Sentinel Dome Yosemite is only a 2.2 miles round trip hike from the Taft Point/Sentinel Dome parking area which is about 2/3 of the way from the Chinquapin junction to Glacier Point. The Sentinel Dome parking area is generous and has restrooms.
Sentinel Dome Trail
The Sentinel Dome hike offers as much delight per effort as almost anything in Yosemite. With only a 380 foot elevation change you will end up at an altitude of 8,122 as you look out over Yosemite Valley. Sentinel Dome is the second highest point for observing the Valley after Half Dome and a thousand feet higher than Glacier Point.
A metal plaque is embedded in a boulder at the summit of Sentinel Dome where you will be able to identify Half Dome, Yosemite Valley and many of the distant peaks of the Sierra Nevada Range.
One thing to look for on the top of Sentinel Dome is the dead trunk of a gnarled Jeffrey Pine. The tree was made famous in a photo by Ansel Adams.
The tree was 400 years old when it died during a drought in the 1970s. The dead trunk remained standing for another 32 years.[sam id=1 codes=’false’]
Sentinel Dome Sunset Watching
Sentinel Dome is one of the best spots for sunset watching and allows you avoid the crowds at Glacier Point and possibly get a head start on the drive back to your hotel. Don’t forget a flashlight for the hike back from the peak.