• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    1.8 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    400 Feet

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic

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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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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

about 2 months ago
about 2 months ago

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

5 months ago
5 months ago

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!

7 months ago
7 months ago

This trail shares a parking lot with the Taft Point trail, a park ranger told us they were both easy and the same length. We did both hikes, and would rate this hike as harder than Taft Point but still "easy". We were here in July and did not even think about wearing sunscreen, which was a mistake, as this hike does not have much shade. Once you get to the dome climbing part, it is much steeper, but very satisfying once you do it. This was a popular trail, but it didn't seem crowded. There is a bathroom at the trailhead. This is a good hike to do if you want to climb a dome but don't have a permit to climb Half Dome (or if you are scared, lol).

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

I thought that this was a nice short hike after hiking 18 miles in sequoia national park the day before. I didn't get the permits to climb half dome so I decided to do this little hike. It gave beautiful views of the valley

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This is an incredible low-mid distance hike to do in Yosemite that does not have the crowds of Glacier Point, but is easy enough for my parents (in their late 50s and not avid hikers) to do. You get a killer view of Half Dome and the whole valley in both East and West directions.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This short hike provides some of the best views of Yosemite, including Half Dome, Vernal and Nevada Falls, and Yosemite Falls. You can also see the now-toppled Ansel Adams tree at the top of the dome, made famous for its improbable location. There were a few people on the trail who were nervous about the final climb to the top, but if you're wearing good shoes, it's no problem at all. A must-do hike if you're in Yosemite!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Emily Noyd

Wilderness ranger in Yosemite National Park. Raised by Washington mountains and Puget Sound islands. I live for sunrise, backcountry cooking, climbing, roadtrips, and coffee.

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