“A short trail from the Glacier Point Road to an excellent perch to view the valley and the sunset.”
— schleppy schlepenstien
Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
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.
Despite the occasional difficulty finding parking, Taft Point
makes a quick 2.2 miles out and back run to a dizzying view.
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.