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Clouds Rest Trail via Tenaya Lake is a 12.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from March until October.

Length 12.3 mi Elevation gain 3,113 ft Route type Out & Back

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Forest

Lake

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Rocky

Scramble

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (8)
Contact
Tips

Yosemite National Park is open to those with reservations begining on Thursday, June 11. See the park website for more info: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/covid19.htm The best place to enjoy the view of Half Dome from the top. Cloud's Rest, a massive granite formation just northeast of Half Dome in Yosemite Valley, is famous for its very high degree of visual prominence in the valley as well as its razor-sharp ridge near the summit. For people who have hiked Cloud's Rest, they are most impressed with the thrilling feeling they have while scrambling up the narrow ridge, with sheer drop-offs on both sides, to the summit. The fastest way to day hike Cloud's Rest starts from the Sunrise Lakes trailhead on Tioga Road near Tenaya Lake. From the trailhead, you start the hike by following the trail markers for Sunrise H.S.C. After the first 1.5 mile hike on the relatively flat trail, you begin to climb up the lower slope below Sunrise Mountain. The switchbacks on the slope will surely pound your heart as you are gaining 1,000 feet in elevation in just one mile before reaching the top of the slope. On the top, you immediately encounter the Y junction for either Cloud's Rest or Sunrise Lakes. Bear right for Cloud's Rest and begin to follow the trail markers for it from now on. The trail beyond the junction (called Forsyth Trail) descends sharply for 0.5 miles until you reach the flat land below Sunrise Mountain. The trail on the land is about 1.7 miles long and traverses beautiful woods and a nice lake before you encounter the next junction. Bear right at the T junction for Cloud's Rest and you are about 1.5 miles away from it (though the marker says 2.5 miles). Since you're approaching Cloud's Rest from its back, you only begin to see it after passing the junction. Keep hiking up on the trail until you encounter the marker for Cloud's Rest Foot Trail. Use extreme caution beyond this point as the passway on the top of Cloud's Rest is narrow and both sides are sheer drip-offs. You can enjoy the spectacular views of Half Dome, Tenaya Canyon and surrounding mountains after a short scramble to the summit where you can find a geology mark on it. Take the same way back to the Sunrise Lakes trailhead once you're ready to return.

Yosemite National Park http://www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm Clouds Rest - Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clouds_Rest

Be sure to bring a lot of water or water filter instead.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (1016)
Photos (1231)
Recordings (764)
Completed (1808)
Rikka Cornelia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
HikingBugs
Kerianne Brennan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 09 2020
HikingBugsRockyScramble

Great hike - definitely a challenge! My sister and I did this hike after doing Vernal and Nevada Falls the day before (8.8 miles and very steep) so this was definitely hard for us. The longest hike I had been on before this was 9 miles so this is the hardest hike I’ve ever done, BUT you should definitely go for it because it’s worth it! We started at 7:20am which I definitely recommend starting early because it was still relatively cool when we reached the top at 12pm. It took us 10 hours total (lol) but we spent about an hour plus at the top and I haven’t gone hiking since quarantine started (rip). Bring plenty of water and be prepared for going back to not be as easy you would expect. The first part of the trail is flat and then you quickly climb very steep stone steps up to the top of the first hill, only to descend down the same hill and walk through a flat forest for a while. Then the final ascent begins with a slight incline and only gets steeper as you go up til you get to the steep stones at the end. The views at the top are amazing, 360 views with mountains all around and you are above half dome which is awesome! Absolutely worth the struggle and probably the most stunning view I’ve ever seen. For us the way back was a lot harder than we expected because our feet hurt and we had to climb up that first hill again in the sun. We took our time on the way back and made it to the trailhead around 5:30pm - exhausted but super happy we did it. Bring lots of food and water, and if you’re an average hiker / a little out of shape right now don’t let that stop you from trying this hike! Go for it! :)

Ehsan Gholami
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jul 08 2020
HikingBugsGreat!

