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2021 Sentinel Dome hike info (including shortcut)

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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91,547 posts
196 reviews
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2021 Sentinel Dome hike info (including shortcut)
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Sentinel Dome offers one of the best and easiest accessed views in Yosemite National Park. If you can walk two miles at elevation, you can do this fabulous hike.

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From the small parking lot, hike 1.1 miles on a well-trodden trail and up the side of the dome to a spectacular view. Take only photos, don't feed the persistent California Ground squirrels, and enjoy the view. Note that the last 0.1 mile up the side of the dome is challenging, but you can go as slowly as you’d like.

TripAdvisor listing: www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g61000-d532061

Yosemite NP description: www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/glacierhikes.htm

Yosemite Hikes Description: www.yosemitehikes.com/glacier-point-road/sentinel-dome/sentinel-dome.htm

Trail Map: www.yosemitehikes.com/glacier-point-road/sentinel-dome/trail-map.htm

“Secret” Shortcut to Sentinel Dome This is a wide pullout on Glacier Point Road and is across from a gated service road. It is 0.7 mile past the Sentinel Dome parking lot.

• Map of the road (shortcut trail is on Google Maps!) https://goo.gl/maps/t8DXv1KSxzwLvjg98

• Map view of the Shortcut Parking (I prefer the larger area just ahead on the right): https://goo.gl/maps/vKztu

• Older thread with detailed information about the parking. See Reply 2: www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g61000-i315-k5661206

Some folks like to combine the Sentinel Dome hike with the Taft Point/Fissures + Pohono Trail hike into a longer loop, but just the Sentinel Dome hike is a great hike for many Yosemite visitors. If you choose to hike the loop, I prefer starting with Taft Point.

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In 2022, Glacier Point Road will be closed for the entire year. The road will be moved a bit, parking will likely change, and things will be different. This Sentinel Dome information is only valid for 2021.

25 replies to this topic
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46 posts
1. Re: 2021 Sentinel Dome hike info (including shortcut)
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This is great! Thank you! Normally we would want to do the full hike but with a toddler we will need to be prepared to keep things quick depending on her tolerance level for hiking each day! :-)

Estero, Florida
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2. Re: 2021 Sentinel Dome hike info (including shortcut)
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Great summary; thank you! Do you recommend the loop if you have the time and inclination? Or save the effort for other hikes?

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
91,547 posts
196 reviews
166 helpful votes
3. Re: 2021 Sentinel Dome hike info (including shortcut)
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Mei-Mei K ~ The loop is one of my personal favorites, but of course you need to choose hikes & walks that are best for you. It is definitely not as crowded as the Mist Trail! Maybe start a thread on the Yosemite forum with information about your trip. Share your draft itinerary, hiking style/ability, travel group, etc. We'll help you to refine the itinerary so that it works well for you. As Floridians, hiking at 8,000' elevation may be tough.

San Jose, California
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4. Re: 2021 Sentinel Dome hike info (including shortcut)
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I did the hike on 05/10. There was still snow melting on the side of the dome. But won't be a problem if you are careful. I did not know the shortcut at that time. By looking at the posted picture, I recalled there was only one car parked at the opposite side of the gate where the shortcut starts. I will definitely give it a try next time because the shared trailhead parking lot for taft point and sentinel dome is so crowded in the morning.

San Diego...
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5. Re: 2021 Sentinel Dome hike info (including shortcut)
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Thank you for detailed post. It is mentioned that Sentinel Dome hike area has only small parking lot. How small it is? Appreciate if you have any tips for parking in summer months? Is it legally allowed to park the car in the secret pull out/ short cut location?

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
91,547 posts
196 reviews
166 helpful votes
6. Re: 2021 Sentinel Dome hike info (including shortcut)
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It looks like 21 parking spots on Google Maps satellite view. I counted over 70 cars parked "in the dirt" or ditch or side of the road. The photo of the trailhead on Google shows cars in the ditch.

https://goo.gl/maps/ACswMFLwhUrtCdpQ6

I think that parking in the ditch (on top of baby plants) is the same level of "illegal" as parking in the shortcut parking area. No tickets.

When the NPS redoes Glacier Point Road in 2022, they will be fixing the parking area for Sentinel Dome / Taft Point trailhead.

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>>any tips for parking in summer months<<

Get out of your lodging early in the morning. Park in your preferred area. If possible, leave the car there all day (more applicable to Yosemite Valley.)

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7. Re: 2021 Sentinel Dome hike info (including shortcut)
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Putting it on my to do list, looks lovely thank you :)

Fresno, California
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8. Re: 2021 Sentinel Dome hike info (including shortcut)
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The hike from the dome on to Taft Point will give you some nice views down into the valley. You will come to a stream and if you follow a side trail that heads downstream toward the valley, in perhaps 50 yards you'll come to a great overlook where you can sit on some rocks and enjoy the view. And Taft Point offers views similar to Glacier Point but without the stone walls, so stay back from the edge. We've seen deer on the trail twice; your chances to do so will depend on how quiet you are on the trail.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
91,547 posts
196 reviews
166 helpful votes
9. Re: 2021 Sentinel Dome hike info (including shortcut)
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Here is the thread about the loop. www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g61000-i315-k13542195

Replying with detailed information about doing the loop in reverse (counterclockwise) would be helpful to the community.

Fresno, California
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10. Re: 2021 Sentinel Dome hike info (including shortcut)
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Well, we like going counterclockwise. By doing the Dome first, then you'll head down a relatively steep trail for perhaps a mile and follow along the edge of the cliffs that create the valley. When you get near Taft Point, at the junction of the trail that leads either back to the parking lot or down to Taft, a right turn takes you to the point. We think the uphill from Taft back to the parking lot is more tolerable than saving a climb up the Dome for the end of the hike.

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