Cloud’s Rest

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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     We’ve had a lot of talk about alternate hikes if you cannot get Half Dome permits. Cloud’s Rest is a superb 1-day hike.      It was named by the Mariposa Battalion in 1851. The elephant in the room is that if Tioga Road is not plowed, you can’t get there from here. Plan on mid June. Unless you take the REAL long hike from Curry Village and up the JMT and continue to the Cloud’s Rest trail. L O N G. But if you do decide to go to Cloud’s Rest, you may do the drive up Hwy 120 (Tioga Rd) and park near Tenaya Lake and get on the Sunrise High Sierra Camp trail. There are a lot of good guidebooks, but it’s hard to get lost. You get some gentle ups and when you are within sight of CR, the Sunrise trail goes left but you follow the signs to CR. There are 3 small streams running and a large pond for your water needs (treat it). 

    The only scary part is the spine of Cloud’s Rest. It is pretty narrow and hiking poles will give you reassurance.  Be very careful. One slip and you are sliding down smooth granite into Tenaya Canyon.      Once you get up to the top, you are a gnat’s eyebrow shy of 10,000 ft above sea level.  Looking down at the west eastern side of Half Dome is special. Then get your binoculars out or zoom your camera toward the cables. Wow.  You can clearly see Ahwhiya Point. Look close and y0u can see the white granite scar fresh from last year’s rock fall.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Raindrops; so it must be raindrops, so many raindrops, it feels like raindrops falling from my eye-eyes, falling from my eyes.” – Dee Clark

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch –


8 Responses to “Cloud’s Rest”

  1. ScottS Says:

    Our plan in June is to do Half Dome on Tuesday, then do Clouds Rest on Thursday. Are we nuts??

    • mrhalfdome Says:


      Depends on what kind of shape you are in and where you plan to do Cloud’s Rest from. A day rest after HD is fine…if you take it real ez and sleep a lot on the rest day. To drive to Tioga Road and hike to CR from Tenaya lake is very do-able. At CR you are only going from 8,000 feet to 10,000 ft….not bad…HD is a 4700 ft rise. B A D

  2. Dean Says:

    A day off after Half Dome and you should be fine.

    I recommend a soothing paddle in the Merced and drinks at the Ahwahnee. Or head over to Wawona and stroll around the meadow.

    We managed 4 Mile Trail after a day recovery.

  3. ScottS Says:

    Thanks for the responses! We’re in decent shape, so I’m not too worried about that part of it. We logged quite a few miles in the Tetons last summer without any trouble (at similar, if not slightly higher, elevations).

    The plan is to do Clouds Rest from Tenaya Lake, so it should be ok. Unless the Tioga Pass road isn’t open by June 23!!

    We were actually thinking of the 4 Mile Trail on Sunday to get warmed up for the rest of the week 🙂

    And I like your thinking, Dean. Relaxation and drinks will definitely be the order of the day after HD!

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      Scott, I would NOT do 4 mile trail the energy for HD. If you sprain your ankle or pull a muscle you are hosed!! Take it easy easy…see the Yosemite Movie at the Vistor Center, tour the cemetery, hug a tree.

  4. Al Laurente Says:

    I am planning on CR on Memorial Day. Any thoughts on the snow level that day? Will it be passable?

    • mrhalfdome Says:


      The problem is going to be getting to the trailhead. If you are going to try via Tenaya Lake – Tioga Road probably will not be plowed by then. If you are gong from the Yosem valley via the JMT trail, the actual trail may still be covered in snow. WAY too early to predict. Although it is 70 degrees there now – they can still get another late spring snow. Dat’s da mountains fer ya!

      • Al Laurente Says:

        Thanks Rick. I prefer and like pain by starting from the valley than Tenaya Lake. No pain = no fun.

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