Everyone talks about Half Dome. You can’t have a conversation about Yosemite without someone asking, “Have you done Half Dome?” But people should really ask, “Have you done Clouds Rest?”
Clouds Rest is what Yosemite means to me wrapped up in a nice little bow. A fun rocky summit, hiking through terrain that only means Yosemite, incredible views of the Valley, and yes, crowds of inexperienced but eager tourists. It was the site of my first backpacking trip in the park, and having very few memories of the trail I decided it was time to go back, but for a dayhike this time.