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Vernal and Nevada trail is the hardest part. Once you past that, the rest of the trail is a piece of cake until you get to the sub dome part. Be prepared to scramble your way up to get to the end.

backpacking
6 hours ago

I started this loop from onion valley and did it counterclockwise. I believe it is a harder route starting from the eastern Sierra side, which added an extra 10 miles or so, but the hike up and over kearsarge pass is well worth the extra mileage.

It took 4 days at a relatively moderate pace to complete the loop. My last day was only a six mile day so it is definitely possible to do it in 3 days starting from onion valley.

Mosquitos weren’t too bad in late July though I’ve heard that they’re horrendous earlier in the season. Bugs other than mosquitos were a nuisance so I highly recommend a bug net around your head which I wore half the hike.

There are plenty of people on the trail with pct and jmt hikers making their way on the eastern parts of the loop.

Visually stunning.

hiking
18 hours ago

Day Hike: Beautiful Scenery all around and unexpected on the stamina you really need to make it through the hike. It was 4 of us, we are active and work out except for one who recently started getting active .However, we had the trail challenging us from the beginning until we enter the canyon where the challenge became tougher. We started the hike at 8 am. The elevation rise as we hike and climb higher ofcourse and tougher it got, but we were still able to manage and continue through . We took about 5 breaks of 5minutes in total . I believe it took us 2 hrs and half to make it to the first lake . Then, second lake about 10 minutes or so. My heart rate as an active individual was between 150 to 165 almost the entire hike . Burned 1500 calories plus. The descend was the best because everything from there was a piece a cake . We left the second lake around 1:00 pm and came across a lot of backpackers, day hikers, fishers, and backpackers who were just arriving as we were leaving . You will come across a few people later on the day. I do not recommend people who have health problems to do this trail . I will say if you are not active prepare to me challenge mentally and physically . And for those who want to encourage friends who do not do any hikes or anything whatsoever. Prepare to take plenty of lakes . Overall beautiful .

Agree with the reviewer below - the last stretch from Clouds Rest foot trail was a test to the nerves, but totally worth it. The hike wasn’t that bad physically until the last stretch. I’d highly recommend getting there as early as you can (before 8am) to start this so you can enjoy the top in peace.

Left the trail head at 7:30 and got to clouds rest at 11:20. Yes the switchbacks on the first half of the trail are hard, but we thought the final push to the top was worse on the muscles. Having said that, it’s rated hard for a reason and the views were truly stunning. Only disappointment was there was a tech charter bus that dropped off 33 hikers right before us so the top was crowded and loud. Left there around 12:15 and got back to the sunrise trailhead at 3:15 with our joints telling us “enough already.” Coming from a mild acrophobic the narrow rock bridge to clouds rest tested my nerves but the views are 100% worth it and would do this hike again after exploring a couple other areas of the park we just haven’t gotten to yet.

Awesome place to mountain bike! My 11yr old loves it. Start at Hoelter hall trail head to add some exciting downhill thru the trees, then one you cross the gate the trail seems like equal parts up and down thru out. Excellent beginner trail for sure with beautiful views at the end. On way back you can get on dirt road to skip going uphill thru the trees if you want.

We made this a 9.2 mile hike by taking the Trail of the Sequoias out to the High Sierra Trail to see Eagle View. Had lunch at Crescent Meadow and looped back up the Congress Trail. Glad we saw General Sherman early because the tourists were swarming by the time we returned. Once we left the paved area, we saw no other people again until Crescent Meadow. The hike back up to the parking lot is definitely no fun after a 9 miler. What was annoying though was picking up other people’s trash. Brought back water bottles we found left behind on the Congress Trail. No respect for such a magnificent area.

We are visiting CA from CO and we landed on this trail. It was an easy trot and worth the views. There were about 20 others on the trail to go along with 3-4 black bears. DO NOT use the directions link for this trail. We spent about an hour on the wrong trail haha. Follow the directions from some of the previous comments. Enjoy!!

great trail second time this week

backpacking
2 days ago

Easy trail and well marked. The lake is beautiful and plenty of trout to catch. Camping in the area was nice but was crowded for the weekend, it emptied out after Sunday night. Good trail for beginners with a gradual elevation gain the entire way to the lake. No bug problems either.

i loved the view from the top, it’s panoramic 360° and you get an amazing view of half dome
and a river, don’t underestimate the hike, took us, three 19 year olds, 4 hours to the top and 3 hours to go down, lots of ascent and descents, suggest arrive at yosemite area the day before you plan your hike, we ended up hiking down in the dark, still very much worth the view, strenuous, saw barely anyone and those we came across were very friendly, bring LOTS of water, wouldn’t suggest as a family hike, the last 100 meters or so is very narrow and could be dangerous for younger hikers

Great trail during late October.

hiking
3 days ago

Although the path itself is not very pretty, you will get an epic view of Mount Conness and North Peak. Highly recommend for a day long stroll. Bring supplies for a picnic and lots of sunscreen!

