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[Yosemite]

Overnight from Sunrise to Cloud's Rest

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

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Overnight from Sunrise to Cloud's Rest

Postby bluhiker » Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:29 pm

Just registered, but have been soaking up a lot of the posts! Thank you all for sharing.

My gf and I will be in Yosemite for 2 nights and 3 days for the first week of September and after reading a few posts, really want to take her to Clouds Rest and camp overnight. I'm trying to figure out which permits I will need and wanted to confirm the logistics from anyone who has done this before so that I don't mess it up. A couple questions:
1. For anyone who has done this in September, are there a lot of people? All the available permits are taken so we'll have to rely on getting a daily permit (any tips on this as well?)
2. I'm looking at which permits I will need (https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ ... lheads.pdf) and trying to figure out the route (I'm a beginner). It looks like I can drive on the Tioga Road and park near trail head 19 and make my way over to Clouds Rest. Is this the correct spot to start if I am driving in and are there enough spots to park overnight in that area?
3. Do I need a wildernes permit for the Yosemite Valley trailhead since the hike starts there?

From reading, it also seems I should have a plan B and C. Anyone recommend any good overnight hikes? We'd like to go off the beaten path and find a place that offers solitude with an amazing view. Thank you!
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Re: Overnight from Sunrise to Cloud's Rest

Postby transponster » Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:06 pm

Trailhead 19 (Sunrise Lakes) is the most direct way to get to Clouds Rest. The only permit you need is the one for your entry trailhead. If you are planning to backpack for 2 nights, a couple of less popular options that you can use to access this area are Porcupine Creek (15) or May Lake > Snow Creek (16). These would be more than likely a sure thing as far as getting a permit is concerned. With this option, you could hike in a few miles the first day, spend the night at the Snow Creek overlook or Mt Watkins (awesome views of Half Dome and Clouds Rest in your face), and then hike up to Tenaya Lake and over (and up) to one of the Sunrise lakes the 2nd night (for solitude camp at the middle or upper lake). 3rd day you would hike Clouds Rest and exit via Sunrise TH. For that matter, May Lake (17) would work as well.

I did Clouds Rest on a weekday in early Sept last year. I entered via Cathedral on Tuesday and camped at lower Sunrise lake, and there were several other parties there, but not very many on the trail to CR the next morning. Spent about an hour on the summit and there were a handful of other people on the top at any given time. It's not as crowded as the Mist Trail or Half Dome, but still one of the heavier traveled areas in the park, as are most of the trails between Tioga Rd and the valley.
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Re: Overnight from Sunrise to Cloud's Rest

Postby Phil » Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:59 pm

Yeah, Trailhead 19 (Sunrise) is the one to use. It's packed solid on reservations for Sept, and that's not a good thing. Middle Sunrise Lake is your best bet for privacy, but that route is crowded, crowded, crowded, so it's not likely you'll have maybe as much as you might want. This is the correct site for checking out what trailhead reservations are full:

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/ ... lheads.pdf

With a "daily" permit, it's actually going to be called a walk-up. Walk-ups constitute 40% of daily trailhead quotas. Strategically, you have two choices: get to the permitting station early for the same day, or after 11am for the next day. I don't really recommend one over the other. It's timing and what others are thinking. If you do end up with a permit for the next day, you can stay for $6 apiece at one of the backpacker's campgrounds at Tuolumne Meadows, White Wolf, or even at the North Pines campground down in the Valley. The best alternate entry trailhead is 17 (May Lake). You only add a couple miles, but you then have to hike back up or hitchhike to return to the car...no shuttle.

Okay, so here's Plans B and C. It's hard to compete with Cloud's Rest, but here are a couple alternatives with huge views and incredible, romantic, often private campsites.

The first is the one Transponder suggested, the Snow Creek overlook. It's one of my personal favorites. Entry is Porcupine Creek trailhead. Easy 4.1 mile trail. All downhill. You can exit in the Valley at Mirror Lake and shuttle back to the car, or you can hike back out on the same route. Another alternative from the same trailhead would be North Dome. Camping there, as well as spectacular views.

Next would be the trail out of White Wolf down to Pate Valley. Camping with incredible views overlooking almost the entire length of Hetch Hetchy is about 5-6 miles out from the campground, again all downhill (until you have to get back) and on some nice fairly roomy ledges tucked into the side of the cliff to the left of the trail at the top of Morrison Creek. This is probably the best of the three possible routes for finding a private site, and the views are huge and profound. You're also not going to have any problems whatsoever in getting either a reserved or a walk-up permit. It might seem like an outlier to what you had in mind, but it is by no means any sort of compromise. As a beginner, you'll not only have an easier time of it, she'll melt into your arms and know for certain that you're the one by the time you have the tent pitched. And this is not only a theory.

As a matter of fact, since you are a beginner, I would probably take Plans B and C over Cloud's Rest. I could look back on my relationships over the years and confidently tell you that if I took 8-9 out of any 10 women that I've ever been with up to CR for their first backpacking trip, they would've hated my guts long before we even got back to the car.
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Re: Overnight from Sunrise to Cloud's Rest

Postby bluhiker » Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:07 am

thank you both for your replies! haha am now double thinking clouds rest with my gf and will explore option B. Will touch base with extra questions if you don't mind once I do some more research. Happy hiking!
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Re: Overnight from Sunrise to Cloud's Rest

Postby balzaccom » Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:38 am

If it's a backpacking trip you are looking for, then there are lots of options.

If it's a day hike to a spectacular view, look at Sentinel Dome, North Dome, at Mt Hoffman. All easy one-day hikes, all with stunning views from the top
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: Overnight from Sunrise to Cloud's Rest

Postby Soonernation » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:56 pm

Phil wrote: I could look back on my relationships over the years and confidently tell you that if I took 8-9 out of any 10 women that I've ever been with up to CR for their first backpacking trip, they would've hated my guts long before we even got back to the car.


Excellent advice. We day hiked CR last year and it soured my wife on future hiking adventures. She has done other day hikes with me of equal distance but I think the altitude got to her because she got sick once we got to CR. Not fun for her.
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Re: Overnight from Sunrise to Cloud's Rest

Postby CarolE » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:04 pm

Just because I can't leave these thread with the perception that all women can't handle Cloud's Rest I've done 2 trips to CLoud's Rest this year and both also included Half Dome on the same day. So apparently there are some of us out there and I don't really think of myself as anything terribly unusal. :P

Loved both my trips and will be back again witha different route next time!
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Re: Overnight from Sunrise to Cloud's Rest

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:23 pm

CarolE wrote:Just because I can't leave these thread with the perception that all women can't handle Cloud's Rest I've done 2 trips to CLoud's Rest this year and both also included Half Dome on the same day. So apparently there are some of us out there and I don't really think of myself as anything terribly unusal. :P

Loved both my trips and will be back again witha different route next time!


I don't think anyone would have that perception. It's much more likely that a woman new to backpacking would, however, be really irate with being dragged all the way up there while she's carrying said backpack, when she's not used to anything about backpacking.

Having done 27,000+ cumulative gain over four days on the high passes of the Sierra, 70 miles or so in total, I would say that I am not terribly unusual either, for a woman who hikes every weekend. I am fairly unusual in that I will never go to Half Dome again -- I hated it with ten thousand passions, for the hideous tourist trap that it's become, and will be out racking up miles far, far away where it's more wilderness and less "selfie city".
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Re: Overnight from Sunrise to Cloud's Rest

Postby Phil » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:54 pm

And that's why I love and respect you....

That, and the fact that you don't own a selfie stick.
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