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Vernal Fall, Yosemite National Park

Waterfall · Nature / Park
Surrounded by green foliage, Vernal Fall flows all year round, spraying mist onto the hikers climbing along its steep granite stairway to enjoy the scenery. Plunging from a height of 96 m (317 ft), the fall is accessible via several shaded trails passing along the Merced River and offering exceptional vistas across Yosemite Valley. The trails are fairly strenuous and slippery in places, so watch your step and don't cross the railings. Facilities include several restrooms along the hike and a shuttle stop with drinking water at the Vernal Fall footbridge. Using our world travel planner, Yosemite National Park attractions like Vernal Fall can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Vernal Fall reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,384 reviews
  • We are an elderly couple and took this strenuous hike. It was so beautiful. We did not go on to Nevada Falls. This was difficult but definitely do-able for us. Prepare to get wet. We just took...  more »
  • I have not worked out in the past 4 years but yet I was able to do this without struggling and I was carrying 1 Gallons of water on my back. Wear good shoes with plenty of traction. There is NO...  more »
  • What an amazing view and wonderful trip. Can't believe we were able to hike this challenging uphill trail to a beautiful waterfall. Water was freezing but did not stop others from jumping in. Can't...  more »
  • Elite hike in the spring
  • The walk to Vernal falls is mostly paved. Not super overwhelming(scenery wise), lots of people on the trail. Steep incline. Then 600 stairs. Took us 1hr 50 to get up to vernal with stops. The hike to Nevada falls is much more gorgeous. Less crowded as well. Not paved. Took us about and hour to go from vernal to be Nevada falls, multiple breAks. The incline to Nevada is much easier than the Vernal stairs. We weren’t able to stay at the top very long as we were trying to make it back to the car at 5. We started the trail at I believe 10:30am from upper pines campground parking. Stopped for a quick lunch at Vernal Falls, maybe 20/25 mins max, took breaks walking up. Got to Nevada Falls at 2:10ish, left by about 2:40, got back to our car at 5:12. Stopped along the way briefly a couple times to take super short breaks. Definitely start earlier than we did, would highly suggest getting to the south entrance by 7:30:/7:45 as there was a line(on Saturday, during along weekend). We waited in line for about 20 mins to get into the park. Got in the park about 8:15, got started on our hike by 10:30. If you start earlier you will have more time to actually sit and enjoy the falls, not just pass by. We left early because the park rangers told us the park closes at 5pm. Call ovid time, you also can’t enter earlier than 8am. Shady the whole way to vernal and Nevada, very little sun until at the top of Nevada. 4 stars because Vernal falls was very crowded.
  • Very nice hike! You wont regret it! In general terms, going to the fall is 100% uphill and coming back is 100% downhill.
  • Oh man I love this falls. Probably hardest hikes I ever did. Extremely popular hikes with highly crowded trails. Love the rainbow. Lots of water fountains throughout the trails. Hiking shoes recommended
  • SPEND GREAT TIME AND MEMORABLE TIME IN THIS FALL. Nature is always Beautiful 😍 ❤

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