is a massive granite peak just northeast of Half Dome
. The peak can be seen from Yosemite Valley, and at 9,930 ft. is about 1,080 ft. higher than the more famous Half Dome
. The peak offers excellent views of Half Dome
and the surrounding area.
is a great hike if you are unable to secure a permit for Half Dome
or if you are looking for a longer trail with more elevation gain. For the most part, the trail to Clouds Rest
follows the Half Dome Trail
, and then splits about 1.5 miles before the Half Dome
Along the trail, you'll see up-close amazing views of two waterfalls—Vernal Falls
and Nevada Falls—get to hike across Little Yosemite Valley, and finally experience the beautiful summit with its expansive views.
The peak can also be reached using the Sunrise Lakes Trail
from Tenaya Lake. The description below is for the longer hike starting at the Yosemite Valley.
Start the route at Happy Isles
, past the river from the bus stop. Hike to the first bridge and then continue on JMT: Segment 1 - Happy Isles to Tuolumne Meadows. Shortly, you'll come to a fork and have to pick between the Mist Trail
and the John Muir Trail. Both trails merge later at the top of Nevada Falls. If you pick the Mist Trail
(open only in winter), you pass very close to Vernal Falls
and get a great up close view of Nevada Falls as well. At the top of Nevada Falls, there is a restroom. This is where the two trails meet again.
Continue hiking as the trail gets flatter and reaches Little Yosemite Valley. At the end of Little Yosemite Valley, turn left as the trail start climbing up the hillside. The next important intersection is the fork between the Half Dome
and the Clouds Rest Trail
. Take the right fork which follows the John Muir Trail towards Clouds Rest
. After a little bit of hiking, you'll pass a trailhead for Clouds Rest Trail
on your left. Follow this, leaving the John Muir Trail, which continues to the right. Follow Clouds Rest Trail
all the way to the summit of Clouds Rest