Hiking Sentinel Dome in Yosemite National Park
This short and relatively easy 2.2 mile hike in Yosemite is extremely rewarding and boasts sweeping views of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, and Half Dome.
Hike Date: August 13, 2021
|0 mi||0 mi||Start at Sentinel Dome Trailhead|
|1.1 mi||1.1 mi||Sentinel Dome Trail to the top of Sentinel Dome|
|1.1 mi||2.2 mi||Sentinel Dome Trail back to the trailhead|
The National Park Service offers some other hiking route options on their Sentinel Dome and Taft Point Trailhead page. The Yosemite Valley Hiking Map may also be useful for your planning.
Hiking Sentinel Dome
After we finished hiking to Vernal and Nevada Falls in Yosemite, we decided to drive the 50 minutes from Yosemite Valley to hike Sentinel Dome, and it was well worth the trip. Sentinel Dome is a short, relatively easy 2.2 mile hike from Sentinel Dome Trailhead to the top of an open, rounded, granite dome that boasts incredible views of Yosemite Valley and its most beautiful sites: El Cap and Half Dome.
We parked at the trailhead, where there are bathroom facilities, and turned right on Sentinel Dome Trail. There’s not much tree cover, so we were walking in the hot afternoon sun for the majority of the time. The trail was mostly sandy, with just a couple of places where we crossed some open rock slabs. Just before the final ascent, we got a peek of Half Dome through the trees – a teaser of the astounding views to come from the top! For the final approach to Sentinel Dome, the trail skirts around it towards the right and then climbs 0.1 miles up to the top of the dome.
When we got to the top, we could not believe how incredible the views were in every direction. Yosemite National Park is a truly awe-inspiring place and Sentinel Dome provides a great vantage point to take it all in. We thoroughly enjoyed our time gazing out at Half Dome in front of us and El Capitan across Yosemite Valley. If you’re looking for huge rewards for moderate effort, Sentinel Dome will certainly provide!
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