Sentinel Dome Trail is a 2.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mariposa, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November.

DISTANCE
2.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
456 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Sentinel Dome is a short, moderate 2.2 mile RT trail starting from Glacier Point Road in Yosemite National Park that scales one of Yosemite's high domes and offers a full breathtaking 360 degree view. Sentinel Dome Trail is a short 2.2 mile RT hike from Glacier Point Road to a spectacular 360 degree view of Yosemite NP. It provides one of the very best NP experiences for the effort you can find. To the west, you'll see almost a reverse Tunnel View of the Yosemite Valley and can see beyond to the Merced River canyon. To the north is Yosemite Valley, including El Capitan and Yosemite Falls. You'll see Nevada Falls, Half Dome and Clouds Rest to the east, and many of the High Sierra peaks. This summit was made famous by Ansel Adam's 1940 photo of the Jeffrey Pine tree. The tree perished in 1977, and fell over in 2003. The trail crosses a bridge over a stream near the beginning of the hike and gradually slopes up along a granite floor among the pines. It then turns slightly left and after a gradual climb through more pines, meets the base of the dome, where you then take a sharp left straight up onto the exposed dome. Enjoy the views! An alternate route begins at the service road entrance about a half mile towards Glacier Point from the main trailhead. This spur joins the main trail at the base of the dome and is about two thirds of a mile.

hiking
13 days ago

Easy and fun hike and amazing 360 degrees view of Yosemite at the end. Loved it!

20 days ago

Easy, fun, amazing views.

hiking
1 month ago

In all honesty, this is nearly as easy as the Taft Point Hike, just slightly longer. I'd suggest doing Taft first, then follow this up in the later afternoon so you can catch the magic hour on the dome itself.

The hike starts from the same point next to the road as Taft Point does. You'll find a porta potty, so go if you need too. You'll also need to bring a bottle of water with you. The trail as a whole is mostly dirt, with some small rocky sections. It isn't flat, but it really climb or a decent either. As you get closer to the Dome, you're gonna wonder, well, how the heck do get up onto that? Well, keep to the trail, it circles back behind the dome and you'll scramble up it from the east side where it's actually pretty gradual climb (you'll need zero rock climbing skills here. You're at one of the highest points in the park and you can see for miles in each and every direction from up here. Soak it in, enjoy it, it's the best and sooo much easier then climbing Half Dome too.

I brought along a flash light for the hike back to my car once the sun went down, great hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with spectacular views once you're at the top! And don't forget to check out the old dead jeffrey pine, it was a great moment for me up there, thinking of how Ansel Adams took that wonderful photo when the pine was alive. I had Sentinel Dome all to myself, going the end of October early in the morning!

hiking
1 month ago

Loved it! The elevation is 7700-8122 ft. So for me
adjusting to the elevation increased the difficulty.
So I enjoyed it , it was hard for me but I am glad we went to the top! The views are 360 degree of all the peaks in Yosemite Valley.

1 month ago

This is a moderate hike. The trailhead elevation is at 7700 feet and the top of Sentinel Dome is 8122 feet. The views are spectacular to say the least. At the top of Sentinel Dome you have a 360 degree view of Yosemite. You can see Cathedral Rock, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and the mountains beyond.
There are areas of the trail were you must pass over rocks but nothing difficult. It is a steep climb to the top of the Dome but not difficult by any means.
If you are not acclimated to the higher elevation take your time in the beginning to adjust to it. We had lots of fun and there a great views along the way.
After seeing the dome there is a trail to Glacier Point if you want to hike there, or you can take another trail to Taft Point which makes a loop back to the parking lot.

1 month ago

Amazing panoramic views!

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely one of the best bang for your buck hikes in Yosemite. Very short, very little elevation change, and INCREDIBLE views. Good way to start your time in Yosemite, especially if you’re arriving in the afternoon.

hiking
1 month ago

Spectacular view

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic view from the top of Sentinel Dome! Well worth the short hike up there.

1 month ago

The view from the top is the payoff for taking this trail!

hiking
1 month ago

Oh my gosh. This hike was amazing. Went there to see the sunset with my girlfriend and it was so worth the challenge it took to get there. It's quick but if you're more sedentary, the last half mile will kick your butt a bit on the way up. That being said, we aren't super hikers but we only took about two 1-minute breaks and were able to make the climb. Just take your time and you'll make it. It's not terrifyingly difficult, just a good workout for the middle quarter of the whole trip. At just a few hundred feet shorter than Half Dome's elevation, it's literally a much better all-around view than Glacier Point, in my opinion, and only 10% as much people because of the climb. I've also done Taft Point, and while I think the view from Sentinel is more grand and awe inspiring, Taft Point will give you a similarly beautiful scene for much less effort. You won't get to see Half Dome though, so choose wisely.

hiking
1 month ago

Great view!! I think this trail and at the top of Sentinel Dome has a better view than Glacier Point. It was so cool being up in the cloud. This hike is very short and easy. I would definitely recommend this to people who like views.

