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[Yosemite]

camping on clouds rest

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

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camping on clouds rest

Postby damu21 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:47 pm

whats the deal with camping on top of clouds rest at the summit? I know you are technically not supposed to, but it seems like a lot of people actually do, and I am thinking about giving it a go. how cold does it get at night at the end of September? how much room is there? any other info would be appreciated.
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Re: camping on clouds rest

Postby Phil » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:09 pm

You'll be able to put up your 1-person tent, but, as novel as it might be, why not opt for a better site down lower? Any time of year the winds can pick up, and guying out your tent and keeping your gear together, stove lit...will be harder (maybe next to impossible) than if you have some cover. If it's cold, and the wind does get going, expect a wind chill factor. Good sheltered sites with great views are available just below the last segment of trail up to the summit, a ten minute walk. You're not going to miss out on anything but more hassle and a longer night.

I've camped on the summit exactly once, then camped on the leeward side of it wedged back in the rocks, also exactly once. That novelty faded quickly, and I see absolutely no reason to ever repeat the mistake.
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Re: camping on clouds rest

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:39 pm

It's illegal to camp on the summit of Clouds Rest. This has been established by wilderness Rangers.

That people do so is immaterial. It's illegal, and besides that, there's no water, it's very exposed if a storm comes up -- Lightning risk as well as the threat of you or your things being blown off the steep side -- and stashing a bear can without risk of having it tossed off the edge is impossible.

Don't do it. Camp near the mountain, not on it.

People do all kinds of really stupid things... You don't have to walk off any cliffs, just because other people are doing it. Rangers patrol the most heavily used areas much more often than the lightly used ones -- guess where Clouds Rest is?
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Re: camping on clouds rest

Postby damu21 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:00 pm

ok so camping on it is a bad idea. is the camp-able area easy to find up there?
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Re: camping on clouds rest

Postby Phil » Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:21 pm

At the flats right before you begin the ascent up to CR you're going to see the trail narrow down between the shrubs. At this point, walk off into the trees to your right toward the canyon and you'll find some good sites.

It's not that camping at the summit of CR in particular is illegal because it's CR, per se, it's that even if you figure in the terrain allowances that permit camping within 100 feet of the trail according to the Superintendent's Compendium, under the same, there are absolutely no circumstances where you are you allowed to camp within 25 feet of any trail, at any time. CR is a knife-edge, and safety aside, even though there are marginally legal sites dug in, it's pretty invasive to others that want to enjoy the place without having to walk through someone's campsite. Technically illegal or not, it's just really poor wilderness etiquette to do stuff like that.
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Re: camping on clouds rest

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:50 pm

The ranger was pretty adamant about the illegality of it. Kind of angry, matter of fact. I generally assume any more that peak tops are off limits as that has been repeatedly the reaction in the parks.
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Re: camping on clouds rest

Postby Phil » Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:32 pm

I could definitely see that. And then there's the whole subject of F-18s buzzing canyons to really get the blood boiling.

Peaks and all that "bucket list" stuff are great for those special moments, but I always learned that "shelter" was about more than being inside a nylon tube held down with glorified strings while being pounded by the elements or worrying about one step too many when I get up to pee in the middle of the night.
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Re: camping on clouds rest

Postby MadDiver » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:00 am

Here's a little map for you. The area circled in orange is all very open with wildly spaced trees, easy to walk through and tons of spots to camp. I set up somewhere by the "X" and had a nice view out over Tenaya Canyon, CR and a bit of Half Dome. If coming from the North pay attention to that stream circled in blue as it is your very last water source. Enjoy!

Image

Image
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Re: camping on clouds rest

Postby damu21 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:44 am

Thanks, guys. its looks like the camping area is close enough to clouds rest that I could watch the sunset there and make my way back to camp before its too dark.
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Re: camping on clouds rest

Postby balzaccom » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:03 am

That's a very nice solution. The view from Cloud's Rest is one of the best in all of the Sierra.
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: camping on clouds rest

Postby WanderingJim » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:15 pm

There's also a nice camping spot about a mile down the trail on the south side towards the half dome trail/JMT junction. 180 degree panoramic view of the area tot he south (including half dome).
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Re: camping on clouds rest

Postby Caminante » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:56 am

WanderingJim wrote:There's also a nice camping spot about a mile down the trail on the south side towards the half dome trail/JMT junction. 180 degree panoramic view of the area tot he south (including half dome).


Nice to know, thanks! Would it be appropriate for tents and hammocks?
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Re: camping on clouds rest

Postby WanderingJim » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:42 pm

Caminante wrote:Nice to know, thanks! Would it be appropriate for tents and hammocks?


Yes, plenty of room for tents. There are some trees nearby for hammocks.
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