Five Must-Visit Spring Hiking Destinations in The Western US
2. Cloud’s 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
Total Distance & Duration: 14.4-mile round trip, 6-7 hours
Ideal Time of Year to Hike: Late Spring, Summer
Trail Uses: Hiking
Elevation (at trailhead): 8,150ft
Costs: $30 for 7 day pass
Directions to trailhead: The trailhead is off Tioga Road at the western end of Tenaya Lake