Where: Tuolumne Meadows Campground (orientation), Sunrise Trailhead to Clouds Rest and Yosemite Valley (backpack). MyOpenCountry is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. We have a few items we think are extra important to bring with you to Cloud’s Rest. Walk Up Permits/Clouds Rest. It’s really a beautiful hike. Clouds Rest is a mountain in Yosemite National Park east northeast of Yosemite Village, California. Activities: Photography, hiking to summit of Half Dome or Clouds Rest, fishing Half Dome Permits. Permits: Required for all overnight backpacking trips. Spread out over more than five miles, this isn’t so bad, right? Most of the shuttles are located around the visitors center of the park. If you experience fear, just go a few steps at a time, pause, look ahead for the trail, and continue. But rather than fight through throngs of people visiting Half Dome and the views of Horsetail Falls, get your feet a’movin’ and challenge yourself to Cloud’s Rest. read more about your privacy and HikingGuy.com here. The trailhead sits at 8,150 feet, and the peak scrapes the sky at 9,926 feet. After learning that we were too late this year to get a permit to hike up Half Dome in California's Yosemite National Park, Zosia Zgolak and I opted instead to hike up nearby Clouds Rest on 10 October 2017. The "younger" brother of the world famous Half Dome, Clouds Rest is in fact a solid 1,000 feet taller despite receiving significantly less attention. Early on in the hike, there are some watery obstacles. Do not apply for a separate day hikers' permit. When you’re heading into a place like Yosemite, you need to have a plan, even if it’s just for avoiding the worst of the crowds and traffic. Clouds Rest is a great hike if you are unable to secure a permit for Half Dome or if you are looking for a longer trail with more elevation gain. (This is a temporary change in 2020.) After the the climb down, if time permits, enjoy a small victory break on the shores of Tenaya Lake to take in the beauty one last time before leaving. I used my plastic spork to cut the salami and it worked well enough. This hike is an all-day adventure for most people, so read on for more planning and logistic details for this epic Yosemite hiking trail. Near the peak, there is a vertigo-inducing section of trail that demands focus and caution. National Geographic has an, GoPro recording of the Cloud’s Rest ascent, PDF version is of Yosemite’s trail system, Fewer crowds means more moments of solitude, Incredible 360° view of Yosemite National Park, Off the beaten path makes it more difficult to access. Hikers enjoy (or suffer through) 1,775 feet of elevation gain in a location where weather turns faster than a chihuahua chasing its tail. Early on in the hike, there are some watery obstacles. A wilderness permit is not required for day hikes (unless hiking to Half Dome) or for staying in lodging facilities and frontcountry campgrounds. Wilderness Permit Reservations Wilderness permit reservations are available (and strongly recommended) up to 24 weeks (168 days) in advance, and up until nine before your hike. For this reason alone, Clouds Rest should join your permit application lineup. I encourage you to watch the 360 video (link below) so you can look down and get an idea of what it’s like. Not only is it highly functional, but it also looks pretty damn good too. Cloud’s Rest earned its name from the Mariposa Battalion, a mid-19th century California militia. All Rights Reserved, Sunrise Lakes Trailhead, Tioga Pass Rd, Lee Vining, CA 93541, People have been evacuated on this hike because of altitude sickness, my guide to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, hiking tricks and tips that I’ve learned over the years, what hiking gear works and what gear doesn’t, Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Hikes, please erase and block them using your web browser. The trails passes through meadows and forests, but expect to tackle very rocky, ankle-snapping sections of trail. The Little Yosemite Valley backpackers campground is located to the west of Cloud’s Rest and offers a different approach to the peak (read about this below in Best Routes). It isn’t a bad idea to bring an extra pair of shoes for that first section near Tenaya Lake (I’d suggest Crocs or something lightweight and easy to carry). Clouds Rest sits just shy of 10,000 feet and offers incredible 360 views of Yosemite park and it’s more well-known brother making it a worthy 6-mile hike. 