The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from March until October. :-). The hardest thing to contend with on the Clouds Rest hike is the altitude (yep you read that correctly!). Clouds Rest is a towering summit ridge that looks down on Half Dome and the spectacular Yosemite Valley. It isn’t Everest and you can overcome this once you get used to it, but it is probably the main reason why most people believe this is a really hard hike (if it wasn’t for the altitude it would probably be on the moderate side). (Days 3-6): Mostly dry. The path will keep going downhill and then undulate (much more gently than the first climb) before you reach a lake. save. This is the first really great view from the trail and a good place to stop for a break if you need to. We loved this hike and the chance to explore a completely different part of Yosemite away from the valley floor. Clouds Rest Trail via Tenaya Lake is a 13 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. – Troy S. The ridge is wide, has a lot of grip and is actually the kind of section of trail we love! Eventually you leave most of the tress behind and hit the granite. Otherwise it will cost $35 for entry with a car, $30 for a motorbike or $20 per person on foot or bike for 7 days. Clouds Rest hike Clouds Rest hike stats. You can check them out REI or Amazon. You walk so high and have 360 views of one of the most beautiful parts of the United States. Imagine virgin Sierra Nevada granite, uplifted from its deep burial place by compressional tectonic forces, canyons eroded rapidly by generous spring runoff, and finally, the odd glacier to smooth the slope. Sign up below to receive stories and tips from Walk My World. Clouds Rest is a mountain in Yosemite National Park east northeast of Yosemite Village, California. We summited Cloud ‘s Rest in about 3.5 hours and several stops along the way to rest and take in the views. We’ve both used these for over three years and they just keep going. Clouds Rest Trail from Yosemite Valley is a 20.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. We used to talk about travelling the world together, and in 2012 we finally made that happen. The trail is in the forest but it’s not dense so you get some views as you follow several switchbacks across very rocky terrain. Second it’s very long and thirdly it’s very steep - especially at the start of the trail. Reusable water bottle: To avoid single-use plastic. Sunrise Mountain can be seen prominently to the east. In order to reach Clouds Rest, you will either have to hike 7 miles from the Tioga Pass Road or attempt the 9-mile trail from Happy Isles in Little Yosemite Valley. We got less breathless from this point on which was a welcome relief! Having the right gear can make a huge difference, especially when hiking to Clouds Rest. This will be your first dose of the thin air and we really struggled! Depending on the Seirra snowpack, snow and Ice will still remain along some parts of the trail. Once you get to the summit of the Clouds Rest hike, you fully understand the name. We were actually quite impressed with our pace although we certainly weren’t trying to rush the hike. The Clouds Rest Trail winds its way through wildflower-covered meadows, forests and rocks before it starts the steep switchbacking (at times stair step) climb. Was so ready to abort the mission when the alarm went off later on in the morning, but somehow did it. This stretch of trail has a lot of intricate old tail work (steps, etc.) Heading towards Clouds Rest will take you down about 300 feet. It’s not awful but it is tiring after all you’ve already done! Check for sunscreen on Amazon or REI, Day Pack: Osprey Talon 22 (we’ve owned this for years). People die on this hike. Along the way you will get 360 degree views of never ending granite, hike through high elevation forests, and cool off as you pass the Merced River on the Mist Trail. You’ll have a slight downhill and then just over a mile of flat walking before the steep ascent begins. It’s a windy road though so it will probably take at least 1 hour 15 to get to. After the adventures of the ascent, the return is a relatively mundane affair, but pretty lengthy at over six miles! The plan was to hike about 6.5 miles to the Clouds Rest Junction, camp there for the night and climb Half Dome early next morning. We took just under 6 hours to both the walk to the lookout and back, but you may want to add in more time. Those photos look awesome, but given that I don't have a a lot of experience hiking in snow, it is more snow than I'd be comfortable walking through near the Clouds Rest summit :) I will call up the rangers to ask about current conditions and suggested gear. Luckily we realised our mistake quickly, when people are talking about the easier route on the left they just mean to the left side of the ridge, not left at the start of the ridge. The trail starts at 