Hiking News

Yosemite Mist Trail closure requires hikers to detour

A stretch of the Mist Trail will be closed most days for more than two months, requiring hikers to take a longer route to some of Yosemite National Park’s most popular destinations.

The closure for maintenance and repairs affects the half-mile of the Mist Trail along the Merced River from just above the Vernal Fall footbridge to the Silver Apron area, above the top of the waterfall.

From Monday, Aug. 29, to Sept. 23, the stretch will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. From Sept. 26 to Nov. 4, it will be closed the same hours Monday through Friday. In addition, park officials said, it may sometimes be closed overnight without advance notice.

The detour, which is a mile longer, follows the John Muir Trail to Clark Point — an elevation gain of 1,000 feet from the footbridge — and then takes a connector to rejoin with the Mist Trail at Silver Apron. After 6:30 a.m., hikers will need to take this alternative route to go from Happy Isles Trailhead in Yosemite Valley to the top of Vernal Fall, a distance of 2.6 miles.

Those with further destinations — Nevada Fall, Little Yosemite Valley, Cloud’s Rest and Half Dome — can also opt to continue on the John Muir Trail past Clark Point. It will bring them to the Merced River above Nevada Fall.

Because of the possibility the Mist Trail will remain closed some days after 4 p.m., all hikers and backpackers returning to Happy Isles are encouraged to take the John Muir Trail from the junction at the Nevada Fall outhouse. That route will eliminate having to climb 300 feet from Silver Apron to Clark Point.

Vernal Fall
Hikers on the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall in Yosemite, 2011. (AP Photo/GosiaWozniacka) 

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