I hiked up to Vernal Fall and then Nevada Falls using the Mist Trail going up and the John Muir trail coming back. This makes for a 7 mile loop trail. I recommend doing it this way and not the other way around. You can, of course, go up and back using the Mist Trail, and if you do it is only 6 miles, but I wouldn't want to navigate the rocks going downhill on the Mist Trail. I'm 60 and completed the loop in about 5.5 hours, including time to have lunch at the top. It is an extremely beautiful hike.
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