The Mist Trail is Yosemite National Park's Signature hike.
It is best traversed in the spring, from the waterfalls are thundering.
At a three mile roundrip (and a 1,000-foot elevation gain), the hike to the lower of two large waterfalls, Vernal Falls, is moderately strenuous.
All of the first half of this hike is paved.
Begin the hike near Curry Village.
It's great scenery and at times, a wilderness feeling, along this sometimes crowded trail.
Shoes with good traction are a must here, as water does mist over the path in the section just below Vernal Falls.
Some take an umbrella, or a raincoat.
Others just strive to protect their camera.
The trail narrows to one-day travel during the final approach to the Vernal Falls summit. From there, its cement and rock and a railing for a lookover. This is a great place for a picnic.
--If you continue on, it is another 2 miles to the top of Nevada Falls,plus another 900 feet in elevation. The second falls isn't as stunning as the first, but the crowds thin out on the later section.
Those who hike the backside of Half Dome also use this trail in the summer, when the cables are up.