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Sentinel Dome Trail, CA

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Guide 11 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > Sierra Nevada
4.3 of 5 by 6
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,730 feet
Elevation Gain 349 feet
Accumulated Gain 517 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 4.84
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
15  2018-09-10
Glacier Point Road Hikes
5  2018-09-10 Tortoise_Hiker
11  2018-09-10
Glacier Point Road Hikes
29  2014-07-20
Taft Point - Sentinel Dome Loop
75  2014-07-13
Yosemite National Park - day trip
15  2012-08-27 trailzrus
12  2012-06-28 John9L
10  2012-05-08 AZLOT69
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Sep, Jun
Sun  5:39am - 6:08pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Named place Nearby

Likely In-Season!

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  • Yosemite Campgrounds
    area related
    Yosemite Campgrounds
  • Yosemite Park Map
    area related
    Yosemite Park Map
  • Glacier Map
    guide related
    Glacier Map
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Sentinel Dome Trail
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
We were the first car in the parking lot for Sentinal Dome-Taft Point loop (not really a loop) - more like a barbell or dumbbell hike if you looked at GPS route from overhead.

Sentinel Dome beautiful and fun little scamper to the top. Taft Point underwhelming to me. Fissures kind of neat I guess. The bright green wolf lichen was the most cool thing on Taft Point trail.
Sentinel Dome Trail
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Yosemite National Park - day trip
Yosemite Valley & Glacier Point - Yosemite National Park
Sunday July 13th, 2014
FitBit totals = 11.11 miles, 1050 AEG (105 floors)

Have done Mt Whitney and some of the Pacific Crest Trail in the high Sierras, but never been to Yosemite before. Got out my Ansel Adams photo books for inspiration :next: Maybe a visit to the Ansel Adams Gallery in the Yosemite Village located between Visitor Center and Post Office? Some pre-trip research to consider;

YOSE :next:

Map of YOSE :next:
YOSE park guide :next:

Map of Yosemite Valley :next: ... hikes1.pdf
Map of Glacier Point :next: ... rhikes.pdf
Washburn Point (near Glacier Point) view :next: The HPP image location plus my flipping thru Ansel Adams photo books put this as destination number one.

Yosemite NP waterfalls :next:

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias :next: And HAZ :next:
Grizzly Giants in Mariposa Grove :next:

With a planned business trip to 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino CA (see :next: ) and a base-camp to be established at Courtyard Cupertino Marriott, 10605 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino CA, 95014 ( see :next: ... cupertino/ ), thought I'd "front-end" the trip with some exploration of Big Sur and Yosemite with a goal to capture long exposure dusk image of Bixby Bridge ( see :next: ... bridge.jpg ) and an Ansel Adams-like shot of Yosemite Valley (see :next: ... _point.jpg and ).

Google maps indicated travel distance from Cupertino base-camp to Yosemite Village was 200 miles with 3 hours 45 minutes travel time.


Arrived back at the Cupertino base-camp just after midnight Sunday morning from exploring the Big Sur Coastline (see :next: ). Had a 5am wake-up call and after fueling up on the in-room caffeine, hit the road for Yosemite via CA120 entrance by 6am. I arrived at the park entrance about 10-ish where my NPS annual pass comes thru once again allowing me to bypass the backed up line of vehicles tallying-up their entrance fee.

The arrival into Yosemite Valley reminded me a lot of Zion NP - pass thru a couple of tunnels and voila, there's the spectacular valley, except it's not sandstone, it's granite this time!

