Yosemite National Park and Mono Basin: 1

on the way upAfter a midday drive from Sacramento, I put in a 2-hour round trip climb to Sentinel Dome summit, using scouting reports like this one from Jason and Katie Loomis. I had originally planned the complete loop around the dome, with the side trip to Taft Point, but I got started later than I planned and I didn’t want to force myself in unfamiliar country at elevation. From the parking area on Glacier Point Road, it’s but a 400 foot ascent.

scoping the areaThe nearly bare summit (8122 feet [2476 m]) nevertheless supports quite a bit of life — several wildflowers, including Mountain Pride (Penstemon newberryi); a succulent shrub that provides cover for the rather tame ground squirrels; an unidentified butterfly having a bask; and a couple of Common Ravens (Corvus corax).

nice viewA handful of people on the trail and at the top, like me, enjoying the extravagant views.