8,150ft, which may not seem so high at first, but it really kicks in when you start climbing. The trail descriptions mention a 1,000 foot elevation increase during the second mile and from there on it gets easier. There’s nothing technical or scary about Clouds Rest, so you will definitely have the gratification of making it to the summit. While it is possible to hike from Yosemite Valley up to the summit of Clouds Rest, the strenuousness of the 16-mile round trip with 6000' of elevation gain will discourage all but the strongest hikers. We did this in September and snow had began to settle already, so having gear for cold conditions is highly recommended. This is not a hike for folks looking for a leisurely stroll! Unauthorized public or commercial use of any of the images or text on this website without explicit permission is strictly forbidden. Having hiked both Clouds Rest and Half Dome (although we couldn’t get all the way up the cables after finding it too scary! Updates in: hr min s. Update imminent Choose Forecast Elevation: Elevation: 3025 m; 2500 m; 1500 m : Clouds Rest Weather (Days 0-3): Mostly dry. You will feel the strain on the trail is rewarded at the end. The ridge formed when glacier eroded either side of the rock faces. The hike from Sunrise Trailhead to Clouds Rest makes for a strenuous yet rewarding day in some classic Yosemite wilderness scenery. Once you reach the saddle it’s steeply downhill across a rocky path which can be a little slippery on the way down and fairly tough on the knees. This is an awesome hike. Clouds Rest is at a higher elevation, so we felt more breathless at first, but otherwise it is significantly shorter and easier than Half Dome. Any tips? Cloud's Rest is just about my favorite Yosemite hike. It won’t take you more than 5 min to get along the spine and reach the very top. It is more varied, with more to see for most of the hike. Check out on REI or Amazon, This post may contain affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, that we will earn a small commission if you click through and decide to make a purchase. Detailed Description: The trailhead for Clouds Rest is at Sunshine at Tenaya Lake. Length 20.5 miElevation gain 6302 ftRoute type Out & back Have you done both and have an opinion on which is better? Few peak-bagging efforts begin with a photographing frenzy, but this 6-mile hike to Clouds Rest starts right off with can't miss photo-ops. ), we can tell you that - contrary to what most people say - we think the Half Dome hike is actually more impressive. The lake is about the midway point of the hike, and offers a little more flat ground before it is uphill all the way to the top! From the parking lot, follow the trail south and cross Tenaya Creek. The main advantage of Clouds Rest is its proximity to the valley and great 360-degree views of the park. They said to take our time, think it through and take the path to the left. Firstly the trail is one of the highest in Yosemite, making those uphill climbs even harder! At the saddle and junction with the trail to Sunrise High Sierra Camp, continue south as the trail starts its descent into a forested meadow. We started from the Tenaya Lake trailhead and had no problem finding a parking place early morning. Sunrise Trailhead: 8151' Clouds Rest summit: 9931' Seasons: The earlier the time of year, the more snowpack there will be along the trail. The road is closed due to snow for part of the year making hiking from Tenaya Lake impossible, we have more details in this post on visiting Yosemite in fall. The remaining 40 percent are available on a first-come, first-served basis no earlier than 11 am the day before your hike begins as long as permits are available. The Clouds Rest hike is one of the hardest in Yosemite for a few reasons. Second it’s very long and thirdly it’s very steep - especially at the start of the trail. Miles: 12.5 miles round trip; Trip length: 10-12 hours; Difficulty: Strenuous; Altitude: 9,926 feet. This is nice when you are going this direction but tough when you are heading back after summiting. although much of it has crumbled over time. If you make it the whole way the satisfaction will be on another level. Please make sure you’ve fully prepared for this hike and are doing it under the right conditions. Most emails are boring, ours aren’t! Behold: an endless mid-angle slab climb of truly epic proportions! The final half-mile stretch to the summit is simply spectacular as you ascend a narrow ridgeline of granite slabs with tall drops on both sides. Although there are many peaks in the park having far greater elevation, Clouds Rest's proximity to the valley gives it a very high degree of visual prominence. I am afraid of heights. A word of caution on the path to the left, initially we thought they meant the actual trail to the left by the start of the rocky ridge but this takes you back down to Yosemite