Check them out on REI or Amazon. Started from the sunrise trailhead in CA-120 at 6:30 am and hiked up to cloud's rest. 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. You can check them out REI or Amazon. More. Time of year open to the public: May be inaccessible in the winter The hike from Sunrise Trailhead to Clouds Rest makes for a strenuous yet rewarding day in some classic Yosemite wilderness scenery. 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). The trailhead for Clouds Rest is at Sunshine at Tenaya Lake. The trick is not to look down and take the left side. Sign up below to receive stories and tips from Walk My World. 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. share. The hardest part at the summit is making the effort and deciding it’s probably time to make the long hike back! If you don't mind the exposure, hiking along the summit ridgeline is an absolutely stunning experience. although much of it has crumbled over time. This helps towards the costs of running our website. 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. The final push up the narrow and exposed ridgeline is a thrilling experience. Trekking poles: We’ve used Black Diamond for years as they are light, solid and durable. View, Sunrise Trailhead off of Tioga Road, just south of Tenaya Lake, 7-10 hours to summit of Clouds Rest and back. People die on this hike. The trail descriptions mention a 1,000 foot elevation increase during the second mile and from there on it gets easier. 1 1 11. comments. Read next: The Lembert Dome hike - for the best views of the Tuolomne Meadows. (Days 3-6): Mostly dry. 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! 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. It made us out of breath and pretty lethargic. Admiring Half Dome from the Clouds Rest summit. Soon enough we have our first big push of the hike as the trail ascends roughly 1000 feet to gain the ridgeline east of Tenaya Canyon. We got less breathless from this point on which was a welcome relief! But anyway I digress. 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. On the way back, take the 0.3-mile detour to Indian Arch. For the excitement factor, Half Dome wins in the sense that it has the cables and - love them or hate them - they certainly get everyone’s heartbeat going. It’s pretty wide. ), The 23 best things to do in Banff for an unforgettable trip, Sentinel Dome Trail - Yosemite's best kept secret, The Lembert Dome hike - one of the best trails in the Tuolomne Meadows, The El Capitan Hike - how to walk to the top of Yosemite's icon, 14 Things No One Tells You About the Half Dome Hike, Upper Yosemite Falls hike - a stair master with epic views, 14 Things no one tells you about camping in Yosemite, The dream two day Yosemite itinerary for hikers, One day in Yosemite - the perfect itinerary and tips, 15 Yosemite photography spots to get the best views in the park, The North Dome hike - epic views on one of Yosemite's quietest trails, 16 Big mistakes to avoid in Yosemite National Park. 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. Scott was extremely knowledgeable about the park and was able to provide great stories about past hikes, history of the park, and great general commentary. This may feel like a welcome break, but it’s a debt you’ll have to pay on the way back! 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). Second it’s very long and thirdly it’s very steep - especially at the start of the trail. © 2020 - Walk My World. However, it’s definitely no walk in the park, you have to work for those views but it is definitely worth it and a must for your Yosemite itinerary. Early on in the hike, there are some watery obstacles. The Cactus to Clouds hike should only be attempted by the very experienced and very fit hiker, and only under the right conditions. After that it steepens again - but never close to the first climb - and you’ll see the trees begin to thin out and realise that you’re not so far away from the top now! Distance: 14.5 miles (23.3 km) round trip Trailhead Elevation: 8,150 feet (2,450 meters) Elevation Gain: 1,775 feet (540 meters) We hiked up Half Dome in 2006 and I kept looking over at Cloud's Rest. Then, let the climbing begin. 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. To be closer you could camp at Tuolomne Meadows, here’s our guide to camping in Yosemite to help you with booking. Second it’s very long and thirdly it’s very steep - especially at the start of the trail. Would you take on the altitude on the Cloud Rest hike? It is more varied, with more to see for most of the hike. The trailhead is just under 50 miles from Yosemite Valley, along the Tioga Pass Road. The lake which marks roughly half way on the Clouds Rest hike. There’s nothing technical or scary about Clouds Rest, so you will definitely have the gratification of making it to the summit. This is nice when you are going this direction but tough when you are heading back after summiting. 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). 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. This is an awesome hike. You can use the America the Beautiful Annual National Parks Pass to get into Yosemite (US80 per annum). 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. It’s a windy road though so it will probably take at least 1 hour 15 to get to. 