Park or get dropped off at the west end of Tenaya Lake on Hiwghway 120. You begin with a relatively flat walk. The only difficulty on the first part is that in the early season, the stream crossing at the Tenaya Lake outlet might be quite deep and quite cold. Once Tenaya Creek is forded, with more or less difficulty, it's a gentle walk through the woods for a mile or so. Then you begin to climb and gain some altitude.
It's a decent, steep climb up switchbacks through lodgepole forest typical of Tuolumne, eventually decreasing in angle and giving way to a really nice, almost pure, stand of white pines. White pines are a special treat in that it is a majestic tree that you pretty much won't see from the road (unlike ponderosa and sugar pines that are majestic, but frequently along the road, and whitebark pines that are rarely along the road, but tend to grow in short, dense krumholz formations often little taller than me, and I'm not tall).
Once you reach the whtie pine forest, you're almost there. Soon the forest gives way to rocky slopes and eventually the narrow and vertiginous ridge that leads to the summit of Cloud's Rest. The first time I was here, I saw a fit, muscular man shaking and almost on his knees. I thought a guy like this would never accept help, but I offered him my hand up the summit ridge and he grabbed it with a look of relief and gratitude and held my hand, gentle as a child, while he made it to the top, then thanked me profusely. Don't get me wrong, this is not the Half Dome cables. It's not exposed like that, but the ridge does drop off hundreds of feet to the south and thousands of feet to the north. It may be intimidating if you have an intense fear of heights.
The ridge quickly behind you after a couple hundred feet, you stand on one of Yosemite's great summits (which ones are not great?) and enjoy views of a large swath of the park — Hoffman, Clark Range, Yosemite Valley, Half Dome and more. A great place to enjoy lunch before you turn around and head back to Tenaya Lake or continue on down from Cloud's Rest to Yosemite Valley, via the Mist Trail or the John Muir Trail.