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Help with itinerary - Sentinal Dome/Taft Point Loop & Biking

Minneapolis...
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51 posts
Help with itinerary - Sentinal Dome/Taft Point Loop & Biking
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Hello all,

I am working on our itinerary for 4 days in the park for 3 adults and have a question. For one of our slower days, we would to hike the Sentinal Dome/Taft Point Loop (I am assuming this will take half a day at most) and bike the Valley floor (also assuming half a day). Which order would be best? Should we do the hike in the morning and try to find parking to rent the bikes, or rent the bikes and then try to find parking at the trailhead? We are staying in Yosemite Valley Lodge and this will be mid-May. Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide!

4 replies to this topic
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
89,362 posts
188 reviews
151 helpful votes
1. Re: Help with itinerary - Sentinal Dome/Taft Point Loop & Biking
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My thoughts ...........

The Taft Point - Pohono Trail - Sentinel Dome loop is about 5 miles at 8,000 plus feet with some elevation gain and loss (maybe 1,000 feet?) Drive time to or from the Valley is an hour ... when there is no traffic.

If you do the loop from the 'shortcut' parking, you're more likely to find space to park.

You are allowed to park at the Yosemite Valley Lodge any time. It is possible that day visitors will ignore the Lodge Guests Only parking signs, but you are likely to find something. Note that the bike rental kiosk is at Yosemite Valley Lodge.

Driving into Yosemite Valley on Southside Drive will probably be busiest from 10 am till noon, and exiting the Valley will be busiest from 3 till 6. But the traffic slowdown for exit is usually from the Curry Village (east) end of Yosemite Valley; you won't experience too much slow down from Yosemite Valley Lodge.

I don't know if one option is obviously better than the other. I prefer to hike in the morning and to slowly pedal along in the afternoon, but that's just my preference. I think parking would be a bit easier.

Other thoughts ... everywhere will be busy in the afternoon. Bikes available to rent or all rented & you have to wait? Many folks on the trail around the dome?

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
51 posts
2. Re: Help with itinerary - Sentinal Dome/Taft Point Loop & Biking
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Thank you so much, PacificNWFamily. I didn't know the parking was "reserved" for lodge guest, that helps a lot. I am leaning towards doing the hike first thing and then renting the bikes but do have some concerns about availability in the afternoon as you mentioned. It will be a Thursday, so hopefully that plays in our favor but I will come up with a back-up plan just in case.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
89,362 posts
188 reviews
151 helpful votes
3. Re: Help with itinerary - Sentinal Dome/Taft Point Loop & Biking
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I have seen a few signs indicating that the parking is just for Lodge guests, but no one enforces it. With the somewhat-new adjacent Yosemite Falls parking lot, I think there are fewer day visitors taking up space at the Yosemite Valley Lodge parking. But I don't know what it will be like for you. If you can't find a spot, park at the Falls parking and move your car later.

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
51 posts
4. Re: Help with itinerary - Sentinal Dome/Taft Point Loop & Biking
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Thanks again, PacificNWFamily. Very helpful!

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