Yosemite national park, ca
Distance: 2.4 miles roundtrip (out and back)
Elevation Loss: 300 feet
Seasonality: Glacier Point Road is closed May - November (click here for season restrictions)
Trailhead: Clearly marked at the Sentinel Dome/Taft Point Trailhead off of Glacier Point Road.
Parking: Approx 21 parking spots at the Sentinel Dome/Taft Point Trailhead off of Glacier Point Road, but there is space along the side of the road where you can also park.
Facilities: Pit toilets at trailhead. No potable water at the trailhead or on the trail.
Taft Point offers a unique and exciting view of Yosemite Valley, and is one of the only places where you can walk right up to the cliff’s edge and peer straight down into Yosemite Valley which is a sheer drop down from where you’re standing. If you’re afraid of heights, you may want to just stand back and enjoy the panoramic view. For those who are a bit more daring, you can stand on Taft Point, which is marked by a small guard rail, and peer down. From the railing, a short distance left, is the iconic ledge that you see people standing on for that epic Taft Point photo. This hike shows you a little bit of everything, from lush green forest you start out in, to the spectacular Fissures you have to walk past (but don’t fall!) to reach the cliff’s edge that is Taft Point. And it’s not uncommon for you to see daredevil slackliners setting up shop between the jagged edges of the cliff.
Trip Planner Details:
For this hike, you will not be driving down into the Valley, instead you will turn off on the Glacier Point Road Junction, approximately 7 miles before the tunnel into the Valley. This is an easy hike for the family, but make sure you keep your kids close as there are deep fissures that one could fall down into and cliff edges that no one could survive if they fell. The best lighting for photography is at sunset.
There is a park entrance fee of $35 to enter Yosemite National Park. For more information about what else you can do in the park, visit the Yosemite National Park website.
When You Do Your Research:
This hike is a pretty straight forward hike. There is one main way to reach Taft Point, but it can also be reached through larger looped trails like the Pohono Trail. It is not as popular as some of the other hikes on Glacier Point, but it can draw hikers all throughout the day.
Tips From One Who Hiked It:
Bring a nice camera for this hike. Your cell phone can capture some good photos, but you will be glad you had an actual camera with zoom for this hike. Lighting can also be tough for photography at this spot.