Cloud Peak Out-and-Back
ElevationAscent: 5,135' 1,565 m
Descent: -5,135' -1,565 m
High: 13,157' 4,010 m
Low: 9,101' 2,774 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 45% (24°)
Current trail conditions
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“Well-marked trail follows a gradual climb to Misty Moon Lake and an off-trail ascent of Cloud Peak.”— Brian Sheets
Bring along some type of lightweight day pack for use on the ascent of Cloud Peak. You won't want to carry all your gear, for one because it's heavy, but also because being top-heavy with a large bag can make the boulder-scrambling even harder.
Along the route, enjoy plenty of water–just remember to bring some form of filtration/purification.
After making your way up nearly a thousand feet in elevation from the trailhead, the Misty Moon Trail #063 rewards you with the serene shores of Lake Helen, Marion Lake, and Misty Moon Lake in quick succession. Near Misty Moon Lake, the route leaves the Misty Moon Trail #063 to join the Solitude Loop Trail #038 for a short northwesterly excursion to the start of the Cloud Peak Route.
On the Cloud Peak Route, this run navigates a small valley before gaining a ridgeline and fighting through large boulders in a scrambling effort to reach the summit. Before tackling this long journey, it is advised that you stash your heavy backpacks in favor of lighter-weight day packs. Just be sure to bring any food and toiletries with you as to prevent the wildlife from getting into it.
Upon completing 3000 ft of climbing on your summit bid, enjoy phenomenal 360-degree views of the surrounding Cloud Peaks Wilderness and broader Bighorn National Forest.
When you're ready to make your journey back, simply return the way you came, grab your stashed belongings from before, and return the way you came.
Land Manager: USFS - Bighorn National Forest Office