The Clouds Rest hike in Yosemite was fantastic – one of the best hikes I’ve ever done in terms of scenery, modest difficulty, and drama as you ascend the last portion to some of the best views in the park (which, in the case of Yosemite, means some of the best views …. on earth…
We camped at Sunrise Lakes, a very steep hike of about 3 miles, then up to Clouds Rest the next day. It’s 10 miles round trip but the elevation gain from the lakes – which are at about 9200 feet – was just moderate.
At the top of Clouds Rest you can see most of Yosemite, with magnificent viewing for the entire 360 degrees. Especially spectacular is the look down Tenaya Canyon into Yosemite Valley far below. Half Dome hikers are visible with binoculars making their way up the cables that cover the last few hundred yards of the Half Dome hike.
The Half Dome hike offers great views and a huge sense of accomplishment when you make the top, but I’d say Clouds Rest is even more scenic.
Yosemite – what a great American Masterpiece!