Glacier Point & Clouds Rest, Yosemite
I've been to Yosemite a few times now, but always seem to hike the Half Dome trail. This time, I set out on a mission to explore what else Yosemite had to offer - and I sure am glad I did! After driving a few hundred miles and purchasing a campsite illegally from a stranger (that's another story) my friend and I began our first hike of the weekend: 10 miles roundtrip on the Glacier Point trail.
Now, you can also access Glacier Point by driving right up to the top, but honestly - where is the fun in that?
Every twist and turn of the switchbacks led us to a more stunning view.
I'll admit it, by mile 7 or 8 we were feeling our sore feet and forming blisters. When we arrived back to the campsite the chilled Coronas in the cooler were definitely well deserved.
Melsa got to experience my go-to camping meal, cous cous and veggies (added garlic almonds this time too!)
We woke up with sore feet but light spirits, and after the bacon we set off with heavy, full stomachs. Our second day of hiking was going to be twice as long: 20 miles roundtrip on the Clouds Rest trail.
The first few miles follow the same trail as if you’re going to Half Dome – the Mist Trail to Nevada Falls. When the trail splits – that’s when things get good. The views are breathtaking – or maybe it was just the never ending switchbacks
Reaching the top was bittersweet. We were rewarded with a 360 view of Yosemite – a view far more spectacular than my images depict. Yet, at the same time, it was much more crowded than expected. The switchbacks on the way up had been empty. Turns out there are two trails that lead to Clouds Rest – and we took the much harder of the two (sorry, feet).
Fun fact: Clouds Rest actually looks down on Half Dome, as it is over 1,000ft higher in elevation.
The decent was… miserable. Melsa and I were trying our best to get back to camp before the sun went down, but blisters and sores were plentiful and kept us at a slow pace. To top it off, when we did arrive to the campground cafeteria, tired and famished, it had closed 10 minutes earlier. We bought frozen burritos and ate them by the microwave in the gift shop. To all those people in line buying postcards and tee shirts – don’t judge.
The third day we decided that there would be no hiking – or shoes – involved. We drove to check out Tenaya Lake and then headed into Groveland for a hot meal not cooked in my one dirty camping pot. It tasted glorious.
Weekend wrap up: Glacier Point and Clouds Rest were two of the best hikes I’ve completed in Yosemite and highly recommend them. I would recommend the easier route to Clouds Rest though, starting from Tioga Pass and hiking downhill for a couple miles versus the 10 mile trek of uphill switchbacks.
I have to give a special shout to Melsa, who managed to get the largest blisters I have ever seen in my life and still powered through 30 miles in 2 days with very limited complaining. Cheers to you, my strong, sometimes bossy (lol) best friend! Cheers to many more (less painful) hikes in the future!
Keywords: Clouds Rest, Glacier Point, Half Dome, california, explore, hiking, outdoors, outside, travel, yosemite
Oh oh oh! Please take me... Please!!
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