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Yosemite 2007

Saturday we did a 14-mile, round trip hike from Tenaya Lake out past Sunrise Lake and up to Cloud’s Rest.  Most people flock to Half Dome and it’s challenging Cable Route ascent, but I think the much-underrated Cloud’s Rest (at 9926 feet) is by far the best accessible view around.  It towers over Half Dome, has 360-degree views of the Little Yosemite Valley and Tenaya Creek Valley, and glimpses into the East end of Yosemite Valley.  The sheer drop bowls going into the Tenaya Creek Valley are spectacular.  The hike overall is not extremely taxing. 

Venturing out from Tenaya Lake

It starts out flat, for about a mile, then has a long steep 1.5 mile climb up towards Sunrise, which is by far the most taxing of the hike. 

Will the hill ever end??

From there it’s a short downhill, then a relatively flat (slightly rolling) section for about 5 miles.  Lots of barren land in here, evidently the result of fire, as the trees would indicate.

Burned out Trees

There’s a brief glimpse of what’s to come when you get a good overlook of the Tenaya Creek Valley

That first step’s a doozy

Then it’s a steady ascent up to the top of Cloud’s rest – the top half-mile on all rocks.  

The view… well, it speaks for itself, but I’ll readily admit… the camera does it no justice whatsoever.

John in Awe

East to half dome

The expansive Tenaya Creek Valley

Little Yosemite Valley to the South

Dennis – a friendly local model

Walking down the spine – views to both sides

The elevation change between Tenaya Lake and Cloud’s Rest is only 2000 feet, but I estimate with the ups-and-downs, total elevation gain is more on the order of 3000 feet (too bad I didn’t have a GPS to track with).  An amazing hike with a very rewarding view at the top.  I highly recommend it if you don’t feel like waiting in line to sniff butts while scrambling up the Cable Route with dozens of other people.

The next day we took a leisurely cruise into the Yosemite Valley.  It’s a beautiful drive, but a bit congested as the Valley is extremely touristy.  Stopped by to visit El Capitan on the way in.

El Cap

Stopped at a couple turnouts to look back at the immense valley on the way out.  Again… photos don’t do justice.



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