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Monday, August 09, 2010


Clouds Rest - A Kick in the Head

Upper Yosemite Valley

At 9926 ft, Clouds Rest, northeast of Half Dome is a great hike. The popular route (apprx.7.2 miles) is from Sunrise Trail near Tenaya lake. It is an out and back trail, round trip 14.4 miles. It can be ascended from the back by hiking from the valley floor which lengthens the distance to 9.4 miles each way. And there are other routes for more  hardy souls.

Sarbajit Ghosal and I had ascended Half Dome twice by hiking the trail from Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley. On Saturday, August 7th, we drove to Sunrise Trail near Tenaya Lake  and ascended Clouds Rest. Parts of the trail are strenuous but the ascent can be done by all reasonably fit hikers. It was a beautiful morning -- sunny and not too cold when we began around 9:00 AM. The first 1.5 miles of the trail are relatively flat and green and then  the rocky part begins with another short stretch of greenery before the Sunrise Junction. There were many hikers, including backpackers who were heading for Yosemite Valley or to other areas of John Muir Trail.

                                              Clouds Rest from trailhead to the summit
                                                       National Geographic TOPO!®

                            Clouds Rest viewed from Upper Yosemite Falls Trail (July 2009)
                                                                        © Musafir

                                                             SG at the beginning of the trail

                                                                      Wild Flowers

                                                                      More wild flowers

                                                 SG on the trail before the rocky part began

Beginning of the rocky switchback part of the trail

© Sarbajit Ghosal 
A tranquil lake before the Sunrise Trail Junction
                                           Sunrise Trail Junction, 2.5 miles before the summit


                                                Another rocky area beyond Sunrise Jcn

                                                              © Sarbajit Ghosal

                                                      Looking down on Tenaya Lake

                                                                  Hikers nearing the Summit
                                                              Tired but happy climbers 
                                                              With SG on top of Clouds Rest

                                              Unusual view of the northeast side of Half Dome
                                                        View from top of Clouds Rest, I


                                                      View from top of Clouds Rest,II

You got to climb your mountain
Everybody's got to cross their own mountain
If you climb your mountain
Walk on to the other side
Walk on to the other side
Walk on through to the other side
Climb your mountain, walk on through to the other side

Sung a few times by Sara Fulcher with Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders in 1973.  Origin of the song unknown - Source:



Love the pictures. I've always wanted to go mountain climbing.
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