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Clouds Rest, the grim, helmeted Captain of the immediate Sierra, sloping gradually from its base at the bed of Te-na-ya Creek, to its summit six thousand feet above the floor of the Valley, is one of the most majestic of all the beautiful peaks of the region.

From its lofty summit one's view of the surrounding country is only limited by the range of one's vision. From here one may look out over a chaotic massing of noble mountains, over cone-shaped and castle-shaped peaks of every shade of blue and gray and purple, and down enormous gorges that are fiery green in the sun at the top and black as black velvet in the dark at the bottom, with here and there a streak of foamy white showing to mark the course of some stream on its way to the sea. Far off to the northeast can be seen the water of Te-na-ya Lake, lessened by distance and gleaming like turquoise in its setting of emerald forest and gray granite, while

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to the east Merced Lake can be seen nestling in its glacier-worn basin.

The summit of Clouds Rest is sometimes the rendezvous of storm clouds. The first to arrive is usually a fleecy, harmless looking little fellow, but he is quickly joined by other, more business-like ones. Seemingly out of nowhere they gather and mass their ranks until in a few minutes the top of the mountain is enveloped in their billowy folds. In a remarkably short time foaming streams form on the slopes to go rushing and tumbling down into Te-na-ya Creek and dwindle to nothing in the space of half an hour. In a few minutes, while one wonders at the quickness of the change, the clouds are gone and sunlight again holds the field. Fortunate indeed is the climber who is surrounded by one of these mountain storms. They are a never to be forgotten experience. Sometimes the sun is shining on the summit and one can look down upon a sun-bathed sea of cloud with here and there the top of some great peak lifting through like an island of refuge.

A good bridle trail has been constructed to a point near the top of Clouds Rest, from which the remaining distance can be made on foot in ease and safety. Zigzagging its way up among tremendous granite boulders, offering at every turn unrivaled views of the incomparable country lying on every hand, this trail is one of the most Picturesque in the region, and the trip one that should be made by every visitor to Yosemite who is desirous of going away with a real comprehensive idea of the extent and magnificence of the country comprising the Park.

Next: Chapter III. Sunset in the Yosemite