Estimates on signs and alltrails are a bit off. This trail clocks in at a little over 13 miles RT. The views are amazing, one of the best views of the Yosemite Valley. Can't beat it!

4 days ago

Very nice falls and trails however there are lack of guidance signs to get to the starting points and also to the destination points... people may get lost if they do have maps or offline navigation, trail does not get signal.

hiking
4 days ago

Finding the trailhead was a little difficult. Drive past Vermillion Valley Resort and then signs will pop up for the trailhead. Well marked trail with a beautiful end point. In mid October it was really windy and cold on a sunny day with a predicted temp of 60 degrees. I would say it was closer to 40-50 with the wind chill so we weren't able to swim. It took us about 3.5 hours up and 2.5 hours down. About 3 miles into the hike, there is flatter ground to the right of the trail where there is a beautiful view of Edison and the surrounding mountains and valley. The view was just as beautiful if not more beautiful than the Devils Bathtub.

hiking
4 days ago

So maybe we cheated a bit on this, and instead of trekking up from Yosemite Valley floor (y'alls that do it: mad props! that's beast mode hiking right there!), we camped out at the Little Yosemite Valley, and trekked up to the rock at sunset to have a nice view with our dinner...
it is NOT an easy hike... esp. the last part (subdome and the cables). by the time we got to the rock, it was about an hour and 15 minutes to sunset, and thank god there were only three people on the cables coming down, otherwise, it was just our group of 6. i don't know if i'd be able to do the cables if there were a ton of people on them... it is sketchy as heck. do invest in good grippy shoes and super grippy gloves. you'll thank both later. our guide gave us a good advice (it goes esp. for those who have the fear of heights): don't look around, concentrate on the next plank in-front of you, and go from plank to plank in counts of five... take all the rest you need.
THE VIEWS ARE WORTH IT!!!
my personal suggestion for this hike would be to break it up... trek up to LYV, spend the night or rest up... and then continue with the trek up to Half Dome, or do it the next day. :)

I found it too tough for my fitness level. i was starting to give up after 2.2 miles itself but with lots of rest, water, refreshments and convincing myself to keep going, I did finish the trail. The view was so rewarding. It's hard to describe the beauty of Clouds Rest summit in words. There was lots of elevation gain. At the point where Clouds Rest main part of the trail to summit begins, it's all walking on huge rocks which is open from both sides and the entire valley is visible (quite scary for me as I am afraid of heights). But the rocks are great and firm, not slippery at all. One can just keep walking on them. If you get scared once you reach close to the summit, I would suggest to just keep walking, don't look down or to the sides, just keep walking straight.
We did the hike on 13th October and started at around 7 (it was sub zero temperature) and it took me 5 hours to reach the summit (I was the slowest among my friends who did it in less than 4.5 hours). Coming down was relatively a bit easier and took around 3 hours for me (again the slowest). It was a proud moment that i finished this hike. The weather was great for most part of the hike (except the chilly first hour).

hiking
5 days ago

Great hike! Did it 10/14 (first weekend that cables are down). Set off at sunrise, up the Mist trail and back down JMT. Took around 7 hours total with no traffic up to summit. I was actually expecting the hike up to be more strenuous since I’ve just started hiking, but it was absolutely fine. Most tiring bit are the stairs up to sub dome. I had perfect conditions for this and it wasn’t too hot so I survived fine on 2l of water. Saw mother bear and 2 cubs on the way back too!

hiking
5 days ago

We did this trip counter clockwise from Oct 5-12. We tacked on a few side trips including Kearsarge Lakes and 60 Lakes Basin. We had one snow storm the day before doing Glen Pass but we just delayed our ascent a few hours until the sun had melted the pass on the south side and then things were not that bad. It was spectacular. I would recommend spending at least one day at Rae Lakes, it is the jewel of the hike. Water was available along the entire trip except for the ascent up Glen Pass. I carried 1 liter of water on me the entire trip and it worked well for me. Bring warm clothes as several nights got down into the teens. We saw several bears but they all kept their distance from us and we had no negative encounters. Bugs were almost non-existant but we did see 4 different snake species including a rattlesnake the first day hiking in. This was definitely a worth while trip and I will do it again.

