Sentinel Dome

After spending the night camping just outside of El Portal, California, Zosia Zgolak and I got up before dawn on the morning of 11 October 2017 and drove into Yosemite National Park to hike up Sentinel Dome.  The drive to the trailhead along Glacier Point Road is probably longer than the actual hike itself which is very straightforward with no route-finding difficulties.  As we had experienced the day before on Clouds Rest, views were marred by smoke from a nearby prescribed burn, but we still took an extended break at the top to marvel at El Capitan and Yosemite Falls.  Returning to the trailhead, we subsequently drove down to Yosemite Valley to mingle with hordes of tourists and to use the free Wi-Fi at the local library.  Once we had our fill of historic sites and e-mails, we drove out of the park and headed west to check into a hotel in Oakland for the night.
Looks a bit intimidating from a distance! A break in the trees along the trail grants this early view of Sentinel Dome.
Just like a strip tease... The trees begin to thin out a bit to reveal more of Sentinel Dome.
Up ahead, the trail joins an old road which still looks quite case you wanted to make this easy hike even easier! Sentinel Dome still looks impregnable as Zosia approaches a trail junction ahead.
No scrambling necessary!

The north side of Sentinel Dome is much more inviting for hikers.

I don't think I even broke a sweat on this one!

Zosia and Sonny stand near the summit of Sentinel Dome (2476 metres).


Sigh. What can you do? At least it's sunny! With smoke from a prescribed fire filling the sky, distant landmarks are difficult to discern.
And Alex Honnold free-solo climbed this earlier in the El Capitan is unmistakable despite the haze in the air.
Reminds me of a man who has fallen down and can't get up... The sun peeks above this long dead tree on the summit.
Maybe if it's hot enough during the summer, you could cook burgers on this thing! This large disk near the summit helps with identifying landmarks on the surrounding horizon.
Jump, Zosia! Jump! Zosia stands in front of El Capitan.  At left are the Cathedral Rocks.
I think my pee makes a better splash than this! Yosemite Falls can barely be seen across the valley to the north.  The falls are supposedly more dramatic in the spring.
Perfect timing as usual! The smoke and haze seemingly let up a bit as Zosia starts to descend.
The lighting on Half Dome would likely be better in the afternoon from this vantage point. Half Dome's iconic form takes shape to the northeast.  Clouds Rest is also visible further back and a little to the left.
A tourist's view... A roadside pullout on the way to Yosemite Valley grants this view of (L to R) El Capitan, Half Dome, Sentinel Dome and Cathedral Rocks.
Hardly even qualifies as a half-day hike! Total Distance:  3.6 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  1 hours 55 minutes
Net Elevation Gain:  114 metres

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