Vernal and Nevada Fall Winter Route

Large icicles and layers of slippery ice on the Mist Trail in winter
Icy conditions on portions of the Mist Trail.
Vertical profile of the Vernal and Nevada Falls winter route.

Due to icy conditions in the winter months, parts of the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail are closed. Portions of the trails have overhanging rock where large icicles form and fall onto the trail below. These trail sections (including stone steps of the Mist Trail) become covered in a thick layer of slippery, treacherous ice.

To reach the top of Vernal Fall, hike the John Muir Trail to Clark Point, where the trail forks. The right fork (John Muir Trail) will be gated shut, so follow the left fork downhill to reach the Mist Trail junction just a few minutes upstream of Vernal Fall. A left turn here brings you to the top of Vernal Fall, while a right turn follows the Mist Trail uphill to Nevada Fall.

Check the current conditions page for trail status and view the complete Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall hiking page.

Map shows winter closures of Mist Trail and John Muir Trail.

Last updated: November 13, 2020

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