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Clouds Rest Trail



9.2 mile 14.9 kilometer point to point
78% Runnable


Ascent: 1,974' 602 m
Descent: -2,908' -886 m
High: 9,789' 2,984 m
Low: 7,232' 2,204 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 49% (26°)


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Trail shared by Paul Lukacovic

This appropriately named trail is a special "must do" iconic Yosemite journey.

Paul Lukacovic

Features Views · Wildflowers

Runner Notes

Stairs built into the trail will challenge the runner.


Leaving the west end of Tenaya Lake, the trail winds its way through forests and rocks before it starts the steep (at times stair step) climb. Make sure you have plenty of water for the whole route because the only reliable water source is a lake at 3.1 miles. At higher elevations the forest is less dense and much dryer with views of distant peaks.

The high point is at 5.8 miles. At this stage, you'll be traveling over an exposed narrow fin of granite, which might give some visitors a feeling of vertigo. From here you command a 360 degree view with Tenaya Canyon falling away to the West, Yosemite Valley below, and a fantastic angle for viewing Half Dome. The Cathedral Range and Clark Range create a breathtaking skyline to the East and South.

Continuing South, the trail drops along a series of steep stairs (think of stairs leading into Mordor) and then steep trail before connecting to the John Muir Trail a little East of the Half Dome Trail.

Park at the West end of Tenaya Lake or better yet park in the Tuolumne area and take the free shuttle in summer.

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Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

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Jul 9, 2018
Tomsen Reed
Great run from camp at Cloud's Rest Junction up to the peak and back. Great visibility and great trail 7mi — 1h 50m
Nov 1, 2016
Maddy Gill

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 17 votes


  4.7 from 17 votes
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in California


103 Views Last Month
6,548 Since Sep 2, 2015



Westward view of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Tenaya Canyon, and smoke from fires from Clouds Rest.
Nov 19, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
Such an incredible spot in Yosemite. Clouds Rest is appropriately named with 360 views of the park including Half Dome.
May 26, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
The granite domes of the high country.  You can see Tenaya Lake in the distance.
Mar 9, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Half Dome and Yosemite Valley in the distance.  The view from the top of Clouds Rest provides you a  great view of the entire park.
Mar 9, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
WOW! Words cannot describe the experience I had.
Dec 18, 2015 near Yosemit…, CA
Approaching the summit with Half Dome off in the distance.
Mar 9, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA


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