Cloud's Rest
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5.0 of 5 bubbles70 reviews
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Josh B
Roscoe, IL18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
This hike was a highlight of our trip (June 17, 2021). Took 7:42 total time, with about 45 minutes at the summit. We had 6 people in our group, from 45 years old to 15.
This is the best view of Yosemite we experienced. The summit is about 1500 feet higher than half dome, so you are looking down on that peak. We read that you can see Hawaii from Clouds Rest, and we think we could see an island mountain range far to the west, so we're claiming that we saw Hawaii.
The hike starts off in the forest, and gradually gets more mountainous. Due to how forested Yosemite is, don't expect spectacular views all along the way like you would in Glacier NP.
One particular challenge of this hike is that the ascent is not all up, so the descent is not all down, making it a bit harder than we expected. I normally assume a descent will take half the time of the ascent, but with this hike it was more like 80% of the ascent time.
I was worried about mosquitos, as we were warned about these. They were bad at the beginning of the hike (if you were foolish enough to stop), but about half way through we really didn't see any.
Written 27 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jaskel08
California336 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Friends
Great hike. There is an amazing 360-degree view from the top. Definitely considered a hard hike. Elevation at the top is about 10,000 feet. Roughly 13 miles that took us almost 7 hours. The trail is well groomed and maintained. We went in early September when the weather was in the mid 50’s to low 60’s. No mosquitos but I would imagine were would be if it was warmer. We got to the parking lot at 8:15 and it was mostly full. It didn’t take long for us to unpeel layers of clothing. At the top, there are amazing views of the valley, rock formations, Half Dome, and Glacier Point. What I like about the hike is that it’s not a straight uphill hike the entire time. There’s a good mix of flat sections, a downhill section, and of course some uphill sections. Near the top, there is a narrow spine with a steep drop on either side you have to scramble up. The weather can be unpredictable, so take a poncho or waterproof gear along and plenty of water.
Written 12 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kari Beaulieu
Boston, MA439 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020 • Friends
While the trail can feel a bit long on the way back, the view at the summit makes everything worth it.

If you can handle a nerve wracking waltz across the ridge that leads out to the final viewpoint, you will thank yourself! It feels insane, but it’s actually relatively wide and flat. Just keep your eyes trained on the rocks in front of you rather than glancing down the 5000 foot rock face to your right and you should be able to keep the vertigo at bay ;)

Absolutely stunning.
Written 26 June 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Satyabrata Dam
New Delhi1,760 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Solo
This hike is worth doing because if the views. It's a moderate hike if you start from Little Yosemite camping. The last bit is fun going across a narrow ridge. The panoramic view of snow covered mountains from the summit is impressive. Must do.
Written 10 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matt M
Illinois99 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2016 • Friends
Read an article in Backpacker magazine about friends who hiked Yosemite in a week and one of the highlights was Cloud's Rest. Sketchy if you are afraid of heights! 3' wide ridgeline with steep, drop offs on either side. I think it was 1000' down on one side and 2000' on the other. Well worth the hike though. Started from the trailhead right off Tioga Road. Take the trail for Sunrise Lakes. We were at the trailhead around 10am. Made it to Cloud's Rest around 2pm. Back to car around sundown. Actually have to make 2 climbs to get there as there's a ridge that you have to go up, over, then back down before you start to make the climb to the top. Not crowded at all as there's no mentioned at all about it in any of the info that they give at the park entrance. Verizon cell service at the top so we got to FB live with friends! No water anywhere on the trail so make sure you pack enough.
Written 23 December 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Daj777
Modesto, CA8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Friends
Great 360 view at top. Only one real water crossing in the first qtr mile. Not super strenuous but the 1 mile climb up (and down) the switchbacks early on is the hardest part. The last climb to the top along a ridge is exciting but wide enough to walk along safely. Overall great views and a nice hike. Water is available up until about half way through.
Written 17 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pingaroo
Chicago, IL2,165 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
Clouds Rest can be reached from the Sunrise Lakes Trailhead on Tioga Road or from Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley. Most people opt for the 14 mi/22.5 km roundtrip trail from Tioga Road, which has an elevation gain of 1800 ft/550 m. The trail is a three-part staircase: the first 1.5 mi is flat, the next 1 mi gains 1000 ft. After the Sunrise Lakes junction, trail descends 350 ft in 0.5 mi, stays flat for 1.7 mi, and ascends 350 ft for 0.5 mi. At the next junction, it's 1.5 mi to the top with an elevation gain of 800 ft. You need to cross Tenaya Creek twice as well as several small creeks along the way, and the water level varies depending on time of year. Trail condition is mostly granite but can be muddy near creek crossings and due to snow melt. There are 2 small parking lots at the Sunrise Lakes Trailhead as well as plenty of road-side parking.

My husband and I started the trail around 7:30am on a Monday in June and finished around 3pm (7.5 hours). We had no trouble finding a parking spot in the early morning. The lots, as well as the parking on the side of the road, were completely full in the afternoon. We brought 8L of water for 2 people, which was sufficient on a 90 deg F/32 deg C day. The trail was not crowded as we encountered 40 people in total.

We found the trail boring because it's mostly through the forest and there isn't much view until you're near the top. The Tenaya Creek crossings were easy as water level was low enough to hop across rocks. Due to snow melt, there were so many bugs and mosquitoes in the woods and meadows. Although we applied bug spray, we still received many bites. My husband resorted to swatting himself with his extra t-shirt. They were especially vicious in the first 1.5 mi and attacked in broad daylight. We haven't seen such voracious mosquitoes since Everglades NP.

