The Mist Trail
Curry Village, Yosemite National Park
Walk Through a Waterfall.
This Hike Feels Like Visiting a Waterpark.
If you want to feel like you are in a waterfall, The Mist Trail is for you! This is literally a wet and wild hike if you hike it in the spring. We do not recommend this trek for younger children unless they are okay with being in a child carrier for most of the hike, and you are prepared to huff and puff carrying them up nearly 2,000 feet and back down again. If your kids are older and are sturdy hikers, this could be an unforgettable hike for your family. We’d recommend starting early to avoid the crowds, as some of the areas past Vernal Fall are tight and require taking turns passing. It can also get slippery if the water is really flowing, so make sure to wear appropriate shoes and take your time.
The best time of year to hike this is during peak runoff, usually April-June, but if it’s a big snow year the misty falls might extend into July. If it’s peak flow, plan to get wet! You will need a raincoat or ponchos for the whole family. The nice part about this hike is that you can decide to turn around at the Vernal Fall bridge and still see a magnificent cascade of water.
However, if you are looking for a shorter hike to see a major waterfall with smaller kids, we vote for the Lower Yosemite Fall hike instead of Vernal Fall. The Lower Yosemite Fall hike is shorter and has less elevation change, but you still get to a massive waterfall that takes your breath away. Plus, the Lower Yosemite Fall hike is more central in the valley to other activities that are kid-friendly, with better access to facilities like restrooms and food.