Happy Isles to Cloud's Rest Loop

HARD 4 reviews
#87 of 210 trails in

Happy Isles to Cloud's Rest Loop is a 21.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from June until October.

DISTANCE
21.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
6371 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

forest

river

views

waterfall

no dogs

Start at the Happy Isles Trailhead and follow either the Mist Trail or JMT to the Mist Trail/JMT junction. Continue on the Mist Trail until you reach the JMT again next to Liberty Cap. Turn left and continue onto the JMT. This is near the Little Yosemite Valley campground so there should be some bathrooms to use on your right. Continue on the JMT until the Half Dome/JMT junction. Turn right to stay on the JMT. Follow the JMT for half of a mile until a fork and turn left to continue up to Cloud's Rest. From Cloud's Rest, continue on the trail 1.4 miles and turn right onto the Pack Trail at the junction. Take this back down towards the valley. Take the next two rights to get back onto the JMT and follow that back down to the valley. If you took the Mist Trail up, try taking the JMT back to the valley, or vice versa.

4 days ago

I did this as part of a backpacking trip in mid May before Tioga Road opened. Took the Mist Trail up and JMT down, mileage was around 26 per my friends GPS. I highly recommend overnighting here because the sunsets are absolutely stunning and it saves your legs for the crazy downhill back. That being said, the elevation gain is intense (especially on the Mist Trail) so pace yourself and take as many breaks as you need. Overall one of my favorite hikes, you can’t beat the views.

hiking
26 days ago

one of the most challenging hikes I have ever done. It is long and strenuous, felt like it doesn't end. We went on a cool day but still ran out of water, make sure to grab at least 3L for each person going.
there were patches of snow along the trail
the way back hurts the legs, note to self was to grab pain-killers to survive the way back

hiking
6 months ago

Hard but worth it for the views. Recommend to start early in the morning as it gets really hot during the day.