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Glacier Point > Illilouette > Cloud's Rest

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Glacier Point > Illilouette > Cloud's Rest

Postby paigehenggeler » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:59 pm

I am planning a three day backpacking trip starting at Glacier Point and ending at the Sunrise Lakes Trailhead.

I have a permit for Glacier Point->Illilouette for the first night. What would be your recommendation for route in order to decrease the mileage and elevation gain for the second day when we hike up to Clouds Rest?

My current plan is to camp along the Illilouette Creek Tail/ Mono Meadow Cutoff the first night. Making the long trek up to Cloud's Rest the second day and camping in the first legal spot past the summit on the Sunrise Lakes side. On the third day, hiking out to the Sunrise Lakes trailhead and catching the bus back down to the valley. (Bus pick up is at 2:30 pm). Is this plan possible?

What is camping like in the Illilouette Creek / Mono Meadow Cutoff area?

Will the second day, 12 miles plus 4000 feet of elevation gain, be impossibly difficult with multi day packs? How long will this hike take? (Illilouette Creek Tail/ Mono Meadow Cutoff > Cloud's Rest) Alternate shorter routes?

What will the overnight temps be like on the top of Cloud's Rest at the end of September?

Looking for critics and suggestions! Thank you!
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Re: Glacier Point > Illilouette > Cloud's Rest

Postby balzaccom » Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:42 pm

Camping along Illilouette Creek is easy, and that's an easy first day.

As you note, that second is long and hard. But you don't have to finish it. Play it by ear and see. There aren't any shortcuts unless you skip CR...

And your best indication of the weather will come about three days before your hike. Late September can mean serious snowfall, and it can mean lovely warm days. We won't know until then.
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Re: Glacier Point > Illilouette > Cloud's Rest

Postby Phil » Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:00 am

There's no shortage of campsites along Illilouette Creek at the trail junction. Both sides of the creek. Be willing to poke around off the trail for good ones that aren't obvious.

Not much you can do about distance and elevation changes the second day if you want to camp along the creek, though. The trail beyond there is easy for the most part, but then you have a fairly steep descent down to the JMT just below Nevada Falls, then the obvious long climb up from there. If you want/need an easier/shorter second day, consider stopping at Sunrise Creek at the CR x JMT junction. This will be your "first legal spot" past LYV.

The "fist legal spot" past CR on the north side probably isn't going to work out for you without hauling a bunch of water up from Sunrise, whether you've camped there or not. After CR, you'll come down to a noticeable flat area and make camp there or, better yet, head off to your left and find a spot at the edge of the canyon rim, but, there's no water. Set up, drop your gear, then just carry your bottles/bladders about another 1.5 miles up-trial toward Sunrise Lakes to the creek, then go back. If you want water close at hand, there's a pond a little further along the trail with sites on the back side, but no views. You should see both the creek and pond on your map.

Weather is variable. As Balzac mentions, check it right before your trip. It can be hot or it can be cold in late September. Depending, nights can typically be anywhere from the 30s-40s, so know and be prepared on the basis of what the reports indicate. If you end up using the NOAA site, use your cursor to click on the map for a point forecast, because where you'll be is NOT the Valley, and temperature differentials are usually 2-3 degrees lower for every 1000 ft of elevation gain.
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