Holidays in Vernal Falls

Holiday Travel Guide
Vernal Falls featuring mountains, forests and a cascade

The first tier of the Merced River’s magnificent waterfall plunges from a jagged granite precipice in a cloud-like curtain and is surrounded by pines.

Make your way along Yosemite’s signature hike, the Mist Trail, to experience the grandeur of Vernal Fall. See the magnificent 317-foot (97-meter) waterfall by walking along the short and shady pathway, which presents unbeatable views along its length. Reach the top to rest next to a tranquil pool of water or continue onward to the thundering cascades of Nevada Fall.

Begin your stroll at the trailhead near Happy Isles and follow the trail south and east through Yosemite Valley. Stretching 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) between the start and the top of Vernal Fall, the short trail has a moderate incline and is mostly shaded by pines. Reach the base of the waterfall and look up at the vast curtain of water leaping from the Merced River. In the springtime, when the water flow is strongest, you’ll be drenched with a refreshing mist of cool mountain water.

During the last 30 minutes of the walk, climb up the rocky staircase that leads to the peak of the fall. Stand on the precipice of the fall and admire the water surging off the edge. Take a seat on a rock next to the serene waters of Emerald Pool and Silver Apron and enjoy the atmosphere created by the scene and sounds of the water thundering below. Snap photographs of the monumental rock formation and fine mists rising from the plumes of water.

For an even greater challenge, continue onward to Nevada Fall. The round trip via both waterfalls is 5.4 miles (8.7 kilometers) or approximately 5 or 6 hours total time. Another route to the waterfalls is via the Muir Trail; however, this trail is somewhat longer.

The closest parking for the Vernal Fall hike is a short distance east of Half Dome Village in Yosemite National Park. You can also park elsewhere in the valley and ride the regular free shuttle buses to the trailhead. Restrooms are located along the Mist Trail. Bring rainwear unless you don’t mind wearing a little of the waterfall home with you.

256 Cheap Hotels Near Vernal Falls

Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
3 out of 5
9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is AU$331 per night from 9 Dec. to 9 Dec.
Situated in a national park, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Cook's Meadow and Yosemite Falls. Yosemite Visitor Center is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) away.
4.2/5 Very Good! (198 reviews)
"Amazing views and close to trails. Absolutely a great time"

Reviewed on 18 Mar. 2021

Yosemite Valley Lodge
Curry Village
Curry Village
2.5 out of 5
9010 Curry Village Dr., Yosemite National Park, CA
Situated in a national park, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Merced River, Yosemite Visitor Center and Yosemite Falls. Yosemite Mountaineering School ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (35 reviews)
"You get what you paid"

Reviewed on 20 Nov. 2021

Curry Village
The Ahwahnee
The Ahwahnee
4 out of 5
9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
Conveniently located near the ski slopes, this Yosemite National Park hotel is situated in the mountains within 2 miles (3 km) of Ahwahnee Meadow, Yosemite Visitor ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (200 reviews)
"No housekeeping and food was very good but no table service (Covid rules) but rules were dated."

Reviewed on 11 Jun. 2021

The Ahwahnee
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Plan a trip to see Vernal Falls

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Holidays in Vernal Falls

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Top Vernal Falls Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
3 out of 5
9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
The price is AU$331 per night from 9 Dec. to 9 Dec.
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Curry Village
Curry Village
2.5 out of 5
9010 Curry Village Dr., Yosemite National Park, CA
Curry Village
The Ahwahnee
The Ahwahnee
4 out of 5
9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
The Ahwahnee
Housekeeping Camp
Housekeeping Camp
1.5 out of 5
9004 Southside Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
Housekeeping Camp
PaPa Bear Cabin
PaPa Bear Cabin
8004 Cedar Circle, Yosemite National Park, CA
PaPa Bear Cabin
Yosemite Retreat for you and your family
Yosemite Retreat for you and your family
9999 Henness Ridge Dr, Yosemite National Park, CA
Yosemite Retreat for you and your family
B104 · 1 BDR Studio w Full Kitchen- Inside Yosemite National Park
B104 · 1 BDR Studio w Full Kitchen- Inside Yosemite National Park
7540 Henness Cr B104, Yosemite National Park, CA
B104 · 1 BDR Studio w Full Kitchen- Inside Yosemite National Park
FOREST GLEN · Rustic 1Bdr w Loft Cabin- Inside Yosemite National Park
FOREST GLEN · Rustic 1Bdr w Loft Cabin- Inside Yosemite National Park
7515 Henness Circle, Yosemite National Park, CA
FOREST GLEN · Rustic 1Bdr w Loft Cabin- Inside Yosemite National Park
The Oso Lodge · Oso Lodge- 3BDR w-Spa and EV Charger in Yosemite
The Oso Lodge · Oso Lodge- 3BDR w-Spa and EV Charger in Yosemite
7595 Azalea Lane, Yosemite National Park, CA
The Oso Lodge · Oso Lodge- 3BDR w-Spa and EV Charger in Yosemite
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.