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Clouds Rest Trail



9.2 mile 14.9 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 1,974' 602 m
Descent: -2,908' -886 m
High: 9,789' 2,984 m
Low: 7,232' 2,204 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 49% (26°)


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Trail shared by Paul Lukacovic

This appropriately named trail is a special "must do" iconic Yosemite journey.

Paul Lukacovic

Features Views · Wildflowers


Leaving the west end of Tenaya Lake, the trail winds its way through forests and rocks before it starts the steep (at times stair step) climb. Make sure you have plenty of water for the whole route because the only reliable water source is a lake at 3.1 miles. At higher elevations the forest is less dense and much dryer with views of distant peaks.

The high point is at 5.8 miles. At this stage, you'll be traveling over an exposed narrow fin of granite, which might give some visitors a feeling of vertigo. From here you command a 360 degree view with Tenaya Canyon falling away to the West, Yosemite Valley below, and a fantastic angle for viewing Half Dome. The Cathedral Range and Clark Range create a breathtaking skyline to the East and South.

Continuing South, the trail drops along a series of steep stairs (think of stairs leading into Mordor) and then steep trail before connecting to the John Muir Trail a little East of the Half Dome Trail.

Park at the West end of Tenaya Lake or better yet park in the Tuolumne area and take the free shuttle in summer.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Flora & Fauna


Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

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Aug 28, 2019
Todd Burdette
Aug 14, 2019
Sophia Barwegen
Jul 22, 2019
Olivia Lynn
Near 10,000 ft, 1st 15 mile day 15mi
Jun 21, 2019
Karly Lopez
i died 18mi
Aug 26, 2018
Marc Daniel
With Roy Furstner
Jul 12, 2018
Stephen Hicks
Jul 7, 2018
Rodney Hittle
Jun 4, 2018
Amanda Edwards

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 17 votes


  4.7 from 17 votes
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in California


108 Views Last Month
6,530 Since Sep 2, 2015



Such an incredible spot in Yosemite. Clouds Rest is appropriately named with 360 views of the park including Half Dome.
May 26, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Westward view of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Tenaya Canyon, and smoke from fires from Clouds Rest.
Nov 19, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
At the peak of Clouds Rest with the "Inverse Tunnel View" of the Yosemite Valley in the background. he out-and-back hike to Clouds Rest from Tenaya Lake is one of the most rewarding one in Yosemite.
Aug 11, 2019 near Yosemit…, CA
The granite domes of the high country.  You can see Tenaya Lake in the distance.
Mar 9, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Half Dome and Yosemite Valley in the distance.  The view from the top of Clouds Rest provides you a  great view of the entire park.
Mar 9, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Cloud's Rest, Yosemite.
May 14, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA


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