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. more less ; See more on Google » Plan your trip to Yosemite National Park. Clouds Rest Pros. West-facing views offer gorgeously unobstructed lines of sight to Half Dome and throughout the valley floor. October 9, 2020. All the maps and trail guides talk about Half Dome. Climbing along evergreen stands, isolated, alpine lakes and the eroding curvature of Tenaya Canyon, you may begin to feel you're the only person left in the world. The peak is south-centrally located in the park. Seriously, a fall off of this would result in a pile of broken bones and worse at the bottom. Half Dome Pros. Dogs aren’t permitted on the Cloud’s Rest trail. Clouds Rest Hike. These can be exceptionally difficult to obtain, so plan your trip as far out as you can to ensure you receive one. The top of Clouds Rest is a perfect place to have a picnic while admiring the beauty of Yosemite National Park. WHAT WE WILL COVER IN THIS GUIDE: Be mindful of the heat and use sun protection (see our Suggested Gear below). If there are thunderstorms, it’s not safe to be in this exposed location. Obtain your Half Dome permit as part of your wilderness permit. Total 360. Cue the sad trombone. Expect 6000+ feet of elevation change on this one. Backpacking Mono Meadow to Lower Ottoway Lake - Yosemite NP, CA. Water, at last! By distance alone, it deters many from attempting Cloud’s Rest. Optional Side trip: Clouds Rest Trail. Clouds Rest Hike Description To start the Clouds Rest hike, drive up to Tioga Road and park at the westernmost side of Tenaya Lake. Experience true wilderness and the best Yosemite scenery on this … We decided to do this hike because – well, we love Yosemite. Additional parking can be found in the pullouts located several hundred meters on either side of the lot itself. ​Most hikers start their journey with temperatures floating around 60-degree Fahrenheit and are caught off-guard when it’s 80 degrees or warmer by noon. These are two of the most spectacular and famous peaks in Yosemite National Park. Clouds Rest ... As of 2020, you don't need a permit to hike to Clouds Rest from that side. Read our guide on dispersed camping for other ideas. If you missed out on snagging a Half Dome permit and are looking for a great alternative hike, then the Clouds Rest trail is a great choice. Holy smokes! A bonus to hiking in via the Sunrise Lake trail is you can hike the Clouds Rest trail (which requires no permit), and gives you incredible views of Half Dome. Summit both Half Dome and Clouds Rest on this guided backpacking trip! On the right of the spine is Tenaya Canyon, a steep drop, and on the left is a gentler slope with some talus and vegetation (before a steep drop). I have backcountry permits from Cathedral Lakes to Happy Isles for the night of June 15th. Close. Most folks opt for this trail because it is well-marked, is easily accessible, and offers the quintessential Cloud’s Rest experience. Cloud's Rest: No permit required no brainer day hike - See 64 traveler reviews, 91 candid photos, and great deals for Yosemite National Park, CA, at Tripadvisor. Distance: 14.5 miles (23.3 km) round trip Trailhead Elevation: 8,150 feet (2,450 meters) Elevation Gain: 1,775 feet (540 meters) Like much of Yosemite, Cloud’s Rest is composed primarily of granite. It's a much better view and far less people. This is not a hike for folks looking for a leisurely stroll! Sunrise Lakes –> Clouds Rest –> Little Yosemite Valley –> Happy Isles; After faxing in my reservation request (if you’re not familiar with the permit requirements, visit here, we were lucky to get permits starting at May Lake, but without Half-Dome permits. Archived. In late summer it’s easy to skip across the meager trickle of water, but during wet peri… Clouds Rest is the largest exposed piece of granite on Earth. The trailhead at Tioga Road is the most popular and well-used route to reach the peak of Cloud’s Rest, but there are other avenues to reach those lofty peaks. What’s interesting is the elevation profile of this hike. If you’re up to the physical challenge and able to time the trip appropriately, you’re going to have one hell of a time out there. You’re in the right place! Get a personalized trip. ​This hike is no joke. It's a much better view and far less people. If you know about this hidden gem however, you're in luck. This demanding route is off the beaten path and avoids tourists and hikers clogging up the trails. Luckily permits are not required to day hike Cloud’s Rest, but any overnight trips require a backcountry permit. 