Three thousand people a day visit the Mist Trail, which offers views of two majestic waterfalls and is said to be the most popular hiking trail in the country. Yosemite National Park.
fog trail will now receive a $5 million upgrade.
“We are thrilled,” said Frank Dean, president of the Yosemite Reserve and a former ranger at Yosemite.
The nonprofit Yosemite Conservancy, which raises funds to preserve and upgrade the park, has announced that it will donate 17 million dollars to Yosemite This year, with most of the money going to about 50 projects that will restore trails, support historical and scientific research, and protect wildlife.
A total of $500,000 from this year’s donation will go toward the design and planning of an upgrade to the Mist Trail, a roughly seven-mile hike that can take visitors to famous vistas of the city. Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls from Yosemite Valley.
The trail begins with an easy, paved starting point that takes hikers to views of Vernal and Nevada Falls, close enough to have a mist. Those who climb to the top of Nevada Falls can also continue the trek and hike to the iconic site Half dome.
“It’s the busiest street in Yosemite,” Dean said.
The Yosemite Conservation Authority is working with the National Park Service to identify possible upgrades to the park, and the Fog Trail is looking into possible changes, including moving parts of the park. beginning of the trail to the Happy Isles Nature Center. There are also plans to upgrade at the Vernal Fall footbridge area, about a mile from the trailhead and one of the trail’s easiest points.
“It’s been a turning point for a lot of people, so creating more accommodation for people is very important,” Dean said.
Amenities could include more railings and walls, as well as better signage, to better prepare visitors for the trail.
Although considered one of the park’s “gentle” trails, the Mist Trail’s first mile of paved trails can give some visitors a false sense of preparation for a hike. difficult trip.
“The way up, the harder it gets,” said Dean, “so more preparation is needed for what lies ahead.”
On some summer days, more than 4,000 people visit the Mist Trail, where rangers and emergency personnel may be required to conduct rescues or tend to sprain their ankles.
Taking in the Vernal and Nevada waterfalls and winding along the Merced River, the trail, as its name suggests, offers some slippery steps along the way.
The plan calls for more signage, bathroom improvements at Vernal Fall and construction of steep granite steps along the Vernal Fall footbridge, adding temporary steps, handrails and stone walls.
Dean said the full cost of the improvement is expected to amount to about $5 million and be completed by 2025 or early 2026. That amount has yet to be raised, but Dean said the organization is confident the Foundation Yosemite Conservation will continue to receive the support they have had over the past 100 years to enhance the visitor experience at Yosemite.
The Yosemite Conservation Foundation has donated more than $152 million during its 100-year partnership with the national park and funded about 800 projects since 1923, according to the organization.