Cloud’s Rest a Perfect First Summit

Unusual travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.

~ Kurt Vonnegut


LENGTH 14 miles round trip with an 2300′ elevation gain about 6 hours hiking time

TRAIL HEAD Sunrise Trail Head at the west end of Tenaya Lake on Tioga Road about 10 miles west of Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park


FUN FACTS Be sure not to miss Tenya Lake after the climb. Experience the lake’s spectacular setting and the cool, refreshing water.


This was a very special climb, not because Cloud’s Rest has a knock your socks off view from the top, but because it was my granddaughter’s first summit. Granted she did ride to the top in the luxury of a fancy backpack, but the experience and joy of reaching the top was the same as if she had motored there herself.

To quote California Hiking by Tom Stienstra/Ann Marie Brown “Hiking to Cloud’s Rest is a trip that’s as epic as climbing Half Dome, with fewer people elbowing you along the way. But with a 2,300 foot climb and 14 miles to cover it’s not for those who are out of shape.”

The trail starts mildly in the luxury of shade, then climbs steeply. The first 2.5 miles are the toughest. The final summit ascent has good footing on granite slabs and the top sports stellar views of the cable side of Half Dome, Tenaya Canyon and Lake, and the Clark Range.

For the virtual panoramic view from the summit of Cloud’s Rest view the video below.

The day was complete with a cool off in Tenaya Lake. This was our family’s thirdclimb in the upper Yosemite area. View last year’s climb of Mount Conness.

Tenya Lake


  1. annathrax

    Will have to bring the family here when my daughter is a bit older! I hope she loves the outdoors as much as her mummy! Thanks for your blog, it is inspiring and jaw dropping in so many ways. I dare to dream!

  2. Pingback: August 3 – Clouds Rest | Lady on a Rock

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