5. 2 years ago. The trailhead can be unreachable in the spring and winter, and the Tenaya Lake outlet becomes a far more significant obstacle when there’s a lot of snowmelt buffering up that water supply. Clouds Rest doesn´t require permit, trail is quite easy and picturesque and view from Clouds Rest is in my opinion best from all of Yosemite. However, Half Dome was included in my backcountry permit. Wilderness permits are only issued to a limited number people for each trailhead in order to provide outstanding opportunities for solitude, as required by the Wilderness Act. Sixty percent of reservations are available 24 weeks in advance; the remaining 40 percent are available two weeks in advance. The actual summit is not narrow and is wide enough for lots of people. The back end of Cloud's Rest appears to the west. Its hair-raising ridgeline is called an arête, a rock ridge separating two valleys typically formed by glaciers. My last hike in Yosemite was in April almost ten years ago; my planning consisted of little more than booking some accommodation and purchasing a map. A few minutes later I found the Clouds Rest Junction, which has a water stream running nearby. Brace yourself for a seriously intense hike. Make sure you park safely and responsibly, and always adhere to all parking signage! It is a razor-thin segment. It only takes a little forewarning to prepare for the unexpected when climbing Cloud’s Rest. Had salami/cheese/tortilla for dinner. It is east of Half Dome and south of Olmstead Point; while you’re in Yosemite, take a hike up Olmstead Point to get an incredible view of Cloud’s Rest. Discovery Treks guided backpacking tour to Clouds Rest is typically a 4 day adventure with 2 days of backpacking to get to our base camp before we begin the hike to summit Clouds rest. Yosemite Valley to Clouds Rest. I would (anecdotally) say that the trail never is really less than 5′ wide, which is wider than the main. Obtaining these permits can be difficult and requires a lot of forethought before your trip. The entire hike has an elevation change of about 1,775 feet. The Clouds Rest hike in Yosemite is a favorite of the park rangers; you get incredible panoramic views from over 1,000 feet above Half Dome. Don’t look around at the horizon. Just know that you won’t be positioned well to go hike Half Dome from this trailhead (at least not without backtracking). If the lot is full, you can park on the side of the road in a safe location. Getting heat sickness in the Californian wilderness while beyond cell phone reception can be disastrous. Yosemite website: "Permits to hike to the top of Half Dome are required seven days per week when the cables are up, even for backpackers with wilderness permits. If you’re lucky enough to obtain a permit, there are several campsites available. In modern times, the only death on Clouds Rest was in 2009, when a woman fell from the summit, not the spine. Another potential camping location is on the Cloud’s Rest Trail, a flat section located before the final ascent to the peak. Be mindful of these creatures. At this point, you’ll spot signs for Cloud’s Rest trail. This is a hike primarily accessible to hikers with access to personal vehicles to reach and park at the trailhead. The hike clocks in at about 6.2 miles from trailhead to peak. The hike fittingly known as Clouds Rest sits more than 1,000 feet above the iconic Half Dome and provides arguably the best view in all of Yosemite National Park. Behold: an endless mid-angle slab climb of truly epic proportions! u/taylorfranta. Expect daytime temperatures to shoot close to 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. The most common route to the top is an out-and-back trail, 6-miles one way making for a 12-mile round trip total. Keep trying for permits - I’ve submitted permits every week for two months straight in an attempt to land a Friday Clouds Rest permit. Several shuttle options exist in Yosemite but, it can take some (you guessed it) proper planning to coordinate with the schedules. 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. However, Half Dome needs a permit which has to be obtained via a lottery. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If it’s very windy, it can be a little nervy. A complete day by day itinerary based on your preferences. Some hikers visit the peak during conditions when there is plenty of snow on the ground. It is the iconic vision of the American West, exceptional enough to garner unabashed affection from ol’ John Muir. Keep in mind you’ll need to be at the Permit Station pretty early to get in line for these. The “spine” section of exposed trail over granite is roughly the last 0.3 miles of the hike to Clouds Rest. The best camping spot with views of Half Dome was already taken, I settled for another nice spot with a fire pit and a cut off tree I could use as a counter to put stuff on. At about 2.5 miles, you'll reach an intersection with the Sunrise Lakes Trail that heads off to the east. There is always a trail. There aren’t opportunities to refill on this hike. Most trails to tackle this hike take less than a day to tackle anyway. Pay attention to your footing and only hike in dry conditions to avoid a spill. The highest peak in Yosemite is Mount Lyell which stands at 13,114 feet, whereas Clouds Rest stands at 5,000 feet. The trail offers up everything that makes for a good hike: switchbacks, rocky trails, and ridgelines to traverse, all complete with sweeping views of Half Dome and beyond. No Permit Required; Better Views; Less Exposed Trail-there are cables to grasp, and no frightened hikers to hold up the line; Far fewer people on the trail to Clouds Rest-great for Introverts! Geography. The hike up to Clouds Rest is a difficult yet rewarding one. Did this on 10/7/20, unfortunately heavy creek fire smoke obscured the ascent to GP, El Cap invisible, clearer air when reaching Nevada Falls junction. The Battalion’s medical doctor Lafayette H. Bunnell claims the Battalion gave it that title because the clouds settled down and rested upon the peak. Most trails are well-marked. From the peak, you can see an enormous 360° swath of Yosemite, with Half Dome standing prominently in the distance. For the spirited hiker, Yosemite is about as close to heaven as we’re going to get. This is Yosemite glacial geology at its finest. The drier conditions of the summer are the safest way to tackle this peak. Featured. We recommend at least four liters of water per person in your group. Do you have any updates to the hiking trail or want to share your hike/pictures? Well, brace yourself; a single mile of the hike eats up 1,000 feet of that elevation change. Don’t leave food in your car at the parking lot or road side unless you want a bear opening it up like a tin can to find that pack of cupcakes you forgot. Catching sight of Bridal Falls ranks up there with taking in all that El Capitan has to offer, but when it comes to feet-on-the-ground action and experiences, Cloud’s Rest takes the prize. Yes, even better than hiking Half Dome. Make sure to take pictures to show off that amazing 360 degree panorama, and let us know how the trip went. When it comes to classic Yosemite peaks, Half Dome gets all the attention. A slippery ridgeline is a disaster waiting to happen, so keep your eyes peeled for approaching storm clouds. You are never hanging, jumping, or inching along a ledge or cliff edge. 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. Pace yourself accordingly and be mindful of weather forecasts. Customize it. Check out this detailed, picture-filled preview of the Tioga Road trail. This is not generally recommended for anybody except experienced hikers with more than a few miles under their belt. Video and Turn by Turn Directions for the Clouds Rest Hike, Gear Recommendations and What to Expect on the Hike. If you’re in the Half Dome area and have a backcountry permit, you can tackle this 20-mile beast. Lower Ottoway lake is one of the prettiest lakes I have ever seen. Registration includes: Guided backpacking trip, park entry (as needed), bear-proof canister rental, Yosemite Wilderness permit, and tent camping at shared group sites before and after the trip. Permits and reservations: No permits are required for hiking up to Clouds Rest or to the top of the Lembert Dome. Don't worry about throngs of summit-hungry hikers: Clouds Rest lacks the crowds that nearby Half Dome attracts. For people interested in camping outside of Yosemite, there are a couple of established campgrounds near the Tioga Pass entrance of the park (not far from the Cloud’s Rest trailhead). A good pair of shoes or boots is absolutely necessary on this hike. Night 1 Camp Option: Sunrise Lake. If you plan to backpack and camp in the wilderness area around Clouds Rest, an overnight permit is required though. In this guide, we will be covering the following: A trip to California offers plenty to see and do, but only one required destination–Yosemite National Park. Much of the trail is in full sun and on a hot, scorching day, the heat pounding down on you takes a toll quickly. I wear the Helios by La Sportiva for all of my outdoor adventures; I like a light, flexible shoe that offers mobility, even if my feet would be sore from a steep descent. Clouds Rest is a better summit than Half Dome in my opinion. 