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. Our campsite was just a short walk away from Clouds Rest After setting up camp, we hiked about 5 minutes back out to Clouds Rest to enjoy the sunset and a little bit of whiskey. Once you get to the summit of the Clouds Rest hike, you fully understand the name. VIEW THE PHOTOGRAPHS! This was one of the few hikes in Yosemite where we really felt the altitude. 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. The hardest thing to contend with on the Clouds Rest hike is the altitude (yep you read that correctly!). However, Half Dome needs a permit which has to be obtained via a lottery. The path will keep going downhill and then undulate (much more gently than the first climb) before you reach a lake. Video and Turn by Turn Directions for the Clouds Rest Hike; Parking and Trailhead for Clouds Rest; Gear Recommendations and What to Expect on the Hike; Clouds Rest Trail Maps; Total Distance: 12.5 miles (20.1 km) Hike Time: 6-8 Hours (Total) Difficulty : Hard: Total Ascent : 3,260 feet (994m) Highest Elevation: 9,926 feet (3025m) Fees & Permits: Park Entry Fee You have probably seen a video like this: and are worried about your acrophobia kicking in on top of the ridge. After buying a one way ticket to Istanbul we spent a year making our way through Asia before arriving in Australia, where we have been living ever since. If you plan to take on one of Yosemite’s big hikes, chances are you have Half Dome or Clouds Rest on your list. Get an early start and drive the Tioga Road to the Sunrise Lakes Trailhead in the dark, trying to arrive before sunrise. This stretch of trail has a lot of intricate old tail work (steps, etc.) This is not a hike for folks looking for a leisurely stroll! 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. Let us know in the comments below! They said to take our time, think it through and take the path to the left. Check for sunscreen on Amazon or REI, Day Pack: Osprey Talon 22 (we’ve owned this for years). Firstly the trail is one of the highest in Yosemite, making those uphill climbs even harder! How hard is the clouds rest hike? We took just under 6 hours to both the walk to the lookout and back, but you may want to add in more time. 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. Thinking about doing this hike around August 3rd! Clouds Rest has a thin peak formed as the result of erosion with the height of 9,926 feet (3,025 m). Reached cloud's rest by 10 am. We were preparing for a scramble and a death defying traverse! 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. Close. 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. We did do this hike last year so I've experienced that mileage/elevation gain, but there was no snow at the time. It's the worthwhile destination of this hike, but the entire day is spectacular. 1. Just south of the high point are several nice spots to relax and take in the view with the profile of Half Dome and the Subdome standing prominently in the distance. Clouds Rest is a towering summit ridge that looks down on Half Dome and the spectacular Yosemite Valley. The car park here is pretty small and you will inevitably have to park on the road unless you arrive early. We’d love to hear it! 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. Miles: 12.5 miles round trip; Trip length: 10-12 hours; Difficulty: Strenuous; Altitude: 9,926 feet. However, thankfully it was nothing like that! It is truly one of the best views in the whole of Yosemite (which is a competitive field!). Sunrise Mountain can be seen prominently to the east. Once the rocky descent is done the last mile or so is flat and easy to the car park at Tenaya Lake. You’ll have a slight downhill and then just over a mile of flat walking before the steep ascent begins. 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. It was beginning to sound like the Half Dome Cables and more than a little intimidating. This is the first really great view from the trail and a good place to stop for a break if you need to. Enjoy the views of Half Dome and the Valley from the top of Cloud’s Rest before heading back down. Geography. Roughly 2000-feet of elevation gain in two separate pushes with a 400-ft descent in between. In terms of difficulty, Half Dome is much harder and chances are if you start the Clouds Rest hike you will finish it. It isn’t as relentlessly steep as the start and feels a lot easier for the next mile. Of course we’d always say do both if you can : ). Give yourself time and have plenty of breaks to catch your breath. As the National Parks Pass is $80 for the year, it is well worth it if you plan on visiting more than three national parks in a year. Behold: an endless mid-angle slab climb of truly epic proportions! Cloud's Rest is just about my favorite Yosemite hike. – Troy S. Reusable water bottle: To avoid single-use plastic. Extra parking can be found along the sides of the road but look out for any "no parking here" signs. Length 20.5 miElevation gain 6302 ftRoute type Out & back Spent an hour there. We begin our trek along the shores of beautiful Tenaya Lake at an already high elevation of 8149 feet. After a stiff climb you’ll reach the top of the hump and start descending. Despite not making it to the very top we were still pretty happy to have had the opportunity to get even part way up. We hiked in fall and didn’t have to cross the river (which had obviously dried up but I’d read sometimes the water can be calf height). The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from March until October. The ridge is wide, has a lot of grip and is actually the kind of section of trail we love! The earlier the time of year, the more snowpack there will be along the trail. It was doable and boy was that view worth it! Edit: Accomplished the hike! 