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Route To Sentinel Dome Off Glacier Point Road
From Fresno CA, Glacier Point in Yosemite is essentially the same time (2 hrs.) as Yosemite Village on the Yosemite Valley floor. From the junction at Chinquapin (elevation 6,000’) Glacier Point Road climbs away from the main road headed to Yosemite Valley and ends 15 miles further at Glacier Point.
In the winter, the road ends five miles from Chinquapin at the Badger Pass ski resort. The remainder of the road to Glacier Point is groomed as a ski trail. I have skied to Glacier Point more than I have driven there. Overnights are solitary and splendid. Wilderness permits for overnight are available at the ranger station near the lodge. http://midsierramusing.blogspot.com/2015/01/winter-overnight-at-glacier-point-in.html
One could write a book and fill it with beautiful photographs about this lesser known destination. There are plenty of hikes off Glacier Point Road including, Dewey Point, Mcgurk Meadow, Ostrander Lake, Taft Point, the Pohono Trail and Sentinel Dome.
Today, I drove up early and got to the turn off at Chinquapin by 7:30am. Unfortunately the morning sun does not make for the best photographs. I stopped to look at where Bridalveil Creek goes under the road as it drops from its source at Ostrander Lake. My wife and I were married at the foot of the falls in the valley.
I decided to begin at Sentinel Dome. There is a parking area with potties at the trailhead. I usually go past this area and begin the descent to Glacier Point. In about a mile, there is a gated service road on the left as you round the bend. I park across the road in the dirt and walk up this road till I meet the trail from back by the potties. The last portion of the trail is a steep climb but not a long climb. A woman and her husband from back east were behind me as I was descending. Her husband had left her about three hundred feet from the top and she was fearful of going any higher. I talked her into going up with me and told her to keep her eyes on the back of my jacket. She was glad she overcame her fear and made the top of Sentinel Dome with its panorama of the park.
My photographs from there were probably two hours early and I might have been better off going the Glacier Point first. Anyway, the photographs are from Sentinel Dome, the Clark Range overlook (about half way between Badger Pass and Glacier Point), Washburn Point and Glacier Point. Go early since the parking area, while big, fills up fast as the morning heads toward noon.
Half Dome From Sentinel Dome
El Capitan Right Of Center
Clouds Rest Above and Left Of Half Dome
Mount Hoffman with North Dome On Left And Basket Dome On Right
Mt. Clark Left Of Center Mt. Starr King Far Right
Lower Portion Of Yosemite Falls
Geological Hut At Glacier Point- I Slept There On Two Winter Overnights
Nevada Falls-Bridge Is Evident
Vernal Falls Below Nevada Falls Liberty Cap Left Of Center