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Taft Point

 4.5 (27)


2.3 Miles 3.7 Kilometers

288' 88 m


-288' -88 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (10°)

7,723' 2,354 m


7,500' 2,286 m



All Clear 30 days ago

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A short trail from the Glacier Point Road to an excellent perch to view the valley and the sunset.

schleppy schlepenstien

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly An easy trail with a highly exposed ending. Children should be fine as long as they are well supervised. There are no railings!

Glacier Point Road closes for the winter, limiting access. Parking at the trailhead can be an issue since the trailhead parking lot on Glacier Point Road is shared with the trail to Sentinel Dome Trail. On popular weekends, parking can be a premium, and cars will end up parking along the road. Please park responsibly and legally.


The views of El Capitan and Half Dome are just as amazing from Taft Point as from the hectic Glacier Point, but you'll actually get to see more of the Valley. Besides the added benefit of fewer people to contend with, you also experience the mind-bending vertigo of The Fissures.


The view from Taft Point is probably the most popular spot to view the sunset in the Valley. You'll also see Mount Conness, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and El Capitan up close and personal.

From the Sentinel Dome Tailhead and parking area, the Taft Point trail wraps its way roughly westward through stunted white pines over mostly level ground. After joining the Pohono Trail, the route descends onto the exposed slabs near Taft Point. Passing the dramatic "fissures", huge clefts disappearing like elevator shafts into the abyss, and gazing between them is not for the squeamish. The top is reached after a quick 1.1 mile jaunt from the car. Be very careful here as there are no rock walls or railings to keep you back from the edge and a fall would be fatal.

History & Background

This dramatic viewpoint was named after President William Taft who visited Yosemite in 1909. The story goes that he planned to use horses to descend from Glacier Poin tth eth eValley floor, but they were not strong enough to carry his 300 pounds. Instead he hiked down and had lunch as what is now called Taft Point.

This is the place that BASE jumpers Dean Potter and Graham Hunt flew from wearing wing suits and fell to their deaths, chutes unopened.


Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

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Sep 13, 2018
Jeff Stroud
Jul 18, 2018
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Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 27 votes


  4.5 from 27 votes
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2,119 Since Sep 24, 2015
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