The Mist Trail is one of the most popular short hikes in Yosemite National Park, California, USA. The hike follows the Merced River, starting at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley, past Vernal Fall and Emerald Pool, to Nevada Fall. Along the trail, the Merced River is a tumultuous mountain stream, lying in a U-shaped valley. Enormous boulders, some the size of a house, are dwarfed by the sheer faces of exfoliating granite, which rise 3000 feet (914 m) from the river. Through it all, the Merced River rushes down from its source in the High Sierra, and broadens on the floor of Yosemite Valley. This is Yosemite’s signature hike. While many of Yosemite’s trails are popular due to having a single spectacular destination, the Mist Trail has fabulous views scattered all along it, beginning at the bridge overlook, progressing to two unforgettable waterfalls that fall a combined total of more than 900 feet (270 meters), and ending with perhaps the most striking of all: the view of Nevada Fall, Liberty Cap, and the back of Half Dome from the Muir Trail return segment. We started early in the morning, with the Trail in early daylight.
Happy Isles is a group of small islands in the Merced River in Yosemite National Park, California. They are located at the easternmost end of the Yosemite Valley floor. This scenic spot is the starting point for the Mist Trail, and is also the northern trailhead for the John Muir Trail.
Along the trail, the Merced River is a tumultuous mountain stream, lying in a U-shaped valley. Enormous boulders, some the size of a house, are dwarfed by the sheer faces of exfoliating granite, which rise 3000 feet (914 m) from the river. Through it all, the Merced River rushes down from its source in the High Sierra, and broadens on the floor of Yosemite Valley.
Squirrels and Birds
There are some very friendly squirrels and birds along the trail. Bring along some trail mix for sharing.
I managed to make it to the base of Vernal Falls. Even though the trail to this point is short, it is pretty steep and you will find yourself huffing and puffing on the way up. The are a set of granite stairs that will take you to the top of the Falls, and a trail on to the Nevada Falls but we decided to stop at the base of the falls. The rushing water is loud and beautiful. To the side of Vernal Fall, the mist from the river blankets the trail, which was improved during the WPA projects of the 1930s. Here is where raingear becomes handy: in the spring, hikers often become completely drenched from water sprayed off Vernal Fall. This is one of the few places where a complete circular rainbow can be viewed.
The Trail Down
You will thank the downhill grade on the trail back. This little walk is short, but so beautiful, you really should go if you visit Yosemite. As always, I hope you enjoyed the post, please leave a comment.
Yosemite Mist Trail: https://www.timberlinetrails.com/YosemiteMistTrail.html
Vernal Falls Footbridge: http://www.yosemitehikes.com/yosemite-valley/vernal-fall-footbridge/vernal-fall.htm
Sent from my iPad