Sentinel Dome Trail

Yosemite National Park, California 95389

Distance1.0mi
Elevation Gain627ft
Trailhead Elevation7,718ft
Top8,125ft
Elevation Min/Max7682/8125ft
Elevation Start/End7718/7718ft

Sentinel Dome Trail

Sentinel Dome Trail is a hiking trail in Mariposa County, California. It is within Yosemite National Park. It is a mile long and begins at 7,718 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 627 feet. The Sentinel Dome Trailhead parking is near the trailhead. There are also restrooms. Along the trail there are information guideposts. The trail ends near the Whole Yosemite view viewpoint and Sentinel Dome (elevation 8,120 feet).

Sentinel Dome Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Suzanne Swedo
"Here's your chance to climb one of Yosemite's famous domes with minimal expenditure of time and effort. The view from the summit is everything you would expect--a 360-degree sweep of almost the entire park."
Suzanne Swedo
"The location of Sentinel Dome above Yosemite Valley provides complete 360-degree views of just about the whole park. Carry water and wear good sturdy shoes for this one; smooth-soled sandals won’t give you enough traction on the smooth rock."
Top Trails Yosemite (Wilderness Press)
Jeffrey P. Schaffer & Elizabeth Wenk
"Sentinel Dome is a perfect first peak experience for a family, as well as a must-visit destination for every view seeker. While it lacks the aerial Yosemite Valley views available at the rim vista points (Dewey Point, Taft Point, and Glacier Point), its view of the Yosemite high country surpasses these other locations. For little effort you can see all the way to Yosemite’s eastern boundary. Because Sentinel Dome provides a good view of Yosemite Falls, if your goal is to see the falls churning, you should visit this viewpoint while the falls are still flowing with considerable volume, which is late May–mid-July. If the expansive views of the southern and eastern reaches of the park propelled you to this destination, then you can take the trail anytime Glacier Point Road is open and the snow has melted, usually from early May through at least late October."
"The hike to Sentinel Dome is one of Yosemite’s easiest summit hikes, making it a fantastic destination for children. A beautiful summit, it is sufficiently higher than Glacier Point, so the view includes more of the high peaks in the eastern part of Yosemite and is simply an enjoyable spot to take an extended break."
Tracy Salcedo-Chourré
"Though the tiers of Sentinel Fall can be seen the easy way, looking up from Sentinel Beach or other locations on the Yosemite Valley floor, this loop takes you to the funnel at the top, as well as to the awesome 360-degree views from the summit of Sentinel Dome."
"Taft Point protrudes over an overhanging abyss that will send your vestibular system into stomach-churning overdrive. Sentinel Dome is a delightful and easily accessible landmark that exemplifies the park’s geology and spectacular views, including excellent vistas of Half Dome."
Allen Riedel
"Taft Point offers heart-stopping drop-off views with no guardrails. Visitors need to be careful of their footing near Taft Point, though reasonably well-balanced people have nothing to fear. The superb view offers a unique perspective on El Capitan and the valley. Half Dome is not visible, but that hardly matters. Profile Cliff is the place for acrophobics—there is a guardrail in place that aids in vertical orientation and prevents disastrous loss of equilibrium."

Sentinel Dome Trail Trip Reports

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10/29/2009
Very cool vantage point. This is by far the easiest way to see the yosemite valley from above, while still hiking to it, therefore less crowded than glacier point. But here you get a 360 degree view of the valley which is priceless. If you don't mind hiking down in the semi-dark, the sunset from this vantage point is spectacular.
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9/17/2009
Short hike to a great panoramic view, all uphill to top of dome.
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10/3/2006
Nice hike with a wonderful view of Yosemite valley. Climb to the top of the dome for great view in all directions. The day we were there we had the dome to ourselves but I'm sure during the busy season this might be a popular vista point that could generate crowds.
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8/28/2006
This easy hike is simply amazing. The short hike (1.1 miles) to the dome offers some of the best views of Half Dome you can see in the park. In addition, you have an unobstrcted view of the upper, middle, and lower yosemite falls.
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7/15/2006
It is a very nice and relatevely easy trail and at the end you will be rewarded with one of the most glorious views there are in Yosemite! The only thing to remember is to pack enough water, as the trail is quite open and to wear appropriate footwear. While you can encounter folks wearing just watever, its not the way to do it, as the ground gets tricky at times. A pair of good hiking shoes will definitely make your day on this one.
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9/12/2004
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Trail Information

Yosemite National Park
Nearby City
Yosemite National Park
Parks
Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Waterfalls, Views
Features
Yosemite National Park
Local Contacts
Tom Harrison Yosemite Valley map (1:24,000 scale), the National Geographic Trails Illustrated #306 Yosemite SW map (1:40,000 scale), and the USGS Yosemite Valley map (1:24,000 scale).
Local Maps

Trail Log