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California

Hiking Guide: Taft Point

Overview

Taft Point is an overlook at the top of a 3500-foot cliff with breathtaking views of El Capitan and Yosemite Valley. At the edge, there is a sturdy steel railing that if anything, gives you a false but welcome sense of security. The photo opportunities are unreal here.

Maia thought it was hilarious to rock back and forth to try and throw off my balance at the edge. It made for a great photo and best of all we didn’t perish!
Maia thought it was hilarious to rock back and forth to try and throw off my balance at the edge. It made for a great photo and best of all we didn’t perish!

Quick Facts

  • Distance: 2.7 miles
  • Hike Time: 2 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 300 feet
  • Fee: $35 for a 7-day pass to Yosemite National Park
  • Dogs: No
  • Difficulty: Easy

Hiking to Taft Point

We parked at the Sentinel Dome Trailhead (aka Taft Point Trailhead) on a Monday at 4:45 pm. There were maybe 30 spaces in the parking lot and it was full. Luckily, we were able to parallel park along Glacier Point Road.

There is a pit toilet at the trailhead.

Follow the trail northeast for a few hundred feet then bear left at the junction to continue toward Taft Point on Pohono Trail.

The hike winds downhill through a fur, spruce, and ponderosa forest then opens up after a mile or so to an angled granite tabletop. Sentinel Creek was completely dry when we crossed it.

Before you reach Taft Point, look to the right for The Fissures, a deep narrow gap in the rock that might give you the willies to look down (the crack ends suddenly with a sheer drop).

On our hike, we saw a procession of couples in wedding garb with their friends, family, and photographers. Apparently, Taft Point is a hot spot for engagement photos and outdoor weddings.

I highly recommend visiting nearby Glacier Point before or after your hike, for an awe-inspiring view of Half Dome.

Map

Location

From Yosemite Valley, follow Southside Drive to Wawona Road. Stop at Tunnel View for a picture-perfect view of the valley. Turn left at Glacier Point Road and follow it to Sentinel Dome Trailhead (aka Taft Point Trailhead).

Note: Glacier Point Road closes in the winter.

Get Directions

Resources

Guidebooks

Topo Maps

Links

Photos

Looking north from Taft Point
Looking north from Taft Point
El Capitan and the valley from Taft Point
El Capitan and the valley from Taft Point
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