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Sentinel Dome and Taft Point Loop

Mariposa County, California

based on 1 reviews



5.17 miles

Elevation Gain

1076 ft

Route Type




Enjoy beautiful panoramic views at the end point of both hikes: TAFT POINT: 7503 ft and SENTINEL DOME: 8122 ft.

SENTINEL DOME & TAFT POINT TRAILHEAD: About an hour drive from Yosemite Valley campgrounds. This trailhead is an intersection of the starting point of the Taft Point trail and Sentinel Dome trail. It is a short walk (and visible) from the parking lot. In doing both trails, it would be an estimated 4-5 hour hike. The nearest and only restroom available is at the parking lot. The parking lot is also small, so be prepared to look for parking if you plan on going mid-day.

SENTINEL DOME (Intermediate; Strenuous): Take the right path at the trailhead. Sentinel Dome is at 8122 ft. with an elevation gain of roughly 1000 feet. This has a paved path throughout. It starts off flat, then ascends in elevation, as you get deeper in the trail. The final stretch of the trail, as you closer to the endpoint, is very steep (this part is literally hiking on the side of the dome en route to the top) - you will definitely be working out your calve muscles and feel it the next day if you plan on doing this hike on day 1 of your Yosemite trip. There is no tree coverage at the top of the dome, so if its a sunny day, it will be very bright out. As far as crowd factor, I went mid-afternoon, around 3-4pm, there were not many people around en route; however, at the top of the dome there was a small crowd. Guiding the breathtaking 360-panorama view, a neat feature at the top of the dome is a compass/map of all the peaks and domes.

TAFT POINT (Beginner): Take the left path at the trailhead. At 7503 ft., Taft point is 1.1 miles one-way (2.2 roundtrip) with a paved path immersed amongst a forest and boulders throughout, offering unsurpassed views of El Capitan. This is a fairly short hike without much elevation gain. I went around 2-3pm and the crowd factor was light. I wouldn't recommend this hike if you are afraid of hikes because there are no guardrails. Because of the higher elevation, it is also very windy, so if you get could easily, I'd recommend packing a windbreaker. NOTE: There will most likely be no sightseeing of black bears during this trail (because there is no food for them available here), but you may see some deer hiding among the trees!

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Sentinel Dome and Taft Point Loop Reviews

This is a pretty decent loop. Not a ton of up and down, but if you've just done a big hike out of the valley it will feel a little tiring lol. Beautiful views all along the way, watch for bears, we came across a mama and 2 cubs right off the trail.

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