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3 miles

Trail Type

Out & Back

Trail Difficulty


Δ Elevation (FT)

~1000 (+)

USGS Quad Map(s):  Yosemite National Park Topo Map

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Vernal Falls

California | Yosemite

  • Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park.
  • Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park.
  • Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park.
  • Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park.

Activities & Features


Vernal Falls is an easy kid friendly day hike in Yosemite National Park that leads to an incredible waterfall. The first mile of this hike to the Vernal Falls footbridge is paved and a great choice for hikers who are traveling with small children. Less than a quarter mile past the footbridge the Mist Trail splits off from the John Muir Trail. Hikers should follow the Mist Trail to reach the top of Vernal Falls. From here prepare yourself to climb nature’s “giant staircase,” which is more than 600 steep granite stairs. At the top hike are greeted with an incredible view down the 317-foot Vernal Falls. Use caution here and never cross the railings, people have died from this overlook. Hikers can turn around from here or continue to the top of Nevada Falls for a longer hike. This is a very popular trail in Yosemite Valley. If solitude is what you seek, look elsewhere. There is camping available in Yosemite National Park.

Red Tape

Entrance, Camping and Backcountry Fees
Contact: Public Information Office PO Box 577 Yosemite, CA 95389

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Best Hiking Trails for Kids in Yosemite National Park

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