Great Kid Hike, Sentinel Dome, Yosemite

My favorite hike to do in Yosemite National Park with our five-year-old son, so far, has been Sentinel Dome.  Every year, starting when he was 6 weeks old, we’ve been taking him up here.  He’s been able to do the hike on his own, without us carrying him, since he was two.

The hike to Sentinel Dome is only 2.2 miles round trip, with a 400 foot elevation gain.  Not too bad for a kid.  The first section of the hike is pretty flat, wandering through the forest and around some rocky areas.  But then you get to the fun part… a scramble to the top of the dome.  The views from up top are among the best in the park.  From here, you can see all the main features of the park…  Half Dome, Vernal and Nevada Falls, Yosemite Falls, and El Capitan.

Following are photos from our hike last week…

Interested in going?  You’ll find the Sentinel Dome/Taft Point trailhead on Glacier Point Road.  From the parking lot, follow the signs to Sentinel Dome (to the right).

You may also enjoy… “10 Things To Do In Yosemite Valley With Kids


    1. The edges of Sentinel Dome are all pretty slopey, so it really isn’t all that scary. I think you might be thinking of the hike in the other direction (same trail head), to Taft Point, which was a favorite hike of ours before having our son. That one has lots of cliff drop-offs (and a look out point with a drop off), and I’ve been way to scared to take our kid out to that one. We won’t be doing that one with him for a few more years 🙂 .


  1. Question about structures your child was building. Is this something he is copying from that area, or he was just playing randomly with rocks to build little monuments like that? This is an archaeological insight, that sometimes what is discovered by archaeologists may just be the results of children playing.


  2. There is so much hiking to do in CA! You are so lucky! I’d love to take my kids out there for a long trip and do nothing but hike. Have you been to Big Sur? I have never been but it seems like a lovely place to hike. I’d also love to see the Redwoods. Thanks for sharing! So great your young son loves to hike. My son and daughter do too. 🙂


    1. Big Sur is one of my favorite places on Earth. I lived on the Central Coast for twelve years, and have visited countless times. Yes, there is an amazing amount of hiking in California. You could spend a year here , and only scratch the surface. But the places near you seem beautiful, too! Not to mention your global hiking expeditions!


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