August 4 – Clouds Rest

20120805-092546.jpgTuolumne Meadows to 1/2 mile north of junction to Half Dome
23.1 miles

This trek through the Sierras has spurred a personal transformation of sorts. I like to think of myself as a person that lives just outside the box. Although I often stay inside for too long and a long challenging backpack is like a reboot to my soul. Pretty fantastic. BUT this trip I have purposely challenged myself everyday to do something that is even further out of my comfort zone.

The route I traveled today was not a direct route, but passed by Sunrise Lakes and the off the back route of Clouds Rest.  Taking that route I had to haul a full pack to the top of Clouds Rest. I scored big time. Sunrise Lakes are little jewels teeming with fish and clean cold water. I took a long swim in the afternoon to cool off from the heat. Clouds quickly formed in the afternoon making the sky dramatic and moody.

Clouds Rest is a peak in Yosemite that stands tall directly behind Half Dome with 360 degree unsurpassed views. A couple of years ago I climbed it with my family. Read about that day trip here. The trail to the top is gentle and the summit block has interesting rocks to climb. My trip to the top today was uplifting and stunning due to the passing clouds that continued to form by the minute. The route off the front of the peak to a must do. I loved the views, gentle descent, and packed trail. Camp tonight is staged 1/2 mile north of the intersection of the John Muir Trail and Half Dome Junction. The plan is to start hiking at 4:00 am to climb the 2.5 miles up Half Dome by moonlight and headlamp to experience  sunrise on Half Dome. How cool is that?

Early Morning Light on Small Dome
Early Morning Light on Small Dome
Cathedral Peak
Cathedral Peak
Cathedral Lake and Peak
Cathedral Lake and Peak
First View of Clouds Rest
First View of Clouds Rest
Hiking up Knife Ridge to Cloud's Rest Summit
Hiking up Knife Ridge to Cloud’s Rest Summit
Top of Clouds Rest Overlooking Half Dome
Top of Clouds Rest Overlooking Half Dome
South View
South View
East View
East View
View from Trail Down to Half Dome Junction
View from Trail Down to Half Dome Junction
Route Down the Front Side of Clouds Rest Facing Half Dome
Route Down the Front Side of Clouds Rest Facing Half Dome

7 Comments

  1. Pingback: High Sierra Bliss | Lady on a Rock

  2. steve scarano

    I’m not sure how these e-things work, but if you get this (repeated) message and feel comfortable with giving me a postal mailing address where I can send you a packet of trail related reflections I have collected for people like you please send it.
    steve scarano

  3. Rockin-You are outside the box, just where I like to be also!!!!!! Love reading your posts. Keep it up!!!! You are inspiring!!
    Im attempting a Mt Adams summit in a couple of days, should be fun!!!
    Coyote

  4. I have never climbed Clouds Rest. I must do it. Based on your photos, the views are incredible. One of my favorite lakes in Yosemite is Cathdral Lake. Isn’t it beautiful?

    • YESSSSSSSSS Do it. Your family would love it also. The views are breathtaking and I think one of the best in the Sierras. A bonus: The rocks at the top are fun.

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