View of Vernal and Nevada Falls from Washburn Point

Vernal & Nevada Falls from Washburn Point

If you'd like to behold the waterfalls of the Mist Trail without all that inconvenient hiking or the titular mist, take your binoculars up to Glacier Point, where the falls are visible from near the trailhead, or to Washburn Point, just up the road from Glacier Point. If it's spring runoff, as it was on the evening pictured above, with the Merced River flowing at around 3,500 cubic feet per second,[1] you may also get to see a few unscripted seasonal falls that aren't visible at all from the Mist Trail.

Just to provide some sense of scale here, Vernal Fall, the waterfall visible near the bottom of the photo, is 317 feet (97 meters) high; Nevada Fall, the upper fall, is 594 feet (181 meters) high; and Half Dome, at left, tops out about 4,800 feet (1,460 meters, 15 Vernal Falls, or 8 Nevada Falls) above the valley floor. If you're viewing this from a desktop computer or other not-so-small screen, click on the photo to pop up a larger version of it; otherwise, click here to see one.