Full Moon at Sentinel Dome

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Sentinel DomeEven in broad daylight Yosemite Valley’s dramatic landscape seems almost too overwhelming to be real. Under the light of a full moon it becomes otherworldly. At Yosemite’s 4,000 to over 8,000 feet elevations, moonlight permeates the thin atmosphere to reveal every facet of the landscape. Its granite cliffs glow in the silvery light like a moonscape.

“The moon is looking down into the canyon, and how marvelously the great rocks kindle to her light! Every dome, and brow, and swelling boss touched by her white rays, glows as if lighted with snow.” – John Muir

Imagine yourself walking along a mountain path about an hour before sunset. Alpenglow spreads a golden patina over granite boulders and wildflowers. The scent of vanilla drifts from Jeffrey Pines that have been basking in the sun all day.

A gentle climb leads to a panoramic view of Yosemite from the top of Sentinel Dome. You savor a picnic dinner as crimson or purple hues engulf the western slopes of the Sierra and shadows climb the cliffs of Yosemite Valley. Birds chatter as they settle in for the night and a Night Hawk screeches as it swoops upon its dinner. Bats perform an aerial ballet above you. Half Dome seems to glow with an inner light until it, too, succumbs to nightfall.

A hush falls over the high country as you retrace your steps in the growing twilight. On your journey back to civilization, your mind dances with images of one of nature’s most majestic temples bejeweled in the sunset. The experience truly is magical, and the memory of Yosemite in the moonlight will stay with you for a lifetime.

Please note that although the hike to Sentinel Dome is easy, there is a short hike up the dome itself which is steep and more difficult. If you have concerns about whether you can do the hike please call our office.

This tour is also offered as a private tour if you prefer to go at your own pace as opposed to going with a group.

2016 Schedule and Rates

• Monday, June 20
Pickup: Oakhurst (Visitor’s Bureau)
Departure: 5:30 PM
Return: 11:30 PM

Pickup: Tenaya Lodge
Departure: 6:00 PM
Return: 11:00 PM

• Tuesday, July 19
Pickup: Oakhurst (Visitor’s Bureau)
Departure: 5:30 PM
Return: 11:30 PM

Pickup: Tenaya Lodge
Departure: 6:00 PM
Return: 11:00 PM

• Thursday, August 18
Pickup: Oakhurst (Visitor’s Bureau)
Departure: 5:00 PM
Return: 11:00 PM

Pickup: Tenaya Lodge
Departure: 5:30 PM
Return: 10:30 PM

• Friday, September 16
Pickup: Oakhurst (Visitor’s Bureau)
Departure: 4:30 PM
Return: 10:30 PM

Pickup: Tenaya Lodge
Departure: 5:00 PM
Return: 10:00 PM

Fees

Adults (16+) – $134
Seniors (62+) – $128
Children* (3-15) – $67

*Children under 3 are free when held on laps