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.
- 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.
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.
- Hiking Yosemite National Park: A Guide to 62 of the Park’s Greatest Hiking Adventures by Suzanne Swedo
- Yosemite National Park Day Hikes by Nat Geo
- Taft Point and the Fissures – Yosemite Hikes
- Hike the Taft Point Overlook and Fissures – HikingGuy.com