Five Must-Visit Spring Hiking Destinations in The Western US

2. Cloud’s Rest, Yosemite National Park

Hiking Clouds Rest, Yosemite National Park

If you don’t have a Half Dome permit but you want a hike with a view to match, hike 1,000ft higher to the summit of Cloud’s Rest. This trail starts off easily as it passes streams, through red fir forests and lupine meadows to begin the ascent. Near the summit, you’ll follow signs to scramble over large, smooth, grey granite boulders to one of Yosemite’s best vantage points, offering 360° views of Half Dome and the Valley.



Pro tip:To avoid the exposed path to the summit, there’s a small unmarked trail that forks to the left before you reach the ‘Cloud’s Rest Food Trail’ sign.

Difficulty: Intermediate, Advanced

Pros: Incredible views, well-marked trail, less crowded for similar experience to Half Dome, streams to refill water

Cons: Exposed climb, can be hard to find parking at trailhead

Congestion: Medium

Total Distance & Duration: 14.4-mile round trip, 6-7 hours

Ideal Time of Year to Hike: Late Spring, Summer

Trail Uses: Hiking

Dog-Friendly: No

Recommended Gear: The North Face Stormbreak 35L Day Pack, LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, Vasque Gore-Tex Waterproof Mid-Length Hiking Boot

Elevation (at trailhead): 8,150ft

Costs: $30 for 7 day pass

State: California

Directions to trailhead: The trailhead is off Tioga Road at the western end of Tenaya Lake

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