel Falls 2.81 miles
Lehamite Falls 3.03 miles
Lower Yosemite Falls 3.25 miles
Merced River Falls 3.40 miles
Upper Yosemite Falls 3.45 miles
Bunnell Cascade 4.12 miles
Horsetail Falls 4.94 miles
Bridalveil Falls 5.52 miles
Ribbon Falls 5.58 miles
Widows Tears 6.63 miles
Silver Strand Falls 6.86 miles
Tioga Pass Falls 8.48 miles
Cascades 8.98 miles
Tamarack Falls 9.13 miles
Wildcat Falls 9.20 miles

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