After all that driving and some too quick walk, today it’s finally time to get into the nature for a while and climb the Sentinel Dome. It is not a long walk – it’s 3,5 km in total, with less than 300 meters heightdrop – and absolutely not difficult, just and easy and pleasant walk, but it seems it hides an amazing and unmissable view from the top.
The park is burning – it’s a shame, but is part of the nature cycle and at least one has to enjoy the show – and we hope to have a nice view of the planes killing the fire and of forests burning. We begin to walk on a wide large trail, almost flat and, very odd, not crowded at all, at least compared to the rest of the park.
The walk among the trees is quick, we soon arrive at the base of the Sentinel Dome, this granite rock weirdly put in the middle of a forest. The path begins to get steeper and we begin to walk on the rock, finally on a slope!
In a short while we are on top of the granite dome and the view opens in front of us: Yosemite National Park seen from the Sentinel Dome!
Before getting to the very top, we stop several times: the view is totally awesome and the smoke cloak covering the whole sky creates a foggy film, as the ones you see in the really old and faded photographs.
There is an utter silence up here and, against all the odds, we are almost alone up here, except for a photographer and another couple.
From up here you can see everything, 360 degrees of amazement, in every direction!
There are no words to describe Sentinel Dome wonder. Something is sure though: we are not the first ones, neither the last, to get stoked by it. In the Fourties, right up here a very famous photo has been taken to a tree standing here on the granite rock, against the wind and all the odds. Then, after the 1977 drought, it has died and after long years of stubborness, has fallen in 2010. It has been left up here, witness of the power of nature and the history of this magical place.
All this story, we have discovered it just once we were back home, so from up there we have just enjoyed the show, ignorant and happy, fascinated by nature.
Once on the very top and out of the shield of the rock, a strong chilly wind welcomes us. It’s not easy to stand still for the photos, balancing against the hard gusts of wind which wants you to fall down, but with a bit of commitment we succeed.
We managed to arrive here at one of the best moment in the day, the sunset.
We stay for a while on the top, quiet and seated on these ancient granite rock, the only noise the rumble of the planes which are bringing water unrelentingly to the wild fire on the ridge in front of us.
Then the sun begins to go down and we, too, begin our way back to the car. But before getting into the forest and its luxuriant trees, there is still time to hug a very old dry dead tree, which stand still, clinged to the rock which has nourished it for so long.
While the sun goes down, we too, step by step, are walking down the Sentinel Dome, giving it our final goodbye. It will be hard to ever forget this enchanting place.
Shortly, even too quick, we are back at the car. It has been a short but full walk, capable of gifting us with unforgettable awesome landscapes. It it totally worth a little detour to walk this short hiking, instead to be happy with the beautiful but really too crowded view from Glacier Point.