Cloud’s Rest is a 9,930 foot arete peak that is located in Yosemite National Park, and is part of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
Cloud’s Rest was named by the Mariposa Battalion, who came up with the name after clouds from a passing snow storm seemed to “rest” on the mountain. The mountain rises 5,000 feet above Tenaya Creek, and has the best unknown summit view in all of Yosemite. Cloud’s Rest is also located next to the most popular summit view in all of Yosemite, Half Dome. While both peaks have nearly the same view, perspective, location, and access, Cloud’s Rest generally remains a hidden gem that does not have the crowds of its popular neighbor, even though it is 1,100 feet higher.
There are three ways to access the summit of Cloud’s Rest; via the Sunrise Lakes Trailhead off of CA-120 (commonly known as the Northeast Ridge Route); via the Happy Isles Trailhead in Yosemite Valley (commonly known as the South Slope); or via the Northwest Face of the mountain. While the first two routes do contain technical mountaineering portions during the winter and late spring and fall, they are generally considered “walk-up” climbs. Conversely, the Northwest Face is a technical climb throughout all seasons.
In terms of distance, the Sunrise Route is the shortest to the mountain at fourteen miles roundtrip, but is only accessible by foot when the Tioga Road is open. The Happy Isles Route from Yosemite is twenty miles roundtrip; and is accessible year-round. Generally, most climbers attempt the mountain from late May to mid-November. During the winter, late fall and spring, any route to the mountain is a technical climb that does require an ice axe and crampons.
Where is Cloud’s Rest Located?
While Cloud’s Rest is located in close proximity to Mount Hoffmann, which is the geographic center of Yosemite, it is not located close to any major metropolitan areas. The mountain can be accessed from CA-120, which is also known as the Tioga Pass Road by the Sunrise Lakes Trailhead, which is well-marked on both sides of the Tioga Pass Road. Again, it is worth noting that this road is closed from late fall to mid-Spring due to snow conditions.
Climbers should check with the National Park Service to determine if the road is open if they are planning on utilizing this route from October to June. The mountain can also be accessed from Yosemite Valley (Happy Isles Trailhead), which is connected to the CA-140, CA-120, and the CA-41.
More Information on Cloud’s Rest
If you’re interested in climbing Cloud’s Rest, do your homework. Check out any trip reports we may have for this peak, and listen to our Podcasts about the mountain. Use our information as a part of your full research process.