When you cross the Merced River, all the traffic veered left towards Yosemite Village. I veered right climbing up CA41 to the Glacier Point cut-off. From the intersection of CA41, the sign indicated 16 miles to Glacier Point. The tight curves and smooth road and sudden elevation changes had me pining for something more than my Nissan Maxima rental (maybe borrow one of the R8's or McLaren's from yesterday's Bixby Creek Bridge encounter?). First stop Washburn Point followed by Glacier Point. I had some time to explore the upper reaches of Four Mile Trail and Panorama Trail (a little note to self - if you want to escape the bus tour crowd at Glacier Point, check out these trails). Upon return I treated myself to lunch at the Tourist Shack beside Glacier Point - a Hagen Das plus the requisite purchase of a Yosemite Falls & Half Dome frig magnet. After my fill of Yosemite Valley eye-candy, I had the Sentinel Dome to Taft Point loop hike on the "to-do" list. Sentinel Dome was exhilarating - maybe saw a dozen people the entire time I lingered up on the dome for about an hour. I wasn't expecting solitude in Yosemite on a summer weekend, but truthfully there were far less people than I imagined there would be. Once again, all was right in the world.

As the afternoon progressed towards dinner time, I went down to the valley floor for some mini-explorations. This is where all the people were...

With the 6 o'clock hour ticked by, I had a choice - sunset back up on Glacier Point or go checkout the giant sequoia in Mariposa Grove. My mind voted for the giant sequoia, so I drove down CA140 following the Merced River towards the town of Mariposa...

Some final thoughts - hitting Glacier Point first was a good call. Having that initial overhead view of the entire Yosemite Valley is jaw-dropping. It put the entire landscape into context for me. Starting off from the valley floor probably would have hidden too many places. At least the view from above allowed me to pick and choose what I wanted to see down in the valley. Taking in a sunset from Glacier Point or Sentinel Dome is surely a treat - maybe next time...

Also, Mariposa Grove isn't anywhere near town of Mariposa CA. Missed out on giant sequoia trees, but did get to explore Merced River via CA140 - nice drive, complete with landslide :next: ... 238394.pdf
( not a recent slide, happened in 2006... ). Fish Camp and Oakhurst on CA41 are the closest towns to the giant sequoias for future reference....


HAZ Washburn Point :next:
HAZ Glacier Point :next:
HAZ Sentinel Dome :next:
HAZ Taft Point :next: and
HAZ East Valley Floor :next:
HAZ West Valley Floor :next:
HAZ Panorama Trail (from Glacier Point) :next:
HAZ Four Mile Trail (from Glacier Point) :next:

I'll post some photos when I get the chance. Enjoy! :)
Sentinel Dome Trail
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Cheryl and I decided to spend the day driving to Glacier Point. I couldn't help but mention how fun it would be for both of us to make the "easy" hike to Sentinel Dome. Cheryl reluctantly agreed to the hike. We left the parking lot and followed the trail east towards Sentinel Dome. After a few minutes of walking, Sentinel Dome came into view. It is a lot bigger then I imagined. I've only seen it from the distance and it always looked small. We continued on and I had a feeling Cheryl was not going to be happy with this hike.

The hike takes you past Sentinel Dome and then you make a turn for the final ascent to the summit. Once we started making our way up Cheryl says she had enough and for me to go on. I asked if she was sure and she said yes so off I went. I hit the summit and was blown away by the views. You have 360 degree views in all directions. Half Dome and Clouds Rest to the east. Yosemite Falls and North Dome to the north. El Capitan to the west. The Clark Range and Mount Starr King to the south. This is an epic view! One of the sad things I noticed was the dead Jeffrey Pine lying in the middle of the summit. I'm 99% sure this is the same Jeffery Pine made famous by Ansel Adams in one of his photos. Please let me know if I'm mistaken.

After taking plenty of pics I descended back to Cheryl. On the way down a Red Tail Hawk flew overhead and landed on a nearby tree. I took some pics and then Cheryl and I returned to the car. She agreed to relax in the car while I made the quick hike over to Taft Point. See separate Triplog for those details.

Sentinel Dome is another excellent Yosemite hike that just about anyone can do. The hike is a little over one mile each way with roughly 400 feet of gain. Trust me the views will be worth it!

Permit $$
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Yosemite National Park
Entrance Fees
Wilderness Permit
Half Dome Permit - Currently required 7 days a week. Check the link for the most up to date information.

2014 - 300 permits issued daily, 225 for dayhikers.
2013 - 400 permits issued daily, 300 for dayhikers.

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page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Mar 10 2010 12:28 am
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