Sentinel Dome is a signature sight here in Yosemite, and is surely something that you cannot miss during your time here. With one of the most beautiful panoramic views in the entire world, and a host of fantastic sights—including the fallen Jeffrey Pine, formerly one of the most famous trees in the world—Sentinel Dome truly is an experience in and of itself. Without a doubt, climbing this dome is one of the best ways to experience miles and miles of views in every direction. Tourists love using this as a photography spot, and many label this their favorite spot to visit—no matter how many times they’ve been. Without a doubt, if you have to choose one place to go to during your stay in Yosemite, Sentinel Dome wouldn’t be a terrible choice.
One of the best things about this hike is its relative easiness combined with surprising difficulty. We’d call it a 3, as most of the hike is pretty easy; however, the final stretch up the dome is quite steep, making it a bit more difficult than it seems at face value. Furthermore, with the 8,100 square feet peak elevation, you may experience some elevation sickness if it is your first day in Yosemite. Keep that in mind before you go!
Distance and Hiking Time
If you are just here for the sights, rather than the hikes themselves, Sentinel Dome is a pretty good place to visit. It only takes around 1-2 hours to complete the 2.2 mile round trip trail, so you can be in and out relatively quickly.
Unfortunately, because this is such a popular tourist destination, you will probably be subject to quite a few people. But, it’s not the worst, and it won’t be near as bad as Glacier Point.