2 months ago

Nice trail about 1 mile one way, lots of rocks to walk around at some parts and the last .2 miles is a steep hike up the side of the dome. Definitely worth it, the view from the top is incredible.

2 months ago

This is a fairly easy hike with 360 views at the top. Great view of the valley and falls. I know there are many quality hikes at Yosemite, but the payback for reasonable effort is outstanding.

2 months ago

This is actually my favorite hike in Yosemite. Most of the trail has a decent incline, but there is one section right before you reach the dome that is pretty steep. Once you are at the dome, climb the rocks to the top and you are rewarded with an outstanding view of Yosemite Valley, half dome and the Sierra Mountain range. It is beautiful. I prefer to do this one in the fall since the tourists are mostly gone, but even with the tourists in the summer, it is worth the hike. Make sure to bring enough water as Yosemite is very hot in the summer months. Also, I wore hiking boots and was glad when I was coming down. There are lots of loose gravel and slick granite to lose your balance on. If you are visiting, I would make this a must!

hiking
2 months ago

One of the most incredible views I’ve ever seen, probably the best from anywhere in the park. Easy 45min walk from the carpark.

2 months ago

Great to do after sunrise at Glacier point - great view of rl capitan! Then took loop around to Taft point and fissures- did not run into any hikers until Taft point!

hiking
2 months ago

Easily accessed from the trailhead, takes about half an hour to walk to the top of the dome, the last bit being a little steeper. The view from the top, absolutely incredible. Likely the best view of anywhere in the park and 360 as far as the eye can see. Something everyone should see in-person at some point in their life!

hiking
2 months ago

Easy trail, moderate elevation gain, amazing views. Our kids (9/6/3) hiked this trail with very little whining. The wind can pick up pretty quickly so take a jacket. Do yourself a favor and pack a meal/snacks, grab your pencils and paper, and enjoy your time on top of the world!

2 months ago

Great hike! Sitting atop the dome offered great views for a much deserved lunch! I feel like the moderate eating cake from getting up the dome itself

2 months ago

Great moderately difficult hike with some of the best views on the park and only about an hour round trip.

2 months ago

Ferry good hike. What a view! You can see the Half Dome, el Capitain and more. At 14:00 not so many people.

2 months ago

This is not a strenuous hike but it is absolutely beautiful. We were recommended to hike this Trail by an amazing Ranger Sierra. There are 360 degree views of the park and much fewer crowds then going up to Glacier Point. There's a nice little side Trail right before you get to the Dome that has some great photo opportunities as well.

hiking
2 months ago

Best hike to get an incredible 360 view of Yosemite. At 8,000 feet up you can see everything! But stay hydrated for the altitude change. Incredible view of El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls (when flowing), Vernell and Nevada Falls, etc. Most awe-inspiring view I’ve ever seen!

hiking
3 months ago

Nice and short hike. 1.1 miles to the top of Sentinel Dome from the trail head, 2.2 miles round trip. Easy hike, and not as crowded or busy as the trails done in the valley. The 360 view at the top of the Dome down to Yosemite valley is awesome and worth the hike.

4 months ago

This might well be the most beautiful view I have ever seen. If you can walk up an incline, hike this trail before you die.

4 months ago

Best view of Yosemite falls in the park IMO

hiking
4 months ago

This hike was surprisingly beautiful and away from the crowds. We went to watch the sunset & star gaze. There were a handful of people there, but we were alone not long after the sun started going down. Not a very difficult hike for someone in average shape. Very short & not too much of an uphill climb. Definitely suggest passing the general parking area for the trail and continuing down the road just a bit until you get to a service road on the left hand side. There is a small parking area directly across the street. You can hike this service road right up to the trail which will cut a good portion of the distance off of your hike:-) The 360 degree view of Yosemite is well worth it! Just stunning!

hiking
4 months ago

Great little hike! Pretty leisurely most of the way, the last little stretch is more difficult because it gets really steep but that only lasts a couple minutes while you get to the summit.

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