Coppertone and I decided to complete this hike after our Taft Point and the Fissures Trail hike since we were already here. Since we'd been out of hiking shape for some time that might not have been the best idea, but we managed to finish it all and were rewarded with some views even better than at Taft.
Starting from Taft on our way back meant we ended up with more elevation gain than if we had just done this hike by itself. Our first part of the loop was along the Pohono Trail that hugs the cliff edge on top of the valley, providing several spots along the way featuring sweeping vistas of their own.
On the east side of the loop a trail heads to the dome's summit. The path can be quite steep in spots, but the overall distance to the top is not that terribly long. After hiking a bunch of miles leading up to it added to the challenge for us.
The top of the dome is mostly bare of trees and vegetation, providing 360 degree views of the surrounding terrain. One can see both El Capital and Half Dome from here and look down on both of them. Also visible in the direction of Half Dome is Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls, a target for a hike later this week for us.