Good hike for average+ hiker. Worth the effort. Important notes: - As of July 2020, you need daily permits to get into the park. Make sure you get them beforehand. - Bring a bug spray and carry it along the hike, you will need to re-apply it. Nasty bugs. Recommend to do hike earlier in the day to avoid evening excess of bugs. - Bring sunscreen and carry one to re-apply. - Bring 3L+ water (or less + filter to filter water on the way. I recommend having 4L+ice if no filter.) - Hats strongly recommended (over 50% is no shade). I recommend to hike early in the day to take advantage of cooler hours. - Good hiking shoes. The first peak (first ascend) of the hike is the hardest. Once you are past that, the rest should be easy. The view from the summit is the highlight of the hike, be prepared for some breath taking views and bring your best cameras. - If you grew up in lower altitudes, be prepared to take multiple breaks. Air in those elevations are thinner. (maybe an inhaler if you have zero experience with high elevations and want to finish the hike fast)

Kim Greene
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
Hiking

Great views!

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Tim Wong
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
HikingGreat!

Distance is right about 12.2 miles round trip, as verified by two Garmin GPS watches (Fenix 3, Forerunner 235) and a Gaia GPS app running on an iPhone. Two experienced hikers completed in ~5 hrs, ~4.5 hrs moving time. Trail surface is very nice and not very technical, I would consider this runnable for fit trail runners. Mosquito levels were 2 out of 5 when we went yesterday (July 5) mostly congregating in the shady meadow parts of the trail. I went prepared with permethrin treated clothes and picaridin lotion on exposed skin. Trail is about 50% shaded, more so at the lower elevations, but the trees are more sparse as you get closer to the summit. Definitely recommend applying a generous amount of sunscreen prior to the hike, wear a hat, and perhaps re-apply the sunscreen half way if you are hiking mid-day or get easily burned. Temperature was mostly in the 70's from 10am-3pm, and I consumed all 2L of water that I brought and wish I had a bit more. There are a few stream crossings with clear, clean water that you can filter from if you prefer to do that instead of carrying everything you need. One of the most beautiful hikes I've been on, and the sharp ridgeline approach to the summit (along with the views) was the highlight for me. Surprisingly not crowded at all even on a holiday weekend, I think we only saw a couple dozen people on the trail and a dozen or so at the summit. Enjoyed a refreshing dip in Tenaya Lake after we finished, water temp near the shore is about 50F. There are trees and nice shady spots to relax near the water, I plan to bring a hammock and a book to relax a bit next time I'm there. A light breeze blowing across the lake was enough to keep all the skeeters away.

Josue Baez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
HikingBugsRocky

This trail is not for beginners. Bring mosquito spray as they're everywhere. Had to spray myself twice to avoid them swarming me. This trail is beautiful. Has lots scenic views. Going up definitely is gonna challenge the average hiker, but it's all good fun. I recommend showing up early for a good parking spot

View Josue's Recording
Mi Zhou
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingBugs
View Mi's Recording
Stan SoCal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingBugsRockyScramble

Listen to all the prior reviews. DEET is your best friend next to water for this hike. We started at 0730 and the first 3 miles were mosquitos galore. Good thing we had 40% DEET sprayed at the start of the hike. Mosquitoes landed on our jackets and sleeves but never for more than a few seconds. Zero bites! Took about 4 hrs to get up with plenty of breaks. Took about 3 hrs to get back down in the mid afternoon heat. Consumed all 4L of water that I brought. Next time I think 4.5L should do it. I’m in my mid 30s, average fitness level. Good views all around.

View Stan's Recording
Rakshith Koravadi Hatwar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingNo shadeOff trailRocky
View Rakshith Koravadi's Recording
Alan Choi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingBugsFeeRocky
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Lauren White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 02 2020
Hiking

I actually started this trail at Tenaya lake and hiked to Clouds Rest via this route, and instead of going back, I hiked another 11 miles to Yosemite Valley. I had a friend heading East drop me off at Tenaya. It was an incredible hike, over 3k elevation up then 6k elevation down. Bonus is I didn’t have to drive 1.5 hours back to the valley at the end of the hike. Start the hike aiming to cover all of your body with mosquito proof clothing - even stopping to use the bathroom I got bit ten times!

Christina Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 02 2020
Hiking

What an amazing hike! We started the hike at about 6:30 am. It was a bit cold the first 2 miles and no signs of mosquitoes. However, once we started the climb and it started to warm up, lots of them. Bring bug spray if you don’t want to be eaten alive! The hike had ups and downs, which was rather helpful in that I was able to gather energy on the down and flat portions. Getting to the top - I’m terrified of heights and reading reviews made me uncertain about if I’d make it to the very top! I did it! There is a section that gets narrow, but I didn’t find it be impassible and although I was a bit nervous, I took my time and never felt unsafe. The views from the top are amazing and worth the scramble. I butt scooted a few times and glad I did! In addition, we had a few marmot sightings. There were more people on the trail than I expected, but not to the point that it was crowded.

