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Sentinel Dome Trail [CLOSED] is a 2.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from April until November.

Length 2.1 mi Elevation gain 456 ft Route type Out & Back
Hiking Forest Views Wild flowers Wildlife Closed
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Getting There

Note: as of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. Sentinel Dome starts from Glacier Point Road and scales one of Yosemite's high domes and offers a full breathtaking 360 degree view. 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.

Small parking lot 17.3 miles up Glacier Point road on the left (at true trailhead which is also the trailhead to Taft Point), also pit toilets, and room for several more cars about a half mile further on the right - across from service road entrance.

Yosemite National Park Call 209/372-0200 (then dial 3 then 5) The public information office is open from 9 am to 5 pm Pacific time (closed for lunch). If the ranger is already on the line, you'll be returned to the main menu. If the ranger is not there, you can leave a message and they'll return your call. Public Information Office PO Box 577 Yosemite, CA 95389

From the South entrance to Yosemite, turn left and travel 17.3 miles to Glacier Point Road. From the valley, take road 41 nine miles to Glacier Point Road. Once you're on Glacier Point Road, follow it to the trailhead 13.6 miles on the left. An alternative (and quicker) starting point is about a half mile past the trailhead parking to park across the street on the right from the fire service road on the left - usually has a metal gate going across the fire road.

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Reviews (816)
Photos (870)
Recordings (514)
Completed (2741)
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Jeremy Bost
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Jenny Tang
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HikingGreat!

I would rate this trail easy/moderate. I'm an active, but overweight person who hikes once a week during the spring/summer months. The moderate part is it's a steady incline to the base of the dome. The incline isn't too difficult. It's the combination of climbing on rocks or sandy areas with the high altitude that if you're not used to that, it's a bit harder than your typical easy hikes. Just take a nice breather whenever you need and take in the natural beauty around you. Also, there isn't a lot of shade on this trail. So bring sunscreen and hats! Once you get to the base of the dome, it's a short but steep incline to the top. The views are totally worth it!!! Though we went during smokey air during the California fires, we were high enough in elevation to be able to see blue skies and a nice view of Half Dome. The views are breath-taking and totally worth the extra hike up to the top of the dome. And then it's an easy way back down to the trail head from the top of the dome. Worthwhile short hike!

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Dana Tattrie
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Amanda Palmieri
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Brian Spatocco
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Brenna McCallum
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Hiking

Cabin weekend with Brynn and Charlie!

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Lauren Lofts
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HikingBugsGreat!Scramble

Excellent easy hike for great views! Hiked on 8/30 and unfortunately the smoke had settled in limiting views a little but still worth it. Highly recommend for sunset! We also noticed an abnormal amount of wasps while at the top so be cautious of that.

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Jeff Kempski
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Hiking

Quick hike for a great view.

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Bliss Torres
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Hiking

Loved it!! Beautiful view!

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Dan Mooney
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HikingGreat!

The views from the top of this hike are absolutely amazing. We stayed up at the top for sunset and then headed out after. It gets dark pretty quickly so make sure you have a flashlight/headlamp and know where you are going as the trail is not very specific especially in the dark! One of the most beautiful panoramic views I have ever seen in my life. A little hazy when we were there given all of the wildfires, but still absolutely stunning!

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Evelyn Cortez-Davis
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HikingGreat!

Short easy trail with a slightly steep climb to the dome in the last 100 yards or so. Did this in July, started before 8am. Weather and visibility were beautiful. Stunning views of Half Dome and El Capitan!

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Marcio Alves
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Tracy Tang
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Nature tripsGreat!Rocky

The trail is easy for the most part. It does have a steep incline going up the dome, but other than that it’s not a hard hike. It was very beautiful up there and you can see half dome on sentinel dome. Also the sentinel dome and glacier point trails both connect to each other half way through the hike if you want to hike glacier point.

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Seth Grossman
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Hiking

Fairly easy there and back, not too busy due to COVID restrictions. The view is hampered by wildfire smoke, but still beautiful and bracing at the summit.

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Kimberly Martin
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Hiking

Views hampered by smoke but still totally eworthnit. Viewing g is still possible though.

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Andra Gonzenbach
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Hiking

The view is great. We went when the smoke haze was pretty thick in the valley but on the dome summit it was blue skies and the visibility was great. It’s an easy hike, it’s very sunny so bring your shades, hat, sun protection if you plan to sit on the dome summit and gaze.

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Enrique Salazar-Turner
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Felicity Fung
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Walking

Best sunset spot. Hands down. Easy-moderate hike. Little climbing but definitely not bad at all.

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Derek Galloway
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Hiking

Amazing short trail. Smoke from fires prevented the full experience but still great views.

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Austin Beaupre
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Hiking

Solid hike but wildfire smoke took away a lot of the views. The last quarter of a mile will get your heart rate up!

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Russell Fredrickson
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Aoife W
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Hiking

We headed up to Sentinel Dome for sunset, great views of El Cap and Half Dome in particular! We left the top just as the sun went down and made it back to the car park just before dark.

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William Cutler
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Hiking

Short trail. Pretty easy. Incredible views. Probably the best views in the park. Don’t miss it.

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Renee Wetzel
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HikingGreat!
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Sia Misthos
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Hiking

Great hike to end your weekend at Yosemite! Moderate level hike with lots of boulders and beautiful scenery.

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Ben Austin
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Kayla Parker
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Hiking

A quick hike with great rewards. The views are absolutely breathtaking. Be sure to bring water and get ready for a little booty workout on the way up, but nothing crazy.

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