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. 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. The next year we went back, and hiked up Cloud's Rest from the trailhead at the west end of Tenaya Lake.The top is really fun---s sort of easy scramble on big pillow-sized boulders. When you flatten out, you will be on rolling ups and downs for the next mile and a half. Any tips? Clouds Rest hike of the Yosemite National Park is not as popular as the other hikes like the Half Dome. Be wary of the 1,000 ft drops on either side as you make your way across. Depending on the Seirra snowpack, snow and Ice will still remain along some parts of the trail. Sunrise Trailhead: 8151' Clouds Rest summit: 9931' Seasons: Clouds Rest is a mountain located in Yosemite National Park, northeast of Yosemite Village. If you are reading this page, chances are you are going to hike Clouds Rest and you have fear of heights. The ridge is unlike anywhere in the park and the views from Clouds Rest are one of the best in Yosemite. 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. Despite an elevation change of 2,700 feet, the biggest challenge on the hike was the extra weight in water we had to carry. The one thing that was slightly tricky was the snow and ice in patches but these were fairly easily avoided. Having the right gear can make a huge difference, especially when hiking to Clouds Rest. 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. Check on Amazon, REI or direct with Osprey, Hiking Boots: Merrell Moab (for men and women). Was so ready to abort the mission when the alarm went off later on in the morning, but somehow did it. Detailed Description: We’ve both used these for over three years and they just keep going. Late spring through early fall is the best time of year to hike to the peak of Clouds Rest. We're Cat and Joe, two travel fanatics from the U.K. We both caught the travel bug on solo trips in 2003 and have been hopelessly addicted ever since. 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! 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. The ridge at Clouds Rest was all that people were talking about on the trail! (While the exposure might not be considered perilous, it can definitely be intimidating to those with a fear of heights. Otherwise it's a mostly downhill return hike to Sunrise Trailhead. Then the soul destroying climb begins. We were actually quite impressed with our pace although we certainly weren’t trying to rush the hike. Starting at Sunrise car park by Tenaya Lake, the trail heads straight into the forest before coming to a riverbed. The trail starts at 8,150' and the summits "only" top out at 9,926' (Clouds Rest) and 8,839' (Half Dome), but twice you'll fall to below 7,000' on the JMT between the peaks. 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. 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. In late summer it’s easy to skip across the meager trickle of water, but during wet peri… The main advantage of Clouds Rest is its proximity to the valley and great 360-degree views of the park. At about 2.5 miles, you'll reach an intersection with the Sunrise Lakes Trail that heads off to the east. 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. As you reach the south side of the meadow, the trail begins another 1000-foot ascent and after the next junction, the trail turns west to head for the Clouds Rest ridgeline. So I took the shuttle to Happy Isles , where the JMT trail head is, filled up my Platypus, applied sunscreen and started the long adventure. Of each daily quota for a trailhead, 60 percent can be reserved ahead of time. From the parking lot, follow the trail south and cross Tenaya Creek. Share. I am afraid of heights. So overall, we’d say if you’re looking for adventure and a scenic track, and don’t mind the less beautiful summit, go for Half Dome. However, the hard work is worth it. The small parking lot on the south side of the road is well-marked but is almost always full. It’s not awful but it is tiring after all you’ve already done! If you make it the whole way the satisfaction will be on another level. You walk so high and have 360 views of one of the most beautiful parts of the United States. Heading towards Clouds Rest will take you down about 300 feet. Marcus and I took on the hard way of hiking Clouds rest in our attempt to get to the top. Posted by 3 years ago. This guide gives you all the info you need to do this incredible hike safely. This will be your first dose of the thin air and we really struggled! The first mile is the toughest but you can take your time with plenty of rocks to sit on for a break. Our first hike of the trip was a 15 mile roundtrip trek to Clouds Rest. Read next: The North Dome hike - a quiet gem in Yosemite. Freeze-thaw conditions (max 5°C on Sun morning, min -3°C on Mon night). A hike in from Tioga Road to the north makes for a more reasonable day hike through some beautiful wilderness scenery. We summited Cloud ‘s Rest in about 3.5 hours and several stops along the way to rest and take in the views. Check them out on REI or Amazon, Icebreaker Base Layer: What we always wear in the winter and makes a huge difference for keeping warm. hide. 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