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Clouds rest

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

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Clouds rest

Postby goingyard » Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:37 pm

I am new to the form but I have been looking around for a little while. I am thinking of doing a last minute trip before it gets to cold. I am thinking about doing a quick over night trip up to clouds rest. I would like to sleep away from LYV. I am not to familure where else to stay after that. I would love some inside help on some good camp spots after there. I also know that getting a last minute permit to stay in LYV might be kind of tough. Could use some help.
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Postby bill-e-g » Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:08 pm

You have two options if you want to do Clouds Rest.
1) Start at Sunrise Lakes Trailhead
2) Start at Valley and go up JMT to Clouds Rest Trail

Both of those trailheads are extremely popular.

My understanding is that if you get a LYV permit you have to
stay at LYV the first night. I would tell them I want LYV passthru
and tell them that I want to stay at the JMT/Sunrise Creek/Clouds Rest
Trail Junction.
There are a number of spots to stay around the JMT/Clouds Rest trail
junction and there is water there year-round.

If you want to stay ON Clouds Rest you will have to carry your water
up with you. If you do stay on CR please do not poop under any
rocks. Be careful of where you do your business since we don't
want the NPS to close it to camping like they were forced to do for HD.

The trip from Sunrise Lake TH/ Tenaya Lake is easier in terms of
both distance and elevation....
I've done from there over CR to the location I said above, next day
up HD and then up JMT to Sunrise HSC over to Sunrise Lakes and out.
(That is a long two days though!)
On that route there will be water in the creek you have to cross...

Hope I answered some of your questions and sorry if I said something you already know.
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re: clouds rest

Postby JoeHiker53 » Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:19 pm

I take it you are starting at the Happy Isles trailhead? If so, you could hike beyond the LYV past the Half Dome junction and camp at the junction where Sunrise Creek meets the JMT and the Forsythe trail. We saw some decent campsites there a few weeks ago and it is one of the few water sources past Little Yosemite Valley.

It's quite a hike....all uphill, but if you start early you could camp there the first night and day hike Clouds Rest the next day.

Another option would be Sunrise Trailhead near Tenaya Lake and head south over to Clouds Rest. There are some great views of the valley and Half Dome from there, and you could camp at Sunrise Lakes, or press on and camp along the Forsythe Trail by the small pond or the last stream crossing before the Clouds Rest cutoff (about 1.5 miles). There is no water from the trailhead to Sunrise Lakes, so if you go this way, be prepared.

Either way, Clouds Rest is an awesome experience. I met some folks up there from Pennsylvania who got walkup permits in the middle of August, so I would think you should have less trouble now.
Not all who wander are lost.
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Clouds Rest

Postby adrianhoff » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:55 pm

I'd start at Glacier Point: take the Panorama trail to where it intersects the John Muir trail (just below the top of Nevada Falls), and then the JMT into or through Little Yosemite Valley. Total distance is less than a mile longer than starting on the JMT at Happy Isle, and you save a couple of thousand feet in elevation gain. Wearing a full pack, I can do Glacier Point to LYV is about half the time it takes me to hike up the JMT past Vernal and Nevada Falls.

There are plenty of good camping spots with water access at the above mentioned JMT / Clouds Rest trail junction.

Taking the Sunrise trail (trailhead near Tenaya Lake), in July there was a pond about a mile past the Sunrise / Clouds Rest trail junction. From what I've read in previous posts, it (and the two small streams) may be dry this late in the season. If not, the pond would offer a good mid-way stopping point -- make for an easier day two than camping at Sunrise Lake.
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Postby bill-e-g » Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:53 pm

I'm fairly certain there is water in the stream beyond the pond year-round.
Been that way in very late September a couple times and I've gotten
water at that point every time.

Also, you can dayhike to Clouds from Sunrise. It's not supremely difficult.
Around 12 miles round-trip.

Have fun
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Re: Clouds Rest

Postby jb_aka_marmot » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:58 pm

This is an old thread, but in case others search, I thought I'd add a comment. (I posted this on another thread but thought it would be worth posting here as well.)

Officially, we were told by rangers that camping is illegal ON Clouds Rest. They say primarily because you must camp 100 ft from the trail, and it is very difficult on the top to be 100 ft from the trail... We saw a couple other folks planning to camp up there, though, but without permits.

We had a great legal experience by camping just downhill from the summit - coming on the trail from the sunrise lakes area, there are several established (though it looks like infrequently used) campsites between the trail up to the summit and the drop off to Tenaya Creek (north side of the trail). It's certainly less than a mile from the summit at that point. Also, at least through July, there is water at a creek where the trail dips the last time before climbing to the summit. (The wilderness permit office will know whether water is flowing, so you can ask when you pick up your permit. The stream doesn't cross the trail, so you have to look for it a little by following the drainage, and your ears.) We set up camp around 3pm and headed up to the Clouds Rest summit for the rest of the day - spending more than 6 hours on top before heading down the short trail to the campsite. Wonderful experience overall, despite not camping right on top.
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