Yosemite • MOST DANGEROUS HIKE (one of America's top 10)the Mist Trail

Yosemite • MOST DANGEROUS HIKE (one of America's top 10)the Mist Trail

Hiking the Mist Trail and its stairs… Lots and lots of stairs.

The Mist Trail is the most popular hiking trail in the Yosemite National Park, for reasons you can see in the video. It’s amazing.

Vernal Fall Bridge is .8 miles from the Valley. The hike to the bridge is more of a walk, than a hike. The path is paved and well maintained. It’s the easiest part of the trail.

To the top of Vernal Falls is another .7 miles, but is the toughest part of the trip. The incline is gradual, but quickly gets difficult (“strenuous” in hiking vernacular), to the point where you’re climbing steep steps for about 300 feet. The few at the top is fantastic.There is a flat area where you can take a break, have some food, and chill out before you tackle the next half of the trip.

On a morbid note, but worth mentioning, is that people die at this point of the trail every year. Every year. Mostly it’s from people swimming at the top (in the Spring and late Summer) getting caught in the currents, and getting swept over the falls. Despite the fact that there are well marked trails in many parts of the park, it is still the wilderness. People thinking that they are in an amusement park, with many layers of safety protocols in place, are more apt to hurt themselves. Backpacker.com calls the Mist Trail (which leads to the Half Dome trail) one of the 10 most dangerous hikes in America– especially when it’s raining and the rocks become slippery. So, please use caution.

The next 1.9 miles, if you choose to continue the hike (most people don’t) will bring you to the top of Nevada Falls. The first half of the trail is very gradual, as it winds through the forest. You’re then brought to another set of stairs. Although they’re longer than the stairs at Vernal Falls, then don’t seem as difficult. Possibly because the was more room to build these stairs and they aren’t as steep. The view from the top of Nevada Falls is spectacular and, in my opinion, worth the trouble it takes to get there.

At this point, you’re only .9 miles from “Little Yosemite Valley”. It’s a relatively easy hike, if you have the time and energy.

Most people will take the John Muir Trail back down from the top of Nevada Falls. It’s a gradual path (although a bit steep in parts) with no stairs. It’s a bit longer, but not much, and offers a great view of Nevada Falls and the back of Half Dome.

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