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Clouds Rest Trail via Tenaya Lake

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Yosemite National Park

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 trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from March until October.

Length13 miElevation gain3113 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingCampingHikingForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlifeBugsRockyScrambleFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (8)
Contact
Tips

Yosemite National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $20 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70. 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
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Reviews (1342)
Photos (1729)
Recordings (1086)
Completed (2420)
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Sertan Usanmaz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 29, 2020
HikingGreat!

Awesome trail, great views and a killer workout! I did this one earlier in the season before Tioga Pass Road closed for the season due to snow. Make sure you take plenty of water and sunscreen. Feel free to follow me on my Instagram account for more dope hiking adventures! @sertanusanmaz

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Jeremy Ecton
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Hiking

Incredible hike. Filmed the experience in 4k. Can view it here for reference: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoFCcB03vM-nepESoPJ4KvA

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Caleb Kindred
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Hiking

This is a great hike but it is challenging. If you are afraid of heights this will freak you out a little at the very top of clouds rest. Do highly recommend to do this hike but make sure it’s something you are really wanting to do!

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Susanne Mitschke
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Easily my favorite hike in Yosemite. It’s challenging, but you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views! We’ve seen a couple of other people on the trail but it wasn’t super busy and definitely no comparison to Half Dome!

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Shane Devlin
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Hiking

Fairly challenging but fun hike! Majority of it is through shaded forests with the last section being exposed. Great views of the valley but a little smoky

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Brett Libowitz
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Hiking

Amazing! Visibility wasn’t perfect with smoke but still beautiful

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miguel morales
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Hiking
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Christian Bulich
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HikingGreat!RockyScramble

Expected more to be honest. The first 5 1/2 miles don’t really have the amazing sceneries I’m used to see at Yosemite. The last part of the hike, however, has very beautiful parts and incredible views of the Yosemite Valley. You could smell the ongoing fires and the view at the top was not fully clear due to the smoke.

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Aaqib Ansari
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 1, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

The hike up was easier than I anticipated, hike down was harder. Absolutely beautiful views of the valley.

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Justin Luthey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 31, 2020
Hiking

Best day hike in Yosemite. 12.9 round trip for us. Previous comment mentioned creeks to fill up/filter midway but those are either dry or stagnant in late Oxy when we went. Last bit on the spine was not bad at all. If you wimp out on it, you are missing out big time

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Utkarsh Simha
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Hiking

Amazing hike. Some strenuous parts. The spine isn't as steep as it looks in videos. Views are worth it

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helen watson
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Hiking

very challenging and rewarding. the view at the end is magnificent. excellent day hike!!

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D N
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 31, 2020
Hiking

Fabulous. A couple felled trees but trail was easy to follow.

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Andrew Scotti
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HikingGreat!

Fantastic trail, incredible ridge at the end. If anyone sees a brown carhartt beanie on the trail, somewhere after the first set of switchbacks, please text me and let me know!! 201-468-7447

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Taylor Larsen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 27, 2020
HikingGreat!

Amazing! Lots of steps, elevation seemed relentless at times (even the downhill portions knowing that you were going to have to go back up it to get back to your car) and walking the spine was awesome yet scary at the same time. High Altitude effects kicked in above 9000 elevation and the smoke from the nearby fires made it difficult to breathe at times. Go slow, drink water and enjoy the views from the top! It was definitely a bucket list moment for me.

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sugar dalit
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Hiking

Hard but doable

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Eric W
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Hiking
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Samuel Alderfer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 23, 2020
Hiking

Good trail with incredible views. Should try to make it all the way up to see half dome and Yosemite Valley.

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Joanne Mierzejewski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 23, 2020
HikingGreat!

a Must do !! you are basically at the highest possible hiking point. The trail has multiple ascends and they are all a bit strenuous. Two moderate-advanced hikers and took us a bit under the recommended time. We parked in the sunshine lot so the trip was a total of 15 miles. The viewpoint is absolutely gorgeous and a little scary (if you're afraid of heights) but soo worth it!

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Jeffrey Nahn
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HikingGreat!

A long but not particularly steep hike, and well worth it for the view at the top! Hiked today, clear skies & no smoke. You pass a lake and running stream around mile 3-4 to filter water from if needed

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Chloe Mcnear
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 20, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

difficult but doable! the top was amazing and I say face your fears of heights and try the rocks at the end! you can always crawl on the way back if you need to! just as long as you faced your fears and CONQUERED yourself!

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Chistopher Durrett
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Hiking
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Ben McCormack
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Hiking

Absolutely stunning. Hard work and scary at the top but worth every second !!!

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Henry Leong
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Hiking
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Jeanette Gamboa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

Rated as hard, but very doable trail. Elevation gain: mile ratio is fair, thus the distribution of elevation gain makes the trail more pleasant. 1st mile was slow ascend. After 1st mile to about 2.75 is all ascend, then downhill. The next ascend was the one going up the ridge but compensated by the best view. Walking beside the ridge is also fun for some dare devils. :) When we went 3rd week of October 2020, there was four fires in the area. was smoky by the trail itself was pretty clear . We enjoyed a lot of rock formations along the trail at the summit itself. The Summit view is enough reason for us to go back next time. Pretty breathtaking! I would want to stay there longer. Recommendation: Hike as early as possible and stay longer at the summit. :) Check out our IG post on Bizarre rock faces and rock formation at the summit : https://www.instagram.com/at.the.intersection/ And our hike video here : https://youtu.be/xfMeTlGjMko Appreciate your support

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