Hiking to Vernal and Nevada Falls in Yosemite

Yosemite Valley is a magical place where you can easily spend a day enjoying its short hikes and beautiful waterfalls. However if you have ...

Yosemite Valley is a magical place where you can easily spend a day enjoying its short hikes and beautiful waterfalls. However if you have one more day, I urge you to challenge yourself physically and mentally, and hike to the top of Vernal and Nevada Falls. This way if you can really appreciate the beauty and grandeur of Yosemite National Park.  

Hiking to the top of Vernal and Nevada Falls is not easy though. You have to be physically prepared as the round trip distance is between 5.4 miles (8.7 km) and 6.9 miles (11 km) depending on which trail you choose. 
Elevation gain is 2000 ft (610 m), so be prepared to lots of steps.
But I can guarantee you that your hard work will be rewarded numerous times during your hike.
The shortest path to the top of both falls is via the Mist Trail. However if you want to save your knees on the way down, I suggest you take the John Muir Trail. Both trails make a loop with completely different sceneries.
The first 0.8 mile (1.3 km) of the trail takes you to the footbridge. This section is paved yet quite steep. It's also the most busy part of the trail with many people turning back here.
If you hike another 0.4 miles (0.7 km), you can reward yourself with close-up views of Vernal Fall. 
The views of the fall are spectacular, but be prepared to get a little bit wet. 
Rainbow in the fall's spray.
600 steps lead you to the top of Vernal Fall.
You can feel the power standing on the top of the fall.
Steller's Jay. 
If you feel tired, it's time to turn back as the trail to Nevada Fall is not going to be easier.
This section of the trail gets less crowded and mostly lies in the forest. 
 You can tell it's the foot of the fall by a mist.
Nevada Fall like any other falls is the fullest in May.
Sequoia trees, which I'm going to be talking about in the next article, also grow here.
After the steep and rocky ascent, you finally reached the top of the fall.
This is what I call a "million dollar view".
Deer and sequoia - what a lovely couple.
Nevada Falls as seen from the John Muir trail.
There is no way you don't become wet in May on this section.
The cold shower is very refreshing.
My favourite view of Nevada Fall and granite peaks.



My other posts from the Trip to California:


Kings Canyon - One of the Deepest Canyons in North America
The Hottest Place on Earth. But Is It Really Dead?

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