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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.

Length 13.0 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 (1120)
Photos (1319)
Recordings (849)
Completed (1969)
Laura Urbina
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
HikingGreat!
View Laura's Recording
Jaime Hoover
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
HikingGreat!

Such a good little hike! Ended up being 15 miles. I really enjoyed it. Super pretty and perfect weather!! Everyone pick up your trash though!

Symren Takher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

Long, but worth it!

Kevin Fort
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

--Magnificent hike!!! I think it's the best hike in Yosemite, even better than half dome. Easily one of the best hikes in the western U.S. --We're a slow-hiking group. Left at 6:30 AM, half way up by 9, summited at 11:30. Lots of breaks and photos. Left summit at noon and back to the car at 4:30. Gaia GPS tells me we spent 5.5 hours actually moving. --Hike was very do-able. The "steep" section in the first third of the way up wasn't so bad. I got winded here and there on this hike, but nothing that was a big deal. I'm 56 as I write this, ~150 pounds, in moderate condition, and no endurance athlete by any stretch of the imagination. --The narrow spot at the end really does LOOK intimidating as you approach it, but once you're on it, you'll find all sorts of PERFECTLY SAFE routes. Trust me on this. The view at the end is simply magnificent. The only reasons not to do that last little staircase stretch is if you're completely wiped out at that point and are losing your sense of balance (not likely) or if you have a pathological fear of heights. Otherwise, just go for it. Everyone else makes it up safely and so will you. --Water. We took the advice of All Trails reviews and packed a gallon of water each. One member of our party drank it all. I drank 3 liters. This was on August 1, 2020, a hot day. --We left at 6:30 AM. During the summer you shouldn't leave a minute later. You want to do as much of this hike in the cool first half of the day as possible. The people starting out at noon were making a big mistake, in my opinion. --Food: I ate a big premade breakfast of home fried potatoes and veggies, 2 Cliff bars, a veggie burrito that I purchased and brought from my home town, a small bag of chips, a very small handful of almonds, and split a bagel with my son. I probably burned every calorie! --We had ZERO mosquito problems. I wore DEET, but my son put NONE on at all, had a short sleeved shirt on and shorts, and didn't get a single bite (neither did I). So mosquitos are clearly a seasonal issue. Do come prepared though! Others have been nearly eaten alive by mosquitos if you read some of the other reviews. --Prepare to be amazed. Cloud's Rest is breathtakingly beautiful.

Trent Bekker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
RockyScramble

Incredible hike. Views from the top are very hard to beat. I started this hike at 7AM but starting at 6AM probably would have been wiser. Even on the way down the heat started getting to me. I would advise bringing 4 liters of water with you as I easily went through mine. My legs are noodles but it was well worth it.

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James Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Great hike, physically challenging hike, not technical. The trail took us about 7 1/2 hours to complete. It is about 15 miles total start to finish. We hiked the trail July 28, 2020 fairly good conditions crystal clear skies no bugs, epic 360° views. Shade the first 3/4 part of the way up. Recommend start early as possible and bring plenty of water. We went thru 1/2 gallon each and could have used a bit more.

Mike Dearth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2020
HikingRockyScramble
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Camille Lim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2020
Hiking

It was AMAZING! Lots of friendly people. View and nature is breathtaking. Definitely a tough hike with the crazy elevation climb.

View Camille's Recording
Sophia Lux-Archer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2020
Hiking

This trail is an investment hike if you’re a day-tripper. It can get arid in some parts, and damp enough for mosquitos in others, so bring more water than you think you need and plenty of deet-free bug spray. Absolutely stunning from beginning to end, and back. This is NOT for the faint of heart. It’s taller than Half Dome, but not nearly as vertical at the end. However, there are two upward slogs going, and one coming back. I’d guess only overly-ambitious intermediate hikers (me), or advanced peeps should try this. Worth it 100000%, though!!! Took me just shy of 6 hours of active moving to complete the hike, adding an hour-long nap under a tiny tree at the top. DONT FEED THE CHIPMUNKS; THEY’RE GETTING CHONKY, SLOW, AND VERY CURIOUS AT THE TOP. Completed on 7/30/2020

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Matthew Secrest
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 27, 2020
Hiking

The AllTrails distance is closer to the true distance than the signage, which says 7.4 miles each way. We did it in 8 hrs, ~6 active hiking

Allan Ketelsen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 27, 2020
HikingRocky
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Nolan Mayther
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 27, 2020
HikingRocky
Tanner Champagne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
Hiking

Amazing view, best hike in Yosemite!