hiking
5 days ago

Read a bunch of reviews and feel like most are somewhat exaggerated. Did this hike in about 9.5 hours, and you definitely want to start at about 2am. I started at 2:30am by myself, first time hiking in the dark with an REI 20$ headlamp, and what an experience. Couldn’t see but could hear the water falls roaring, and the night critters were frequent on the trail. The headlamp did its job and being up on the cables at sunrise was magical, as well as the dark night sky on the way up. Going down was no problem until vernal/nevada fall, when the trail was packed with people, without much regard for others on the trail. For this I probably would have went JMT, but I wanted to see the things I couldn’t see on the way up. Also the sub dome is not that grueling, and it really only lasts about 20 minutes to the base of the cables.

Didn’t do much training for this, did Four Mile Trail, Eagle Peak, clouds rest, and MT. Hoffman spread out in weeks time. Took 30 liters of water with me and a water filter, to cut down on weight and didn’t have to use the filter (starting in the dark keeps the heat down). Overall awesome experience, happy to do it. Saw loads of people going up as I was going down so start early before 5am if you want to miss that, as there was no waiting on the cables going up or down, which made it easier.

The view from the top is the payoff for taking this trail!

5 days ago

Awesome views from the top! If you plan on hiking during the summer, start as early as possible.

Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks with you but don’t overload yourself because this is a serious hike where every pound will be felt throughout the hike.

It was not that busy when we started out during a June 14th hike but on the way down we saw LOTS of people coming up during the midday sun.

Bring more water than you think you’re going to need. It was 95 by noon when I made it to the top. I had 5L on me and just about ran out at the top.

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful views! Well worth the climb!

hiking
6 days ago

INCREDIBLE! Started at 9am at the trailhead, and very thankful we did, as on the way down there were a TON of people heading up. The falls are beautiful even at their low levels. Saw a momma bear and her babies at the top of Vernal Falls beside Emerald Pool, and encountered them 2 more times, once between the falls and a third time at the top of Nevada Falls about 30yds away and they startled me pretty badly! Took the John Muir trail back down which was beautiful. Rested for about 2 hours total at the falls, plus the time to wait for the bears to cross our path the second time and not disturb them, it took us 6 hours total. Strenuous, and I could see it be much harder when there’s a lot of mist, but SO worth it. Will definitely be doing it again!

Wonderful views all the way. Highly recommend taking the John Muir Trail back down to avoid the knee grinding steps of the Mist Trail. We saw some juvenile bears pigging out in one of the treetops.

amazing hike...the views from the tower are just beautiful. steady climb to get there but not to bad. i would say depending on your dog whether it would be comfortable for them or not up the stairs. mine made it fine but i held her harness to help her. this has to be my favorite hike for the views alone. can't wait to do it again.

We did this hike in early September as part of our trip to the pass. All of the lakes offer nice shade, pretty views and peaceful surroundings! I highly recommend continuing to Kearsarge Pass after taking a snack break at this lake!
We didnt run into too many bugs, but I imagine mosquitos can be bad at certain times of year, or even day. There was sporadic shade on the way up but nice trees offering quality shade around all the lakes.

on Sentinel Dome Trail

hiking
6 days ago

Oh my gosh. This hike was amazing. Went there to see the sunset with my girlfriend and it was so worth the challenge it took to get there. It's quick but if you're more sedentary, the last half mile will kick your butt a bit on the way up. That being said, we aren't super hikers but we only took about two 1-minute breaks and were able to make the climb. Just take your time and you'll make it. It's not terrifyingly difficult, just a good workout for the middle quarter of the whole trip. At just a few hundred feet shorter than Half Dome's elevation, it's literally a much better all-around view than Glacier Point, in my opinion, and only 10% as much people because of the climb. I've also done Taft Point, and while I think the view from Sentinel is more grand and awe inspiring, Taft Point will give you a similarly beautiful scene for much less effort. You won't get to see Half Dome though, so choose wisely.

hiking
6 days ago

It a pretty fun trail. I’m fairly new to hiking and am a pretty heavy gal so this was a great beginning trail for me. There were a few spots that were slightly challenging but overall it was a beautiful hike. I would recommend hiking down to the stream on the southwest side of the bridge and lookout point, there is a great spot to rest and chill by the creek.

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