Our Clouds Rest day hike is the ultimate bucket-list Yosemite adventure! The summit of Clouds Rest is the neighboring peak to Half Dome, located immediately to the North and peaking over 1,000 feet higher. When looking at Half Dome from the valley, you can see Clouds Rest immediately to the left. At 9,926’ in elevation, the summit offers one of the best views in the park, and an unparalleled vantage of Half Dome and Yosemite Valley. This challenging 14.5-mile day hike is a favorite for guests and guides alike, making it among our most popular day tours. All Clouds Rest day hike tours are private.
Meeting Location: Sunrise Lakes Trailhead at 8,150′
High Point: Clouds Rest Summit: 9926′
Elevation Gain: 1,776′
The Clouds Rest hike begins at 7am at the Sunrise Trailhead parking along the west shore of Tenaya Lake. This is right off of Higway 120/Tioga Road between Olmstead Point and Tenaya Lake. You will meet your Lasting Adventures Guide here.
The distance of the Clouds Rest hike is approximately 14.5 miles round trip from Tenaya Lake in the Yosemite high country with a total elevation gain of 1,776′. The trail begins at an elevation of about 8,150 and the first 1.5 miles is gradual before miles 1.5-2.5 which offers one of the more difficult climbs of the day. The reward at the top of this first climb is an awesome hidden viewpoint down the length of Tenaya Canyon seeing the valley in the distance past both Clouds Rest and Half Dome.
The next few miles are a combination of some downhill and gradual uphills before the last climb to the summit. Views of the high country in a less crowded area are abundant as we pass by a pond and break at a stream. After the break we start winding uphill again as we gain a view of the Clouds Rest summit and more views up the Merced River Canyon. The last 1/4 mile or so to the summit we call the ‘Spine”. The Spine is a narrow ridge with a steep drop off to the west of about 4,000 feet and a lesser drop to the east of around 1,000 feet. This provides an exciting adrenaline rush at the end, but is certainly more low key than summiting Half Dome.
The reward at the summit is one of the best 360 degree views in the park. From this viewpoint you can see many famous Yosemite icons such as Half Dome, El Capitan, Glacier Point, Mt. Watkins, North Dome, Sentinel Dome, Mount Hoffman, Mount Lyell, Mount Conness, Mount Dana, Merced lake, Tenaya Lake,… and the list goes on.
Met with our awesome guide Scott at 7am, and he was amped up to get us out on this hike. He was super knowledgeable, and was continuously giving us little bits of information about the park or about what we were actually looking at when taking in the amazing views. This hike was really cool, because at the top you are basically looking down at Half Dome. Not to mention the views from the high point covered 360 degrees. We got out early and at a great pace, so there were not many people at the top when we showed up. Would highly recommend this hike, and this company in general. Their offerings and knowledge about Yosemite guarantee a great experience. I plan to go back next year and do one of the backpacking trips. – Michael M.
My 14 year old son and I had a wonderful hike to Clouds Rest with Otto. We learned about Yosemite history as well as flora and fauna. Otto is incredibly nice and a great conversationalist. We shared recommendations on books, movies and even video games during our time together. Prior to the trip Scott was awesome to work with in terms of setting up the tour. I highly recommend Lasting Adventures, it was our favorite experience in a trip filled with top notch hikes and attractions. – Alan C.
Myself and 2 college buddies decided on Cloud‘s Rest as an alternative to the more popular Half Dome hike. The views were promised to be just as spectacular as the vantage point is actually about 1,100 feet higher than Half Dome with log views down the valley. Scott Gehrman was our guide for this hike and also happens to be the founder of Lasting Adventures. We set out at 7am on a beautiful October morning. Scott met us at the Sunrise Lakes trailhead and we set out for a great 6.5 hour hike. We summited Cloud‘s Rest in about 3.5 hours and several stops along the way to rest and take in the views. We were actually quite impressed with our pace although we certainly weren’t trying to rush the hike. Scott was extremely knowledgeable about the park and was able to provide great stories about past hikes, history of the park, and great general commentary. – Troy S.
Day Hike Cancellation Policy:
On day hikes, we will offer no-charge cancellation until 7 days prior to the departure of the hike. Within 7 days of departure, but at least 72 hours prior to departure, a 50% cancellation fee applies. Within 72 hours there are no refunds.