This post was a long time coming. As I have said in previous posts, “This trip is part of a larger trip in California back in May 2018 with a friend and travel companion, Karen. I have been meaning to write about this trip for quite some time, but I am a little hesitant. Not that the trip was a poor experience, but because the trip was perfectly executed (we make a good logistics team). You could say, I didn’t want to revisit this trip with anything less than perfection.”

Oh by the way, if you are interested in reading from Karen’s perspective, here is her blog post for this day: California: Yosemite National Park

Trailhead Sign

Finding the trailhead was actually quite difficult from the parking lot. At first we were walking a trail, but found the trail system very confusing. Ideally, road walk it via Happy Isle Loop Road. The road is a straight shot and will save you the confusion.

This hike also almost didn’t happen or at least I almost had given in to Karen pleas to return to turn back. I really had to push Karen to do this hike. Though, to put this into perspective, this trip was not too many months after my thru-hike so my drive and energy levels were noticeably different than Karen’s.

I’m actually relieved the destination was as epic as it was. On the way up, I felt pretty guilty for pushing so hard.

To my surprise, as soon as we saw the first waterfall, Karen was GAME to keep on pushing, which was not only the the elevation Karen needed, but I as well.

Vernal Falls

As Karen likely remembers, I was pretty anxious atop of Vernal Falls. Ha

We pushed to the bottom of Nevada Fall, to my surprise had to ourselves, past the crowds of people that were populating the area by Vernal Falls, which was no doubt a large falls, but Nevada Fall not even a mile further was even more magnificent!

Nevada Fall

There is a trail to the top of Nevada Fall, but at the time I felt we had pushed enough. Plus, sun down was pretty close.

In efforts to take a different way back, mainly to avoid the misty slippery terrain along Vernal Falls, we took an alternative winter route which had quite the view!

NameVernal Falls
Nevada Fall
LocationYosemite Valley, CA
37.734900, -119.566474
37.732865, -119.557788
Trail NameHappy Isle Loop Road – 0.6 miles
John Muir Trail – 1.0 miles
Mist Trail – 1.6 (Turned around at mile 1.1)
Unnamed Trail – 0.4 miles (Left to Clark Point)
John Muir Trail – 2.0 miles (Right Turn downhill)
Happy Isle Loop Road – 0.6 miles
Hike Length6.2 miles

Side Notes:

  • Check for closures before attempting.
  • There are other routes on AllTrails. I always recommend having some source of a map before hiking in unfamiliar areas. It especially feels safer when planning your hike by ear.
  • Karen’s blog post: California: Yosemite National Park – Photos will look a bit different than my post. I color corrected these photos. I’ve found that color is distorted on smart phone camera after 10 feet out. There are cameras out there that have software built in to adjust for this, but the phones we shot on at the time, did not have these capabilities.

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