With its 317-foot plunge over a granite cliff, Vernal Fall is not one of the tallest waterfalls in Yosemite, but it is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the park. The relentless spray that comes off the fall gives the Mist Trail its name. The Merced River, which runs year-round, provides a rushing torrent of thunderous water cascading over the fall. Many of Yosemite's waterfalls dry up in late summer, but not Vernal Fall. The waterfall has a very wide curtain of water that leaps over the cliff edge in spring and early summer. Although the fall diminishes by late summer, the sight remains impressive, unlike most waterfalls. Also, Vernal Fall is one of the few falls you can hike alongside of because the Mist Trail ascends the cliff adjacent to the fall.