Jim Schrodt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 01 2020
Hiking

we clocked 13.2 miles car to car from the southwest end of Tenaya lake a bit more than the 12.3 miles Alltrails suggests but less than the 14.8 miles the trail signs say. this hike has been on the list for a long time... the views from the top are worth every step.

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Kami Front
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 30 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

Bring bug spay cause you will need it for the first two miles and after past it. You will stil see them everytime you stop and take the rest. Not for the beginner or ppl who never done long hike before. The max i did in the past was 13 miles and i almost cant make it back to the car. Bring lots of water. I had 2L with me and almost empty. Dont forget to bring water filter with you. I needed to let one of trail runner used it. Cause he ran out of the water. But view is sooooooo die to see. You will see half dome just in front of you if you scared of the hight. It has the sign at foothill before you start climb up to the top of it

Kyle Farnham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 30 2020
HikingGreat!

Amazing Hike. Started at 6am. Lots of places to refill water from the stream along the way. Switch back out of Tenaya Lake are brutal but it gets easier after the first 2.5 miles. Summit by 9:45am. I have always seen the back and forth on the distance of the trail. It seems as through the summit is 6.6 miles but you can continue for another .9 miles out along the Ridgeline to complete the 7.5. I saw plenty of wildlife and only 4 other hikers on the way up. On the way back to Tenaya Lake I did see significantly more people around 25. Back at the parking lot by 1:15pm and straight into the lake. Truly great day hike and amazing end with a swim in the alpine lake. Highly recommend.

Amit Kamath
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020
HikingBugs

So... Got lucky got the entry pass for Saturday. Sunday was our planned hiking day. Key Notes : - The hike is 14.8 miles (7.4 one way) - We started in the morning 6:00 from Tanaya lake - Not pro in hiking so from 6-11:00 it took to reach to the top - Coming back 11:30-4:15 approx we had many small breaks. - We stayed at Lake View Lodge (It has wifie and hot water) - Zero T-mobile network so better download the maps (Although if you follow the Trail you will end up at the top) so the map is not mandatory - Most important Mosquito repellant spray since it's literally impossible to hike the first three miles. - As soon as you have climbed the mountain using the step kind of staircase (Somewhat) there won't be any mosquito bite after that but from the start till 2.8 miles better cover your body with full sleeves and full pants - Start early so that u reach the top early else the sunlight, the mosquito will soke up your energy and ur excitement. - Please note pretty intense do it only if you are have done 15 miles hike before or if you have started early at Tanaya lake. - Carry water lots of water - View from the top is amazing but if you are scared of heights then better be careful. - The view is definitely worth the time and energy spend to hike to the top.

View Amit's Recording
Sean Christofferson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020
HikingBugs

This was my first trip to Yosemite and what an introduction it was. The summit of Clouds Rest overlooks the entire valley, and with some binoculars, you can watch the line of people climbing the Half Dome cables. If you want to experience the beauty of the park away from the commercialism of the valley floor, this is a great way to do it. As everyone has said, the mosquitoes at the beginning are tenacious, if you don't wear repellent, you will collect plenty of bites. The water crossings are almost dry right now--you can completely avoid getting your feet wet. The trail has some more intense uphill climbs, but they are interspersed with flats where you can catch your breath. The elevation (summit is at 9,900 ft) adds to the challenge, especially if you are not acclimated. The reservation system has left the park nearly empty. Traffic was light, and there were long stretches when we couldn't see anyone else, even on the summit. If at all possible, go. We probably won't see the park like this again in our lifetimes.

Doug Gee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
Hiking

Great trail but not for the beginner. The switchbacks are grueling going and coming. Trail was in great shape. Take bug spray as mosquitos hit us as soon as we got out of the truck. I’m not sure where All Trails gets their mileage as we logged 7.4 out and 7.4 back for total of 14.8 miles. Long day but well worth the views. It will give you a perspective of half dome and the valley that you don’t get anywhere else. Amazing!!

Michelle Gross
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
Hiking

What an epic hike. This hike checks all the boxes. A running river, lakes, shady through the trees, stunning boulders, the weather was perfect and not too hot, and of course the 360 unbelievable view. The mosquitos are jerks if you don’t have bug spray. Definitely one to add to your “want to do” list.

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