Now. Cloud's Rest was one of our favorite hikes in Yosemite. The amazing views and final climb on the exposed ridge line were just stunning. I highly recommend this hike due to the beauty of the hike and pretty low traffic in the morning. Our round trip hiking for the day was 14.5 miles and it was so worth it. Enjoy!
Mitch and I woke up early and arrived at the trail head around 6:30 AM. There was only one other car there when we arrived so we were pretty stoked. It is always peaceful to start hiking and just listen to the quiet woods around you.
The first two to three miles were the most difficult with lots of switchbacks. Large boulders as steps were the norm. Though it was worth it, we were greeted with beautiful views and surrounded by a pine forest.
We stopped to have a snack once the trail opened up to a rocky clearing. We lounged on rocks and explored the area a bit before taking off to finish the climb. The sun was starting to come out and it was thankfully a clear day. Hooray for no smoke!
The final climb of the trail was a crushed rock incline with limited shade. Once reaching the final ridge climb, the view down into Yosemite Valley was beautiful, we could even see Half Dome!
Hiking the ridge was very fun and a bit scary. These experiences always remind me of how nature is powerful and can be unforgiving, especially with the steep falls on either side of the ridge. The picture barely shows how steep it was!
Once we made it to the top, we hung out in the sun and soaked in the views. It was stunning! We could also see peregrine falcons riding thermal vents. I don't know about you, but I was stoked to see them. I love birds of prey!
Overall, the final elevation was 9,931' and we climbed over 2,000' to get there. It was certainly worth it! P.S. looking back on these pictures makes us laugh at what we were wearing. Fashion is certainly not the most important thing to us while hiking! Regardless, still funny. After hanging out for a while, we hiked back down to our car before heading off to find our new campsite for the night.
We settled on Aspen Grove Campground in Inyo National Forest, which is first come first serve and ten miles outside of the Tioga Pass entrance. Like the name, the campsites are nestled into an aspen grove right next to a river. It was such a nice place to stay even though there weren't any showers! Once picking a site, we set up camp since we would be staying at this campground for a couple days before moving to Yosemite Village. The day was rounded out by heading to visit Mono Lake in Lee Vining, reading, and journaling. Stay tuned for Yosemite Part 3!