The view at the top is phenomenal. It's hands-down the best view in Yosemite (better than Yosemite Valley or Glacier Point). You get an amazing 360 degrees panorama of the Sierra Nevada. We were lucky enough to see golden belly marmot.

In terms of difficulty, this hike is strenuous even by Yosemite standards. Although the net elevation gain is 1800 ft, the actual elevation gain is 2150 ft due to the descent in the middle section. At the High Sierra elevation (8100 - 9900 ft on this trail compared to 5000 - 8000 ft on the Yosemite Valley hikes), we felt more tired than we did on last year's Yosemite Valley hikes. Since we live near sea level, we didn't really get a chance to acclimatize to the elevation (ideally, you should plan for a acclimatizing day but who has time for that).

Would I recommend this hike? The answer is no. Although the panoramic view at the summit were incredible, it wasn't worth the 14 mi hike and insect bites. There are shorter and more scenic hikes in Yosemite (we loved the Four Mile Trail and Mist Trail).
Written 11 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jim S
Coeur d'Alene, ID86 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Solo
If you've spent any time in Yosemite you know that the park is crazy congested in the summer. The valley is a sea of people as bumper to bumper traffic slowly meanders around the valley loop. If you don't like crowds and want a killer day hike in the park with the best view of Half Dome you'll ever see; this is the hike.

The easiest way to summit this 6.2 mile bad boy (keep in mind easy is a relative term) is by starting your day at Tenaya Lake. This lake is not in the main valley and is not accessible by car from the main valley. Tenaya Lake is on the right side of Tioga Rd (120) approximately 50 miles from Buck Meadows, CA.

The lake sits at about 8,000', so total elevation gain to Clouds Rest (which sits just under 10,000') isn't that bad. However, I will add that not's entirely true since you give up quite a bit of gain after you reach the first saddle. I hate to speculate how long this will take anyone to hike but you can ballpark around 3 hours there and probably 2.5 hours back. The last couple hundred feet are a scramble up an arete so make sure you have the appropriate footwear. Also, the weather is crazy dynamic so be prepared to get chased off or held up by a thunderstorm, especially in early summer. There is also a decent amount of water along the way, so if you bring a water filter you'll be able to find a few places to fill up! Also beware of mosquitoes and absolutely be sure to pack bug spray. You'll see a handful of people on this route. There should also be tons of parking available at Tenaya Lake, which will definitely NOT be the case if you start at the Valley floor.

BUT if you're absolutely set on hiking the Mist Trail and couldn't get a Half Dome permit and enjoy bone crunching day hikes you can start there, but it would make for a very long day. The Valley floor sits at 5000' so you would be gaining more than 4000' in one day. If you want to see the Mist Trail, I'd break this up into two different days, but the network of trails is there if you can't.
Written 12 February 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

downeyfresh07
19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018
My husband & I did this in October 2018. We are both mid 30s and at the time didn't exercise regularly but are in regular/healthy shape. My husband has a physical job too so he's going up & down ladders a lot during the day. I home school 5 kids so I get plenty of exercise keeping track of them! :) . We started at the Sunrise Lakes Trailhead. The only issue I experienced on the hike was feeling short of breath easily due to not acclimating to the altitude. We drove into the park that day so we didn't give ourselves time to acclimate. However, it was fine, we just had to stop A LOT to catch our breath and wait for my heart rate to go down. The granite stairs weren't as bad as I thought they'd be but we did have to stop a lot to catch our breath. My knees hurt more going DOWN the steps. I was surprised that I wasn't as sore as I thought I'd be the next day too!
The view at the top was INCREDIBLE. I don't see how you could get a better view. This will be a favorite memory for the rest of my life.
So don't feel intimidated by this hike if you're not super fit or hike regularly. It just may take you longer to complete. We did this in about 8-8.5 hours. I would recommend staying inside the park to acclimate to the altitude but if you can't, just pace yourself and go slow.
We hiked in 40 degree weather and easily went through 3 liters of water. If you hike this in the summer, bring 4 liters. Or... carry 3 liters with you and filter another liter on the trail somewhere. Even in October there were a few little streams, not much, but enough that you could at least get a liter from if needed.
I also had no problems breathing climbing up the spine. I was surprised but we were also moving slow to be careful and also went to the left side where it was a little wider.
Written 9 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ohtheplacesyoullgo5
St. Catharines, Canada100 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
Got up at 5am and started this hike at 6am. Drove from our campsite to the starting point near Tuolumne Meadows. The first bit of the hike is flat then the incline begins and you go up this white rock like stairs. After getting up you hike down a bit and then more incline. There is so much to see on this hike along the trails including wild life, flowers, water it just gets better. The last part of the hike is the last incline before you see the rocks that take you up to clouds rest. Pictures can be deceiving and the path is a bit wider than you think however you still need to be careful. There is so much room to hangout on the rest and look out and see all of the sierras. Bring lunch to enjoy the views. You will want to pack lots of snacks and at least 3L of water. This hike took us 7hours and 14km total so it is an all day hike. You can hike this from the Valley which will take you even longer at about 22km. This is one of my most favourite hikes and quite the challenge. The way down was much worse as going back over the uneven rock path hurt my feet like hell. Your body may have a bit of shock after the hike depending on your fitness level.
Written 19 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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CLOUD'S REST (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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