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[Yosemite]

Reasonable to hike Cloud's Rest then see sunset at Mono L.?

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

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Reasonable to hike Cloud's Rest then see sunset at Mono L.?

Postby HenryHunt » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:50 pm

Hi there,

I'm currently planning a trip to Yosemite in mid-July of this year and am seeing if I can shift something around to make it a bit easier. Currently, on one day I've planned to hike Cloud's Rest and nothing else. On another day I'm up at 4:45am to see sunrise at the Mono Lake tufa towers (as I couldn't initially fit in a sunset there), before spending the rest of that day along the Eastern Sierra. I'm now wondering if it would be possible to hike Cloud's Rest and then drive to Mono Lake for sunset on the same day, just to get rid of the very early start on that Eastern Sierra day. What's making it hard to decide is that I'm finding widely ranging hike times for Cloud's Rest.

How long would you say it would take to hike Cloud's Rest, being your average person in terms of fitness (I have previously hiked Mount Hoffmann in pretty much the time it should have taken, if that helps get some perspective). Would it be possible to then drive to the Mono Lake tufa towers and spend around 3 hours there, if I start the Cloud's Rest hike around, say 7am or something?

Thanks!
Henry
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Re: Reasonable to hike Cloud's Rest then see sunset at Mono

Postby balzaccom » Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:55 pm

It's fourteen miles, more or less. Your time will depend on how easy it is to cross Tenaya Creek, and how much time you want to spend gaping at the amazing view on top of Cloud's Rest. The drive to Mono Lake is also going to depend on the traffic in Tuolumne Meadows---there's no place to pass on this road, and if you get stuck behind a slow RV, you will be stuck for a while. We spent eight hours, total, on the hike in a low snow year in August. Tenaya Creek was a cakewalk.

This year, the road may not be open by July 4th, depending on how much snow keeps falling!

And Mono Lake is much better at sunrise, as you see the sun come up over the desert, than it is at sunset, when the sun drops behind Dana and Gibbs long before it sets on the rest of California.
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Re: Reasonable to hike Cloud's Rest then see sunset at Mono

Postby Justin-T » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:31 pm

Don't forget the altitude. This is 14 miles at elevations roughly 8,000-10,000 feet, so if you haven't acclimated you will take a lot longer than you might think. In particular, the half mile or so up the stone steps to the Sunrise Lake junction is hard going, even if you are fit and acclimated. Also, there's views to check out along the way, the wildflowers will be in bloom etc, so it makes sense to allow plenty of time. The view from the top is breathtaking enough that I'd allow at least an hour to soak it in, that's why you just walked 7 miles.
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Re: Reasonable to hike Cloud's Rest then see sunset at Mono

Postby Phil » Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:32 am

The reason you're seeing so many times is that it's all subjective. Figure, all said and done, all things considered, you're going to make about 1.5-2.5 mph over the 7 mile trip up. Maybe up to 3 mph on the way down, dependent on how the trip up left you feeling. Top end of that range if you're good with the altitude, climbing, and fit. Bottom end or less if you're not, or you dawdle for whatever reason. Yeah, probably at least an hour up top.

As Balzacccom says, besides the fact that Mono is a sunrise type of thing, it's the traffic that's going to get you. Summer months on Hwy 120 are notorious for slug festivals and just about every stupid and inconsiderate stunt known to the driving public.
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Re: Reasonable to hike Cloud's Rest then see sunset at Mono

Postby HenryHunt » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:35 pm

Ok, thanks all for your help. Looks like I'll be leaving my plans as they are then. :)
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Re: Reasonable to hike Cloud's Rest then see sunset at Mono

Postby markskor » Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:18 am

First post here, so Hi all!

Work the Tuolumne Meadow Store at the cash register...Yep, I'm one of those who sells the beer up there.
Anyway, we usually ask everyone coming through the line what awesome thing they did that day, (usually while waiting for the #@%*# credit card machine to respond). Parson's Lodge, Elizabeth, Dog, Gaylor...maybe fishing at Saddlebag - lots of great answers. Aramark says to engage all with a smile...easy...just have to ask. Everyone is always eager to talk about their Yosemite day's adventure.

In regard to those just having done a round trip to Clouds Rest, (seen plenty). They usually show up at the store around 4:30, maybe 5 - pretty well spent but always big smiles too. As sunset in the summer comes after 8, yes you could be down at the Tufas, plenty of time, but why push it? As stated above, Mono Lake is better at sunrise. TM is better for sunsets.
just my 2¢
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Re: Reasonable to hike Cloud's Rest then see sunset at Mono

Postby balzaccom » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:47 am

And welcome, Marksor! Great to have you aboard!
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