A Challenge, but Worth It
Betsy · Rochester, NY · November 27, 2012
My husband and I are in our 60's and did this hike last May. Climbing over the rocks and boulders, and over or under the fallen tree, was a bit of a challenge. It was very difficult for me when we got to the top because I was in sneakers instead of hiking boots that could grab the rock a little better. Because of that, I sat on a boulder halfway up while my husband went to the very top. I was just too scared of losing my footing and being lost forever. My husband got some great video and pictures. The weather was perfect, but pretty windy. Coming back down, I couldn't stop from taking one picture after another of what we just climbed. We had never done anything like that before. Plus, we wanted to be able to brag to our children that their parents can still do these things!
It is well worth the hike. But, if you are going to do this hike, make sure you have good shoes for hiking, not flip-flops or sandals as we saw many people wearing.
Impressive views make this hike-and-scramble worth it
Robert & Susan Dunn · Little Rock, Arkansas · September 27, 2012
The views from atop Sentinel Dome are quite impressive – well worth the hike to the dome and the scramble to the top. The top of the dome features nice views of Half Dome and Nevada Fall.
As is nearly always the case with domes, it’s quite windy on the top of Sentinel Dome; you may finally get to put that chin strap on your favorite hiking hat to good use. Once you reach the base of the dome, there’s no real trail; just find your way to the top (a “switchback” approach seems to work better than a direct assault).
Sentinel Dome offers a somewhat different kind of “dome” experience than, say, Pothole Dome or Lembert Dome in Tuolumne Meadows – resist the temptation to skip Sentinel Dome just because you’ve done (or are going to do) either or both of those two. Watch out for the fallen tree you have to crawl UNDER along the trail! It’s an interesting obstacle.
Poor Man's Half Dome
mrblister · Nebraska · September 25, 2012
Did this hike as part of 4 Mile Trail/Taft Pt./Panarama Trail loop. The hike from Glacier Pt. is nothing special (provided you don't get smacked by a bus), but Sentinel Dome gets top marks for the summit views. You get almost everything that Half Dome provides, without the clenching and near-death experience. Geezers can do this hike from a nearby parking lot. One rock on top has a metal disc with stuff written on it. Shutterbugs will snap a few of the most famous dead tree in Yosemite. On the risk/reward scale, this is one of the best investments in the park.
Great hike for families
Michelle · Florida · September 13, 2012
This is a great way to hike your first dome. Also a great hike to do after Taft Point. As we approached the dome I kept wondering where we were actually going to go up. Impressive to see the dome as you hike up to it and then be on top of it.
We stayed up there for over an hour, found a spot to nestle in on a rock, nap, relax and enjoy the 360 degree view.
I highly recommend this for a nice hike before watching the sun set at Glacier Point. Windy on top but beautiful.
Gotta be on your Must Do List of Hikes
Bret · Central Florida · July 14, 2012
Very doable hike. The only hike easier than this one with comparable views is Taft Point. The last few hunderd yards up the dome are easy enough a 3 year old could manage with no problem.
The views are indescribable. 360 degree panorama. Reverse Tunnel View, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Mt. Starr King. And, everything in between.
Some folks think that short hikes can't be that good and just overlook them. Don't be one of those folks. Take this hike. You will love it. I talked to a lot of folks who say that the top of Sentinel Dome is their favorite spot in the park.
Reward for the effort: 5 out of 5.
Loved this hike! Great views!
Kim · Tucson, AZ · October 11, 2011
What a great hike with a lot of reward for not a whole lot of time. I'd recommend hiking both the Sentinel Dome trail and to Taft Point. Both are worth seeing and both are so different (especially for only being 2 miles away from each other).
Randy and Lauren Wagner · Tulsa, OK · July 22, 2011
This hike is short enough and moderate enough that families can do it. There is a 1/2 mile steep section at the end, but half of that is a scramble up the bare dome which is really a unique experience. The payoff is a fantastic view of Yosemite Valley.
Great way to start a Yosemite trip
Sara · Connecticut · July 12, 2011
We did this hike, combined with the Taft, via the connecting Pohono trail loop as mentioned on this website (but not mentioned at all by our concierge!). While the slight elevation made us a little gaspy at first, the hike was not difficult. The surprise sudden view of Yosemite Falls brought out-loud-yelling by each successive hiking group as they climbed the dome. The view is just awesome. The loop around is not expanded view breath-taking, but it is quiet forest at its best. We were alone most of the way. When we got to what I think was Sentinel creek, we veered off and found a perfect lunch spot overlooking Yosemite Falls. WHAT A GREAT MOMENT. There was no problem finding the next trail, and the view of El Capitan was similarly impressive. All in, the whole family (myself and two teenagers) loved this hike.