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Khay Nguyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 23, 2020
Hiking

Perfect, ultra challenging day hike. Our group did this is 7 hours, with some stops. Not sure why alltrails has this at 12 miles when signs say it’s 7.4 miles there, so double that would be closer to 15 miles. Views at the top were insane. The ridge is a little scary but looks worse than it is. Just practice slow deliberate steps and a lot of caution! I was nervous about running out of water but it wasn’t crazy hot, maybe high 70’s, when we went even though it was bright and sunny (higher elevation yay!) so I think 2.5 liters per person was plenty. A lot of elevation for me (2000 ft up and down) so I might have gotten elevation sickness/headache coming down too quickly. Would recommend some hiking poles and electrolytes to help with climbs and descents on the way back (I was exhausted and legs were starting to cramp up.). Definitely go for a little dip in Tenaya Lake at the end to wash off the hike dust. It’s cold but bearable and will immediately help with the sore muscles.

Steven H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

It's certainly stunning. I hiked it on a Friday morning, and it wasn't very busy. But there was a steady stream of people heading up from Tenaya Lake on Sunday morning when I was backpacking out. So do this on a weekday if you can. If you're a backpacker, consider looping it with the JMT. Also, there's not much filterable water in the last mile or two to the peak; fill up at the creek after you pass a pond on the right.

Brooks Marzka
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!

First off, if anyone knows of a better single day hiking view in the world, please post it. I've been to all of the National Parks in the lower 48 with hiking trails, and while this isn't the best hike I've ever been on, the end provided the single greatest view I've ever had on a single day hike. This statement holds true internationally too, and that's 75 countries and counting. About the hike:. the first 1.5 miles is cake. Flat for the most part, meadow's, ponds, flies. The flies are persistent and annoying and take away from the enjoyment unfortunately. They're present the entire way until the trees end. After the 1.5 mile ease into the hike, it's hard for 1.2 miles. Not straight up, but close to it. Then there's down for about half a mile before gradually going up the rest of the way. The last part is not that difficult. As you break past the tree line, it gets special. 360 views of America's most beautiful National Park. Enjoy!

Ulrike Mayfield
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike! I did this yesterday with my 9 year old and enjoyed it. It was a bit much for her. Turned into 15 miles instead of 12. It took us about 8 1/2 hours including breaks. Most of the hike was in the shade and we appreciate that. Very peaceful!

Tyler Chuck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2020
Hiking

One of my favorite hikes never ceases to disappoint. A lovely climb to an incredible vista point with views of the Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and most of Tioga Road. Today’s hike had a thunderstorm, so we had to cut our time short out on the peak itself as it’s exposed and we didn’t want to get hit. When there isn’t snow, the trail is very well marked and somewhat crowded.

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Sudhakar Ayyasamy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2020
HikingGreat!

Great hike, exceptional views at the top! It takes about seven hours to complete it, and it's partly shady.

SpxChih C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 18, 2020
HikingBugs
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Alyssa Keene
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Favorite hike in Yosemite!!! The diversity of nature you see along this trail is beyond incredible. The switchbacks are a beast, but if you have supportive shoes and poles you can get through just fine! Enjoy the end- totally worth it! Also IMPORTANT NOTE: this trail is a total of 15 miles round trip, not 12.4 like it says here. Signs at beginning of trail said 7.5 miles to Clouds Rest, so you double that and you’re at 15 by the time you get back to your car. My Garmin tracker verified that it is, indeed, 15 miles total. Plan accordingly!

Blia V.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
Hiking

Absolutely worth it! The trail offered lots of shades and inclines! The view from the top is breathtaking! Must do!

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Kevin Sullivan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 17, 2020
HikingScramble

Tough. Awesome. The scramble at the top was fun. The views are killer and Tenaya lake at the beginning is picture perfect as well.

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