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Nevada Fall is a 594-foot (181 m) high waterfall on Merced River in Yosemite National Park, California. It is located below the granite dome, Liberty Cap, at the west end of Little Yosemite Valley.

The Emerald Pool forms on the "step" between Nevada Fall and Vernal Fall downstream. The 317-foot (97 m) high Vernal Fall is a short hike from the bottom of Nevada Fall. They form a cascade in which Merced River flows down to Yosemite Valley.

This cascade is sometimes called the giant staircase, which is evident when viewed from above, at Glacier Point.

The hike to the top of Nevada Fall, along the Mist Trail, is 3.4 miles (5.5 km) from the trailhead in Yosemite Valley. One must first hike to Vernal Fall and then trek another 2 miles (3.2 km) to reach the top. Due to the extra hiking milage and difficulty, Nevada Fall is not as popular as Vernal Fall. Many hikers will stop at Vernal Fall and not make the extra effort to go to the top of Nevada Fall. The trail after Vernal Fall is shaded and progressive the first half until you reach the base of Nevada Fall where you climb for about 20 minutes with the sun glaring on you the entire time. This second half can be dangerous, especially on the way down. Your knees will take a beating, especially by the time you've made your way all the way down from Nevada and Vernal falls. Much like Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall has a nice area atop the waterfall for relaxing and dipping in the water, though many people consider "dipping in the water" just meters from a 600 foot waterfall to be rather foolish. In fact, multiple deaths have occurred from people blatantly ignoring the obtrusive signage that express the dangers of entering water above a waterfall. The pool is quite limited; and if one ventures out too far out in the water, he or she could get caught in the current. You will find it crowded only because the area for water access is much smaller than the Vernal Fall pool.

September 2008

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