Sentinel Dome is a short hike with excellent bird's eye views of El Capitan, Half Dome, and the entire Yosemite Valley.

One of the most popular places in Yosemite for sunset is Glacier Point, but by walking one mile from the trailhead, the crowds quickly dissipate. Sentinel Dome is great for all ages since the trail is short and not too steep. Park at the Sentinel Dome trailhead, about 3 miles from the end of Glacier Point Road. The trail is one mile, one-way. For the best timing, leave the trailhead at least one hour before sunset.

There's no camping allowed at Sentinel Dome or anywhere within 4 miles of Glacier Point. The one exception is during winter when Glacier Point Rd is unplowed, which converts it to a trail, and the "no camping zone" collapses a bit. A wilderness permit is required year-round for any wilderness area, including Sentinel Dome in winter. Learn more about winter backpacking to Sentinel Dome here: https://www.theoutbound.com/yo... Other than that, enjoy Sentinel for sunrise or sunset, just don't sleep there.

Pack List

  • Water bottles
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Camera & tripod
  • Warm jacket
  • Picnic dinner 
  • Favorite adult beverage 
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RT Distance 1.8 Miles
Elevation Gain 400 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Make It A Trip

Make sure to complete the loop and hit Taft point! Awesome view of El Cap.

Short And Rewarding

A short trail and quite easy — and so rewarding at the top! One of the best views of the valley!

Lots of bang for your buck!

I am a serious fan of this hike. There really is no shortage of great things to say about it. It's not strenuous, has a world class view, and provides excellent photography opportunities. I would highly recommend this adventure to anyone visiting Yosemite. It is relatively less crowded than many busy Yosemite spots too!


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