The hike to Sentinel’s summit (8122ft) is the shortest and easiest trail up one of Yosemite’s granite domes. For those unable to visit Half Dome’s summit, Sentinel offers an equally outstanding 360-degree perspective of Yosemite’s wonders, and the 2.2-mile round-trip hike only takes about an hour. A visit at sunrise or sunset or during a full moon is spectacular.
You can combine a trip up Sentinel Dome with a walk to Taft Point and the Fissures, an equidistant hike from the same trailhead, or combine the two to form a loop via the solitary Pohono Trail.
Park in the Sentinel Dome/Taft Point lot on the north side of Glacier Point Rd, about 13 miles from Chinquapin. From the roadside parking lot, take the trail’s gently rising right fork. After 20 minutes, it heads northwest across open granite slabs to the dome’s base. Skirt the base to an old service road, which leads to the dome’s northeast shoulder. From here, head up the gentle granite slope to the top (wear good hiking shoes), where you’ll have views of the entire park.