Hike Clouds Rest

Tenaya Lake Trailhead

Distance

14.5 Miles

Elevation Gain

1775 Feet

Activities

Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Summer

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Addison Klinke

Forest
Scenic

Enjoy incredible panoramic views of Yosemite Valley. This hike is far less crowded than Half Dome and doesn't require permits for day hiking.

The "younger" brother of the world famous Half Dome, Clouds Rest is in fact a solid 1,000 feet taller despite receiving significantly less attention. If you know about this hidden gem however, you're in luck. Starting out from the Tenaya Lake trailhead will save you crowds on the trail and the trouble of driving into the congested Yosemite Valley and fighting for parking spaces.

At the start, the trail climbs quickly through the High Sierra, passing pine trees and monstrous white granite boulders along the way. Eventually, you will reach a plateau slightly before the turnoff to Sunrise Lakes. This gradual terrain continues until the final 2 miles when the real climbing starts. At this point you will be going up the backbone of Clouds Rest. The trail does become quite exposed towards the top, but is still wide enough to be comfortable (unless you have an extreme fear of heights).

At the top, you will be looking SE into Yosemite Valley with stunning views of Half Dome all the way out to El Capitan in the distance. Not to mention the views back towards Tuolumne Meadows aren't too shabby either. You'll definitely want to stay on the summit a while to soak in the panorama, so get an early start on this hike and bring plenty of sunscreen because there's no shade once you're up on top.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $143/night

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge

Tioga Rd, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA 95389, USA

From $386/night

The Majestic Yosemite Hotel

Yosemite Valley, California

From $108/night

Housekeeping Camp

Yosemite Valley, California

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Some mosquitoes in the summer!! But once you get up there it's a breathtaking view of the whole Yosemite Valley including Half Dome and El Capitan

IdleTheoryBus

about 4 years ago

Way Better than Half Dome. Having the vantage point down into the valley and half dome as a point of interest leads to excellent photographic opportunities. Love this Hike!

Distance

14.5 Miles

Elevation Gain

1775 Feet

Activities

Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Summer

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Addison Klinke

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike Clouds Rest to Half Dome

Adventure

Backpack Sunrise Lakes to Clouds Rest

Adventure

Hike the Half Dome & Clouds Rest Loop

Adventure

Climb Hermaphrodite Flake to Boltway in Yosemite National Park

More Nearby Adventures

Tours

More Tours

Related Stories

destinations

A Magical Yosemite Valley Winter Storm

A Yosemite Winter Wonderland

gear

La Sportiva Women's Skwama Climbing Shoe Review

Super sticky, super responsive, and just as badass as the men’s version of the shoe.

travel

A Few Days in Rossland, BC - A Must-Stop on the Powder Highway

If this town of less than 4,000 friendly folks doesn’t charm your socks off, the terrain at RED M...

destinations

WATCH: A Way of Life Under Attack - 'Welcome to Gwichyaa Zhee'

All over this country, indigenous people are literally just fighting for their identity.

More Stories