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[Yosemite]

Sunrise Lakes to Clouds Rest

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Sunrise Lakes to Clouds Rest

Postby mozierfamily » Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:34 pm

I have not been up to Sunrise Lakes before and was wondering about the best places to set up camp. My California Hiking guide mentions that there are sites available by the upper lake or that we can continue 2 miles to the backpackers camp. I have 3 questions/interests/concerns:
1) It sounds appealing to stay near the upper lake since we are heading to Clouds Rest the next morning and it would be nice to save 2 miles each way or 4 miles round trip on the day hike. Although we would then need the bear cans and I am assuming we can get by without the bear can if we only camp at the backpackers camp.
2) On the other hand, I am wondering where the backpackers camp is with respect to the beautiful sunrise views I've seen of some meadow areas. Would we miss out on the views by staying near the upper lake versus at the backpackers camp?
3) Would it be better to shave off the 4 miles on the round trip day hike to Clouds Rest? We have some new people to backpacking and I wondered if the day hike is doable.

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Re: Sunrise Lakes to Clouds Rest

Postby dan » Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:08 am

I'm a little confused by what backpackers camp you're referring to. You can camp at one of the Sunrise Lakes. It's a long day hike to Half Dome. You have to go up and over Clouds Rest then up to the base of Half Dome, or go around Clouds Rest down to Little Yosemite Valley, and even more up to the base of Half Dome.

Sunrise Lakes is beautiful--especially the meadows in the morning.

If you're going now (Sept-Oct.) it's kind of dry.

You can camp anywhere you wish except for closed areas as detailed at the Yosemite Wilderness website, http://www.nps.gov/archive/yose/wilderness/

Here's a little secret. For Half Dome, I'd like to camp at a trail junction where three trails meet--it's the first trail junction on the Clouds Rest trail southwest of Clouds Rest and above Sunrise Creek. Real close to Half Dome and not as crowded as the campground in Little Yosemite Valley (lots of people crowded together and lots of bears).
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Postby mozierfamily » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:36 pm

Not having been to Sunrise I'm not sure either! Perhaps they are referring to the developed campsites around the High Sierra Camp? I have been to Glen Aulin where they have the outhouse, potable water and the fire rings. We have a reservation at Sunrise Lakes so I was anticipating something similar. Does my question make any more sense now? If not, any tips would sure be appreciated!

We are not planning a trip to Half Dome but rather just to Clouds Rest and back. Is that too ambitious for a day hike?
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Postby adrianhoff » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:43 pm

There is a backpacker's area adjacent to the Sunrise High Sierra Camp, and it is about two miles from the upper lake. There are bear boxes in the backpacker's area at Sunrise Camp; you do need a bear canister to camp at the lake. And yes, the area around the lake is more scenic (and more private) than the area around the high sierra camp.
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Postby dan » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:49 pm

mozierfamily wrote:Not having been to Sunrise I'm not sure either! Perhaps they are referring to the developed campsites around the High Sierra Camp? I have been to Glen Aulin where they have the outhouse, potable water and the fire rings. We have a reservation at Sunrise Lakes so I was anticipating something similar. Does my question make any more sense now? If not, any tips would sure be appreciated!


By reservation, I guess you mean a Wilderness Permit reservation, otherwise if you have a Sunrise HSC reservation you'll be staying in one of their tent cabins.

Sunrise doesn't have potable water now--I understand the HSC has to pack water in for themselves. There's always water in the lakes though. Ask the rangers when you get your permit.

mozierfamily wrote:We are not planning a trip to Half Dome but rather just to Clouds Rest and back. Is that too ambitious for a day hike?

No--it's fine. You get a great view of Yosemite Valley and Half Dome from Clouds Rest. Be careful around the big boulders at the top.
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Postby mozierfamily » Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:18 pm

Thanks Dan and Adrianhoff for the great tips. Are there any places to pump water in between the lakes and Clouds Rest? Otherwise we'll plan to pump enough at the lakes for the full day out to Clouds Rest and back to Sunrise.
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Postby dan » Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:52 pm

There's one small creek that was running in July one year, but this late and with this dry of a year, I doubt it is running.

So no--I doubt if there's water.
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Water between Sunrise and Clouds REst

Postby evona » Thu Oct 04, 2007 11:17 pm

Hi,

You still didn't mention when you planned on going so I will venture to give some advice at this late date. You asked about water between Sunrise and Clouds Rest. I just got back 2 weeks ago from Clouds Rest and yes the creek is still running. its very low but there are still some great areas to pump.

I only hope my advice didn't come too late and you didn't pack way too much water on your way up.
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