Clouds Rest Trail from Yosemite Valley

HARD 74 reviews
#15 of 165 trails in

Clouds Rest Trail from Yosemite Valley is a 19 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mariposa, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
19.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
6735 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

no dogs

Directions from Tuolumne Meadows: Travel westward on Tioga Road approximately 8 miles to the Tenaya Trailhead immediately west of Tenaya Lake.

3 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

Best hike in Yosemite from the valley

hiking
9 days ago

We did a day hike. The trail head states 10.5miles to the top, so the app is wrong stating it is 19miles round trip. Where the trail splits for Half Dome, the sign states 4.3miles to Clouds Rest and from that point on prepare to climb continuously. By far the toughest part of the hike but completely worth the views!

hiking
9 days ago

This hike is nothing short of legendary.

Our equipment put this round trip at 22 miles, officially from the parking lot, I believe it is 20.8, but forget the semantics either way this is a hell of a hike.

We started at 6:30am at the trail head parking lot beyond Half Dome Village, summited at 12:30, spent 30 minutes at the top, headed back down at 1:00pm and got back to the car at 5:15pm.

My girlfriend and I chose an early October Sunday which delivered perfect weather for our ascent, I wouldn't recommend much later in the season as even on this day where the valley reached 70 degrees, our 6:30am start was near freezing and the top of Clouds Rest even at midday hovered around 50F but the wind chill up there can be intense.

Anyway to the guts of the hike, overall the hike is difficult, nobody is kidding around here, but it does give you many groovable stretches where you can get in your hiker zone and grind it out, very rarely are there unbearable stretches of steep terrain with the exception of the vernal and Nevada Falls steps and the final couple hundred feet of scrambling before the summit. Vast miles of this hike are simply meandering switchbacks that gracefully stride ever upwards at a manageable clip. This is key. Both of us are in good shape but neither of us does this type of distance or elevation gain regularly, just put one foot in front of the other and groove it out, you'll be fine.

In an odd turn of events I consumed less than a liter of water on the way up, i have no way of explaining this or understanding how I didn't feel thirsty, maybe the elevation? Not sure. either way, we both packed 3L of water and consumed close to all of it by the end of the day, on a hotter day, throw that number out the window, you'll need much more. A water filter would be of great use as there was water next to the trail as high as 7200 feet and 6.2 miles in at high camp where the official Clouds Rest trail branches from the John Muir trail

Overall, the rare views of Half Dome from the east, the valley and the feeling that you are atop the world make this one of the greatest hikes I've ever done.

Training successful, on to Cactus to Clouds next month.

hiking
20 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, great views. Trails are mostly well-marked and easy to follow, but a little tough to find in a few spots near the top (especially if the cairns have been knocked over or what have you). So take a map -- you don't want to get lost without a map 10 miles from Yosemite Valley (like a group I encountered). Tom Harrison Half Dome map is good. Definitely needed the bug spray. I endorse Muir trail to skip the falls on the way down. I left at 7am, which was OK on a fall day, but an earlier start would definitely be advisable in the hotter season or if you don't want to be in a pack of people going up the Mist Trail stairs.

As it was unclear to me until I got a good map and did the hike, there are two trails up to Clouds Rest (as opposed to trails converging before the final bit). The trail up to Clouds Rest from Yosemite Valley reaches the top via stone stairs (steep, but less exposed than the narrow ridge from the other side).

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked this trail this morning. I started at 3:30am from the valley. I made it to the top in 4.5 hours. The view is amazing!!! I brought my Jetboil and made breakfast and coffee at the top. I ran back down in 3 hours. I chilled at the top for about an hour. Started at 3:30am and made it back to Housekeeping camp buy 12:30pm.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

2 months ago

This trail was 22 miles for us. Difficult but worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

Long but probably the best hike I've ever done. So worth every step.

hiking
3 months ago

Super hard but very awesome views

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Long hike but 100% worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

The day before hiking Clouds rest from the valley, I spoke with one of the park rangers in Yosemite village who advised heavily against anyone hiking it in a single day. After much internal debate (solo hiker), I decided to hike it anyways.. and wow am I glad I did.

The hike itself is quite challenging as it is 10 miles uphill the whole way to the peak and 10 directly back down. For reference, I tend to do 1 long hike every few months but am in by no means good shape. I also carried 5 liters of water and finished it all of it by the time I got down (I'm 6'3'' so drink more water than most).

I was on the mist trail beginning at 5:30 am and was on the peak by 10:45 with a few stops along the way for snacks. I would suggest leaving while it is dark out as the views of both Vernal and Nevada falls as the sun rises with no one in sight are truly spectacular. Another plus of leaving early is that a majority of the ascent is done in the shade and is much cooler than if you had waited a few hours. The final four miles where you split from the Half Dome route is the most challenging part of the hike as it is a steep incline until you reach the top. However, if you can make it to that fork, you should be able to reach the top. After a little over an hour at the summit, I headed back and returned to the valley right after 3pm taking the JMT to avoid the Mist trail traffic on a holiday weekend. Total distance ended up being 22.5 miles.

The view at the top is (IMO) the most spectacular in the park and the route is incredibly easy to follow. Just make sure you are prepared (i.e. water, hiking shoes) and are ready for the distance/elevation gain. Enjoy!