Originally uploaded by JoeDuck
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!
Yes beautiful country, at least once you get away from the Valley. Entering the park from the east via Tioga Pass offers another view, just as spectacular, and less crowded (tho’ many climber-riff raff around Tuolomne)…and one may see Lake Tenaya (name of legendary Modoc chief I believe). Those who have a few hours to bag Mt Dana (like 13,000+)–as I have once or thrice– will be rewarded with one of the most sublime vistas in Sierras–Mono lake basin to east (and Nevada ranges farther east), Yosemite valley to west, the jagged Minarets and the Mammoth area to south. Rather hairy storms blow up suddenly in afternoon (also a great off-piste skiing area) Yo, lessons in postcard prose from Mr Duck!
Excellent Horatiox – Mt Dana sounds like a good future goal. My daughter now insists she must hike Half Dome so that’ll be the next trip – probably next year.
Cloud’s rest or Half-dome are nice hikes. Drive up past Tuolumne and you’re in Yosemite high country. With Mt Dana, 2nd highest peak in YNP, you park at like 10,000 or so, and the 3000 ft. ascent can be done by fit humans in a few hours–tho’ definitely a lungblaster. Mt. Lyell, YNP’s highest peak requires a much longer trek, and backpacking (tho’ can be done in a day by the super macho). At the northeast end of YNP (out of Bridgeport) one can fairly easily climb Virginia Peak, immortalized by Jack Kerouac in the Dharma Bums (tho’ supposedly JK didn’t quite make it, preferring to swill chianti or something as his pal Japhy (Gary Snyder) scrambled up the peak).
I usually confine my mountain treks and peakbagging to eastside southern Sierra, out of Lone Pine or Independence. Mt. Whitney’s an amazing view, tho’ usually many touristas (and pinche marmots)–many nice if steep hikes as well (quite different terrain then the pleasant forests of western sierra).
Those who acclimatize a bit and are in shape can climb Whitney in a day (starting at 4-5am…about 20 miles rt). There are a few other fairly accessible 14ers in the area as well, such as the beautiful and desolate Mt Langley a dozen or so miles south of Whitney–(involves a sleepover, tho’ except for perhaps olympic like athletes). I have Mt Williamson, 2nd highest peak in CA, west of Independence in my sights, though that involves a long trek, campover, typically bears, and some fairly gnarly class 4 like ridges, and alas, Pissford red tape (USFS).
(scuzi alpine reveries…)
I’m so jealous. Just returned from Yosemite. Did the horrible switchbacks to lower Sunrise Lake last year, not in good enough shape this year to do it, alas. So, I settled for Dog Lake, where I got some nice photos.
Hi Linda. Yup, those were nasty uphills though that stretch of about 3 miles was the only “hard” part of that wonderful trail. The Sunrise to Clouds Rest was long but scenic and pretty easy going all the way to the top.