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[Yosemite]

Cloud's Rest water sources

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

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Cloud's Rest water sources

Postby justkeepexploring » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:42 am

Hi all,

My buddy and I are planning to hike Cloud's Rest sometime in the next two weeks. We will be starting from the Sunrise trailhead. Since we have never hiked this route, we are wondering what kinds of available water sources there are along the trail. I use a Sawyer Mini but I don't know if we can rely on Tenaya Creek to have flowing water or not with the severe drought conditions. :( We will both have 2 or 3 liter hydration packs, but I dont think that will be enough.

I see that Tenaya Creek intersects the trail in a few spots, and I also see an unnamed small body of water about 3/4 of the way to Clouds rest on Google maps. Thanks in advance for any info.

Jim
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Re: Cloud's Rest water sources

Postby Phil » Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:34 pm

Tenaya Creek should have at least some flow, but you'll probably want to go lighter and only carry what you need to get to the top. That unnamed tarn is a definite next source, and the creek (it's actually 2 courses) you see just beyond that usually has pretty good flow, but not having been there this year, hard to say for sure. After that, no more water until you get back down to Sunrise. I would probably go ahead and load up at the tarn since it's not that far from the creek and a sure bet. Maybe each of you carry an extra bottle or two, then if the creek is flowing, consider it a bonus to top off those other bottles or, if it's dry, one of you return the short distance without their pack to pump more at the pond if you want more and you think you'll need it.

You actually only cross Tenaya Creek one time- at the bottom of the Sunrise Trail a few hundred feet or so from the trailhead parking lot.
Last edited by Phil on Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cloud's Rest water sources

Postby justkeepexploring » Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:38 pm

Phil wrote:Tenaya Creek should have at least some flow, but you'll probably want to go lighter and only carry what you need to get to the top. That unnamed tarn is a definite next source, and the creek (it's actually 2 courses) you see just beyond that usually has pretty good flow, but not having been there this year, hard to say for sure. After that, no more water until you get back down to Sunrise. I would probably go ahead and load up at the tarn since it's not that far from the creek and a sure bet. Maybe each of you carry an extra bottle, then if the creek is flowing, consider it a bonus to top off that last bottle or send someone back without their pack to pump more at the pond if you want more and you think you'll need it.
Thanks very much for the info Phil. I like the idea of filling up at the tarn, sounds like a good plan.
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Re: Cloud's Rest water sources

Postby sonicred » Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:35 pm

I just did a weekend trip from Sunrise trailhead to Clouds Rest to Half Dome and back a week ago.

There is obviously water at the trailhead (Tenaya Lake). I found no water anywhere (as expected) until you get into that valley below Sunrise Mountain (that valley between the junction that takes you sunrise lakes and the junction farther west that takes you to the JMT). In this, the driest of dry years, I can say for certain that there was water on the CR trail in that area (~8900 ft) in September. You have three spots right on the trail to get water:

After you top out on the switchbacks and pass the junction to Sunrise Lakes, you will descend a short distance into the valley. Shortly after the trail flattens out, there is a very small creek. It is a trickle right now but still running (barely). There is a sizable pool of water on the left hand side as you pass through. No problems getting a Sawyer bag in that pool if you want.

About another mile down, there is a waist deep and icy cold pond/tarn right next to the trail (you can’t miss it). We took a ton of water here (for the rest of the trip) and it actually tasted pretty good. I started from the trailhead with 40 oz. of water and that was enough to get me here but it was not hot out yet. Depending on the temps, you may need more to get you up those switchbacks coming out of the Tenaya Lake area. I would probably just start out will a near full hydration pack and drink as much as you can before and on those switchbacks, as it is a long day of hiking.

About another 15 minutes or so past the pond, you will pass a series of 3 very small creek flows that you can easily take water from. I asked a dozen hikers on the switchbacks about water availability at these creeks and got differing answers. That is why I took water from the pond (a sure thing), as I did not want to backtrack in the event they were dry. All were are low but they are definitely flowing. The first one is currently wide enough that you need to step on some rocks in the middle to avoid getting your feet wet. You’ve got two more small crossings right after that and then you are not going to find water anywhere from there to the CR summit. The good news is that it is not very far from that point but plenty of uphill hiking.

This does not apply specifically to your trip, but as an FYI I was also able to take water on the west side of CR on the switchbacks at about 8,100 feet. This was a game changer because it allowed us to take a shortcut toward quarter domes, then cut west directly to HD.
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Re: Cloud's Rest water sources

Postby Phil » Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:57 pm

You're welcome. I'm not clear if you'll be day-hiking or backpacking, but I should remind you that after October 15th, you can't park overnight anywhere along Tioga Rd.


This does not apply specifically to your trip, but as an FYI I was also able to take water on the west side of CR on the switchbacks at about 8,100 feet. This was a game changer because it allowed us to take a shortcut toward quarter domes, then cut west directly to HD.


Wow! Really? Are you talking about that little spring? That's amazing with it being as dry as it's been! I would never have even thought that was a possibility worth mentioning at this point.
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Re: Cloud's Rest water sources

Postby sonicred » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:58 pm

Amazing! It was a steady drip but enough that the entire trail in that spot was wet/muddy.
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