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Hiking Clouds Rest Trail, Yosemite National Park


Article Categories: Hiking
Article Tags: California | Day Hikes | Yosemite

For those looking to take their Yosemite National Park adventure to the next level, hiking up to Clouds Rest is an absolute must. It features breathtaking 360-degree views, with Half Dome clear in site, this may be the best views in all of Yosemite National Park. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know before setting out on your Cloud’s Rest hike.

Quick Navigation:
Trail Map | Trails | Hiking In Winter | Camping | Directions | Pictures

Difficulty – Intermediate
Distance – 12.5 Miles Round Trip (20.12 km)
Height – 9,926 feet (2967.23 m)
Elevation gain – 3,100 feet (944.88 m)
Duration – 8-10 hours round trip
Hike Class: Class 2
Trailhead Location – Sunrise Lakes Trailhead (8,184)
Dogs – Not allowed


Need To Know Information

Trail Map

Clouds Rest Trail Map, Yosemite National Park

Download GPX Here



The main route to Clouds Rest is from Tioga Road, which is closed in winter often until late May or June. This route is significantly shorter than the alternative necessary when the road is closed from Yosemite Valley. Generally, this hike is only done from the valley as part of an overnight backpacking trip.


Cloud’s Rest From Sunrise Lake Trailhead

Distance – 12.5 Miles Round Trip (20.12 km)
Height – 9,926 feet (2967.23 m)
Elevation gain – 3,100 feet (944.88 m)
Duration – 8-10 hours round trip

Hikers begin at the trail by the bathrooms at the sunrise lake trailhead. They quickly hit a water crossing (Tenaya Creek) that has stone steps across the river, but often times, hikers will need to get their feet wet for this. Be prepared for that!

The trail is easy to follow, and well marked. The views along the way are pretty stellar and unique just about the entire time. This route requires both steep uphills and downhills in both directions.




Clouds Rest From Mist Trailhead

Distance: 18.04 Miles Round Trip (29.61 km)
Elevation Gain: 7,223 Feet (2201.57 m)

This is not the recommended route due to the very long hike required for a single day. That being said, it can be done, or this is an amazingly awesome starting point, or end point for an overnight trip (if you get wilderness permits).

Hikers will pass the amazing Vernal and Nevada Falls. They will also pass Little Yosemite Valley Campground, which would be a great place to stay to turn this into a backpacking trip.


Hiking in Winter

Refer to trail closures and winter hiking info here.


Camping Information

Nearby lodging and campground information can be found here.

And getting backcountry/wilderness camping permit info can be found here.



Here is a detailed weather forecast for the area:

Yosemite Valley, CA

Memorial Day
A slight chance of rain showers before 2pm, then a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms between 2pm and 5pm. Sunny. High near 56, with temperatures falling to around 54 in the afternoon. West southwest wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Mostly clear, with a low around 41. East northeast wind 0 to 5 mph.

Sunny. High near 55, with temperatures falling to around 53 in the afternoon. South southeast wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Tuesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 40. North northwest wind 0 to 10 mph.

Sunny, with a high near 56. West southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.

Wednesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 43. North wind 5 to 10 mph.

Sunny, with a high near 61. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.



Directions to Sunrise Lake Trailhead:


Additional Pictures

Cloud's Rest summit views

Cloud’s Rest summit views

The final ridge heading to the summit of Cloud's Rest

The final ridge heading to the summit of Cloud’s Rest

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, backcountry skier, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued climbed all of the Colorado 14ers, is always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about

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