Vernal Falls

Yosemite Valley, CA - 95389
Type: Waterfalls
(209) 372-0200

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Vernal Falls, located in Yosemite National Park, California, is a majestic waterfall that cascades over a granite cliff, plunging approximately 317 feet (97 meters) into the emerald-colored waters of the Merced River below. Fed by snowmelt and spring runoff from the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains, Vernal Falls is one of the park's most iconic and beloved natural attractions.

One of the main highlights of Vernal Falls is its accessibility and stunning beauty, which can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages and fitness levels. The waterfall is accessible via the Mist Trail, a popular hiking trail that begins near the Happy Isles Nature Center in Yosemite Valley. The trail winds through lush forests and alongside the rushing waters of the Merced River, offering hikers a scenic and invigorating trek with breathtaking views of the waterfall and surrounding landscape.

The final stretch of the Mist Trail ascends a series of steep stone steps known as the "Granite Staircase," which can be slippery and strenuous, especially during the spring and early summer when the waterfall is at its peak flow. However, the effort is well worth it, as hikers are rewarded with close-up views of Vernal Falls and the opportunity to feel the spray of mist on their faces as they stand on the rocky overlooks near the base of the waterfall.

In addition to hiking, visitors can also enjoy the beauty of Vernal Falls from various viewpoints along the valley floor, including the Merced River Loop Trail and the John Muir Trail. During the spring and early summer months, when the waterfall is at its peak flow, the mist from Vernal Falls creates rainbows in the sunlight, adding to the magical atmosphere of the park.

Vernal Falls is not only a natural wonder but also a symbol of the power and beauty of Yosemite National Park. Whether you're seeking adventure on the Mist Trail or simply looking to marvel at the wonders of nature, Vernal Falls offers an unforgettable experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors of all ages.

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Nearby Nature Attractions

Following is a list of other nature attractions found within few miles of Vernal Falls. You may also view all nature attractions in Yosemite Valley, California.