Sentinel Dome, Yosemite National Park

4.9
#7 of 23 in Nature in Yosemite National Park
Geologic Formation · Nature / Park
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A notable rock formation in Yosemite National Park, Sentinel Dome sits next to another famous domed formation. You can hike to the summit at 1,264.9 m (4,150 ft) above the park's floor or travel there on horseback. While the hike is challenging, the payoff is a remarkable view of the moraines formed by the retreat of an ancient glacier. This rock's nearly spherical shape creates a remarkable sight among the craggy mountains, and you can peer down into Yosemite Valley from this viewpoint. See Sentinel Dome and all Yosemite National Park has to offer by arranging your trip with our Yosemite National Park trip builder app.
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Sentinel Dome reviews

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  • Since Glacier Point Road is closed this year, it’s not really feasible to enjoy the short hike up to the top of Sentinel Dome. So this year we just viewed Sentinel Dome from North Dome across the... 
    Since Glacier Point Road is closed this year, it’s not really feasible to enjoy the short hike up to the top of Sentinel Dome. So this year we just viewed Sentinel Dome from North Dome across the...  more »
  • The hike up to Sentinel Dome is relatively easy, especially in comparison to many of the other hikes in Yosemite. It is mostly flat until you get around the dome, and then you climb up. It's just... 
    The hike up to Sentinel Dome is relatively easy, especially in comparison to many of the other hikes in Yosemite. It is mostly flat until you get around the dome, and then you climb up. It's just...  more »
Google
  • It gives you a wide and wonderful view of the Yosemite Valley. If you start the trail from Sentinel Dome Trailhead, nearby the Glacier Point Road; it is an easy, 1-2 hours long hike. The last steps are short but steep.
  • There are many great trails around Glacier Point, sentinel dome is one of the most rewarding short trails. Sentinel Dome is the 2nd highest point around Yosemite Valley, only after Half Dome. The trail is about 3.2 mile round trip, with an elevation around 400 feet. It is definitely not a challenging trail. But the last part of the trail to the top is steep, and may be demanding for some people because it is above eight thousand feet. Sentinel Dome shares the trailhead and parking lot with Taft Point trail. It is 7 miles west of Glacier Point. The parking lot fills up quickly in the morning. You can park along the Glacier Point Road once the lot is full. The trail head has a small restroom, but I would avoid it if possible. The trail starts with crossing a wooden bridge over a stream, like every place of the Yosemite in May, lots of water. Then the trail gradually climbs up with granite rocks among the pines. You will reach the base of the dome after 0.8 mile, then take a sharp left straight up onto the exposed dome. The last 0.3 miles are straight up. In May, there are still many spots with snow, melting water trickles down the rock surface, which can be slippery. Once at the top, you will be rewarded with the panoramic views that include Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, and over a dozen High Sierra peaks, which can be identified using a metal plaque embedded in a boulder at the summit. Not far from the plaque is the fallen skeleton of a gnarled Jeffrey pine. Be sure to take a picture with it as a souvenir. The Sentinel Dome has the best sunset view in the valley, better than Glacier Point. But it is kind of tricky to hike down the dome and walk all the way back to the parking lot in the dark. Personally I prefer to enjoy the sunrise instead to sunset. Update: The parking lot will be expanded and renovated in 2022.

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