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Panorama - Mist Trail, CA

Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
  5 of 5 
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Shuttle 8.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,214 feet
Elevation Gain -3,197 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,939 feet
Avg Time Hiking 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 21.63
Interest Seasonal Waterfall, Perennial Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
48  2016-05-27 Lucyan
75  2014-07-13
Yosemite National Park - day trip
30  2012-06-27 John9L
8  2012-05-09 AZLOT69
36  2011-06-19 desertgirl
Author desertgirl
author avatar Guides 20
Routes 5
Photos 3,098
Trips 440 map ( 3,112 miles )
Age Female Gender
Location Chandler, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Sep, Jun → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  6:18am - 5:06pm
0 Alternative

Spectacular Yosemite Eye Candy!
by desertgirl

WOW! Spectacular Yosemite scenery & one challenging hike! 8+ miles through some amazing Yosemite highlights - amazing views of Glacier Point, Illilouette area & the spectatcular falls, Panoramam Cliffs, thundering waters of Nevada & Vernal Falls, trailside rainbows, Bird's eye view of Yosemite Valley, Liberty Cap, Half Dome and many more...

Glacier Point is 3200ft directly above the Yosemite Valley floor. Take the short paved trail to the view point & enjoy the spectacular panoramic - Half Dome dominates with Nevada & Vernal Waterfalls as well as the Yosemite Falls against a backdrop of the majestic peaks of the High Sierras.
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The Panorama TH is clearly signed. The trail starts down immediately through a recovering open forest (old burn) with buckbrush, manzanita, oaks and other conifers. Views of Half Dome & the falls are framed by some older pines. Enjoy the views and head down on some long switchbacks towards Illilouette Creek. The initial 1/2 mile of the trail is somewhat crowded but it eventually thins outs. At mile 1.75 you will head left towards Illiloutte Falls (2.2 miles). Illilouette Falls tumbles down 370ft down. Stay safe as you look for the viewpoints to allow you to see the whole falls . Enjoy views of this hidden falls ( you cannot see this from the valley floor) . You will continue on the trail - cross Illilouette Creek and begin to climb up in earnest -~ 700+ft in 1.5 miles as you climb out of Illiloutte Creek and the top of Panorama Wall ( a huge cliff above the Merced River Canyon as it leads from Yosemite Valley to Little Yosemite Valley). This is the only real uphill for this trail. You reach Panorama Point for some stunning views of Yosemite Valley, Upper & Lower Yosemite Falls and the Royal Arches. You climb a bit more, traverse around & are at a 3 way junction. Head left again and switchback down (~10) to the junction with the John Muir Trail. Keep right (heading northeast) here to head to Nevada Falls. The trail is wet and you will cross numerous streams (Spring/early summer) as you reach the top of the falls. Enjoy the granite slabs and the thunderous sound & spray from the Merced river falling ~ 600ft and crashing onto the rocks below. This is very mesmerizing to watch. Cross the river and head to the dizzying view points by the guard rails. Stay safe in this area. Look for rock climbers on Liberty cap. Head on further along the trail ( over rocks here) and you will reach the junction with the Mist Trail. (Turn Right here to head down Mist-- This is not well marked) . Head on down the steep steps with the thundering Nevada Falls on your left and the 700ft Liberty Cap to you right. There is a short section where the mist from the falls will drench you. We saw an amazing rainbow at the base of Nevada Falls in this area. The # of people on the trail will grow - Both Nevada & Vernal falls are popular destinations hiking up from the valley floor. You will cross the Merced at the footbridge at Emerald Pools and & continue to the top of Vernal Falls (6.5 miles). Look down on the Mist Trail from this vantage point & look for rainbows! Head down on the left of the falls. After a short wet stairstep downhill you stop & don your rain gear ( if you have not already got it on) and step out into the icy cold mist coming from Vernal as you head down the wet "Mist Trail"! At base of falls continue west, mist trail levels out , keep right at 3 way intersection with JMT & follow the south bank. Cross the foot bridge & you will find a water fountain & bathrooms. The path from here to Happy Isles is paved. You round Grizzly peak & are treated to a view of Illilouette falls across Illilouette Gorge that you crossed a few hours ago on the Panorama Trail. The trail crosses Happy Isles Bridge & arrives at the shuttle bus center. Now you have seen & experienced a special slice of Yosemite!

1. Stay safe - This hike has exposure at the lip of each of the waterfalls you cross. The granite can be slick and respect the safety railings.
2. Streams can be swift and have boulders in them. Don't try to cross or swim. Use the foot bridges.
3. Filter the water you drink.
4. Make sure you have your sun protection on. Much of the Panorama Trail does not have shade.
5. If you plan on hiking up from Happy Isles or other TH - make sure you have transportation arranged for your return from Glacier Point.
6. You have other descent options - 4 mile trail, John Muir Trail, Clark Point cut across.

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2011-06-21 desertgirl
  • Yosemite Park Map
    area related
    Yosemite Park Map
  • Yosemite Campgrounds
    area related
    Yosemite Campgrounds
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$

Yosemite National Park
Entrance Fees
Wilderness Permit
Half Dome Permit - Currently required 7 days a week. Check the link for the most up to date information.

2014 - 300 permits issued daily, 225 for dayhikers.
2013 - 400 permits issued daily, 300 for dayhikers.

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Driving Directions to and Parking at Glacier Point: Glacier Point is at the terminus of the 16-mile (25 km) Glacier Point Road. If you're in Yosemite Valley, take Highway 41 roughly nine miles to the Glacier Point Road; if you're at the southern entrance, it's about 17 miles (26 km) to the turnoff.

Bus to Glacier Point from Yosemite Valley: Departs from front of the Yosemite Lodge. You will need to purchase tickets for this ride to Glacier Point from DNC counter in the lobby area for the Yosemite Lodge. You can't park at YosemiteLodge unless you're a guest. Park at the day-use lot next to Yosemite Village or the Curry Village parking lot. You can catch free shuttle buses from either of these to the Yosemite Lodge.

Parking in Yosemite Valley and hiking up to Glacier Point: Try trailhead parking lot, which is in the southeast end of the valley on Southside Drive past Curry Village and just the past the turnoff to the Upper Pines campground. There's a sign here indicating that the road is for service vehicles only, but you can drive on it as far as the trailhead parking lot. Unless you are planning on hiking back down - make plans to be picked up at Glacier Point either by someone, car shuttle or by the DNC shuttle ( make reservations).
page created by desertgirl on Jun 21 2011 12:24 pm
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