Sentinel Dome

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Sentinel Dome
Sentinel Dome, Yosemite NP.jpg
Sentinel Dome
Highest point
Elevation8,127 ft (2,477 m) NAVD 88[1]
Prominence322 ft (98 m)[2]
Parent peakIllilouette Ridge[3]
Coordinates37°43′23″N 119°35′03″W / 37.723094928°N 119.584304967°W / 37.723094928; -119.584304967Coordinates: 37°43′23″N 119°35′03″W / 37.723094928°N 119.584304967°W / 37.723094928; -119.584304967[1]
LocationYosemite National Park, Mariposa County, California, U.S.
Parent rangeSierra Nevada
Topo mapUSGS Half Dome
Age of rockCretaceous
Mountain typeGranite dome
Easiest routeHike up northeast slope.

Sentinel Dome is a granite dome in Yosemite National Park, United States. It lies on the south wall of Yosemite Valley, 0.8 miles (1.3 km) southwest of Glacier Point and 1.4 miles (2.3 km) northeast of Profile Cliff.

Sentinel Dome is known for a Jeffrey Pine that grew from its peak (see photograph). The pine was photographed as early as 1867 by Carleton Watkins, and was the subject of a well-known photograph by Ansel Adams. The tree died during the drought of 1976,[4] but remained standing until August 2003.


The iconic Jeffrey Pine photographed August 7, 1968. The tree formerly stood atop Sentinel Dome

The original Native American name of Sentinel Dome, in the Southern Sierra Miwok language, was "Sakkaduch". The Bunnell survey named it "South Dome", but the Whitney survey renamed it Sentinel Dome (from its likeness to a watch-tower).[5] The view from the top offers a 360 degree view of Yosemite Valley and surroundings. One can see Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, North Dome, Basket Dome, and much more. Sentinel Dome provides a 360 degree view of the night sky and it and nearby Glacier Point are popular places for stargazing.[6]

Hiking trail[edit]

The trail to the base of Sentinel Dome is a relatively easy 1.1-mile (1.8 km) hike. The trailhead, the same as the Taft Point trailhead, is located 6 miles (9.7 km) from Bridalveil Creek on the Glacier Point road. Once at the base, hikers traverse the less imposing northeast granite slope to the summit.[7] In winter, Sentinel Dome can be reached from Badger Pass by a 10-miles ski tour.

Panoramic view from the top of Sentinel Dome. The Jeffrey Pine is visible at the center, collapsed.


  1. ^ a b "Sentinel Dome". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  2. ^ "Sentinel Dome, California". Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  3. ^ "Sentinel Dome".
  4. ^ "Famous Jeffrey Pine Falls on Sentinel Dome-Yosemite National Park". National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2008-11-19. Retrieved 2011-05-07.
  5. ^ Farquhar, Francis P. (1926). Place Names of the High Sierra. San Francisco: Sierra Club. Retrieved 2009-01-19.
  6. ^ "Yosemite Park Stargazing". Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Day Hikes along the Glacier Point Road". National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-05-25.

External links[edit]