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. I know, you’ve probably got some water with you, but Cloud’s Rest is a demanding and exhausting event. The first two days of our hike will take us out into the Yosemite Wilderness backcountry where you will get views of a number of other peaks, monoliths and falls including Mt. Follow the Half Dome trail until about two miles from the summit. Clouds Rest is formed almost entirely out of granite and is one of many peaks in Yosemite National Park, although it is not as well known as others, it is regarded to have the best scenery and view of Yosemite, due to its closeness to the valley. Getting there requires the road being open and accessible (hence summertime hiking); it’s about thirty miles to reach the trailhead from Crane Flat to the west, and about fifteen miles to reach the trailhead from Yosemite National Park’s eastern entrance at Tioga Pass. Look no further because the Clouds Rest hike is described by many as the best hike in Yosemite National Park. I’ve crawled when winds were 30mph up here. Like virtual reality, but without the virtual part. For Clouds Rest, you need a permit for Sunrise Lakes, and we highly recommend reserving this one, as it’s a very popular route. … The trails passes through meadows and forests, but expect to tackle very rocky, ankle-snapping sections of trail. Turn back immediately if you see storms approaching because there’s little cover to protect yourself from the elements. ​One is located off of the Forsyth Trail, a few miles from the summit and at the base of the Cloud’s Rest Trail leading to the peak only a few miles away. 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. There are washrooms and bear boxes there, however, the lot itself often fills up quickly. My Yosemite Backpacking Trip Recommendation. Hikers report Cloud’s Rest takes between five to twelve hours to complete, based on fitness levels and the frequency/duration of breaks. I am aware this will not be possible with the snow and that Tioga Rd will not be open. My favorite is a Tilley wide-brim hat. This is the home of bears and mountain lions, among other animals. All camping in Yosemite requires permits purchased ahead of time. Posted by. Cloud’s Rest is best done during the summer (typically June through October). Prefer an already-printed map? For the most part, the trail to Clouds Rest follows the Half Dome Trail, and then splits about 1.5 miles before the Half Dome summit. Look for a small parking lot near the trailhead that will likely be filled by mid-morning. That means this section of switchbacks is going to be a quad killer on the way back down. Edit: if you want to do an overnight (and get a permit), staying at the top of Clouds Rest is doable and an amazing sunrise/sunset. Sunscreen is essential to bring, and a good hat does wonders for keeping you cool. Yosemite is a park with plenty to do, but some experiences stand out above the others. At a minimum you’re going to want to review a map, but to get the most from a hike up Cloud’s Rest you’ll want to use every resource you’ve got available. The nearby parking is a bonus. This hike is far less crowded than Half Dome and doesn't require permits for day hiking. Clouds Rest, one of John Muir’s favourite peaks, offers spectacular views over Half Dome and numerous Yosemite peaks. If have one day (or half a day if you are fast) definitely go there! Five miles in, the route steadily ascends to a ridgeline. In late summer it’s easy to skip across the meager trickle of water, but during wet periods the water can be high enough (knee-high and higher) you’ll need to slosh through it. Walk Up Permits/Clouds Rest. The trailhead is off of Tioga Road near the west end of Tenaya Lake. And unlike Half Dome, for the Clouds Rest hike, no permit is needed, the distance and climbing is manageable, and you don’t have to navigate anything like the anxiety-inducing cables section. Pair that sucker with a wet bandana around your neck, and it’ll feel cool and breezy. This is not a hike for folks looking for a leisurely stroll! 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