Hike the Giant Staircase Loop

Yosemite Happy Isles Trail Head

Added by The Outbound Collective

Challenging hike to two unbelievable Yosemite waterfalls--expect mist and rainbows. 

The Giant Staircase loop begins at Happy Isles Trailhead and begins with the Vernal Falls hike. At the top of Vernal Falls, continue on the Mist Trail and enjoy switchbacks up to Nevada Falls. At the top the Mist Trail ends at a junction with the John Muir Trail. Nevada falls marks the second of the steps in the Giant Staircase. Stop and enjoy the view and the snacks you (hopefully) brought along with you. 

The John Muir Trail will take you back to where you started the hike. 

Photos: Matt Lingard, L. Braughler, Miguel Palhinha

Pack List

  • Sturdy/grippy shoes
  • Rain jacket
  • Sun protection
  • Layers
  • Water
  • Snacks/lunch
  • Camera
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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



6.3 Miles



Easy Parking
Food Nearby

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How to Get There

2 months ago

Endless Steps

It's a great hike but it's a lot of steps especially with a 40 pound backpack. But the it gives a great view of the waterfall.

2 months ago

Added by The Outbound Collective

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