Starting at the Tenaya Lake Trailhead, we hiked to the summit of Clouds Rest, with an elevation of 9,931′ and spectacular views of Yosemite Valley. We camped near Sunrise Creek and the next day summited Half Dome via the cables before hiking down to the valley. In total, we hiked 22 miles over 2 days.
Getting permits for Half Dome requires luck and flexibility with the lottery system. Clouds Rest, however, requires no permit and provides views that are just as spectacular, with smaller crowds.