Mist Trail

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Mist Trail
Despite being steep, often wet, and sometimes dangerous, this is the park’s hallmark hike, with breath-taking up-close views of two waterfalls and back down the valley. First things first: It’s called the Mist Trail for a reason, even though there are times it could be called the Shower Trail: Much of the thigh-burning hike up to Vernal Fall is cut into stone on one side of the falls, and depending on how much water is flowing, especially in the spring, you will get very wet and the steps will be very slippery. Bring rain gear, and climb carefully. At the top of Vernal Falls (1.5 miles from the valley floor) is the Emerald Pool, which can look very inviting for a dip but the cold water and strong currents are lethal – obey the signs, no swimming! Above the pool a bridge will take you up the other side, eventually to Nevada Fall. You can come back the way you came or, better yet, connect at Nevada Fall with the John Muir Trail, which is slightly longer (1.5 miles) but much gentler on the knees coming down, and with an incredible look back at Nevada Fall and the back side of Half Dome.
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