Valley! Luckily this is the hardest section of the whole trail so you know when’ve you’ve got up this bit you can make it the whole way. After the lake, you head back into the forest and uphill again. With Half Dome you may or you may not get to the summit, as around 30% of people hiking on our day didn’t get up the cables due to fear of slipping on the smooth granite (and the fact a woman had tragically fallen to her death two weeks before which had everyone rattled). Share. You can summit Cloud’s Rest on a day hike but it’s most spectacular as an overnighter, which we did after backpacking in from Sunrise Lakes. After a stiff climb you’ll reach the top of the hump and start descending. The final push up the narrow and exposed ridgeline is a thrilling experience. I did that hike (Little Yosemite Valley Camp to Clouds Rest) in a day (and continued on to a backcountry campsite off the ridge), but it was a helluva pull, to the point that I spent much of the next morning evacuating the altitude adjustment out my arse. From Clouds Rest's airy and cozy summit, the most undeniable natural feature is the Northwest Face, a stunning 5000-foot drop into Tenaya Canyon. Our first hike of the trip was a 15 mile roundtrip trek to Clouds Rest. This was one of the few hikes in Yosemite where we really felt the altitude. The Sunrise Trailhead is located along Tioga Road, roughly 1.4 miles east of Olmsted Point at the south end of Tenaya Lake. It's the worthwhile destination of this hike, but the entire day is spectacular. If you plan to take on one of Yosemite’s big hikes, chances are you have Half Dome or Clouds Rest on your list. At about 2.5 miles, you'll reach an intersection with the Sunrise Lakes Trail that heads off to the east. The ridgeline at the very top of Clouds Rest is very narrow and … With an elevation over 1000 higher than Half Dome and massive bare walls that slope thousands of feet down into Tenaya Canyon, Clouds Rest is an impressive peak that can be seen from all over the park, including Tunnel View and Olmsted Point. The lake which marks roughly half way on the Clouds Rest hike. Hop on the Sunrise Trail for a flat, 1.6-mile warm-up to the glittering azure of Sunrise Lakes. NOTE: There is an old alternate trail that wanders around the east side of Clouds Rest avoiding the actual summit, although it may be a bit washed out and hard to follow in parts. The truth is that the ridge here is breathtaking. 1 1 11. comments. Read next: The North Dome hike - a quiet gem in Yosemite. If the hike does not deter you, you will be rewarded with epic views on a knife-edge ridge of rock known as an arête. Clouds Rest hike - the view from the summit, Distance: 12.7 miles (20.5km)Elevation: 4860ft (920m)Time taken: 5 hours 45Type of trail: out and back. Check out REI or Amazon. Hiking Time: 4-6 hours; Location: Tioga Road, at the Porcupine Creek trailhead lot; Best hiked in late summer or early fall, this trail gives you one-of-a-kind views of Half Dome and Clouds Rest. The air is thinner here than the valley floor, so you feel breathless a lot more. The first 1.5 miles of the hike are pleasant and mostly level as the trail wanders south through the forested landscape of rolling granite formations. share. We did choose the path to the left on the way there as that was what we were advised but on the way back we went straight down the middle and it wasn’t difficult at all. Despite not making it to the very top we were still pretty happy to have had the opportunity to get even part way up. Starting in Yosemite's High Country, this trail will take you to the top of Clouds Rest (10,000ft) and to the top of Half Dome (9,000ft). There are bear lockers available so that any scented items can be left outside the car. All Rights Reserved. The first mile is the toughest but you can take your time with plenty of rocks to sit on for a break. Early on in the hike, there are some watery obstacles. The Clouds Rest summit offers outstanding views, looking down on Half Dome - a place which is over 8839ft tall, Clouds Rest is over 1000ft taller It’s the perfect place to have lunch and explore. Extra parking can be found along the sides of the road but look out for any "no parking here" signs. How hard is the clouds rest hike? That’s the reason why it’s one of the most popular hikes in the park - the stellar views that make you feel like you’re towering above giants like Half Dome and El Capitan. Once at the summit, you can get a wonderful 360-degree view all around Yosemite. If you do not have the Half Dome permit but you still want to witness the great views and in fact look down upon the Half Dome , Clouds Rest hike (from Yosemite Valley) is THE hike for you. We can understand why those with serious vertigo would want to avoid it (the drops are HUGE), but the majority will find it a section to be careful on, but not fear. 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