Taft Point Yosemite National Park hike Glacier Point Road Trail

The panoramic view from Taft Point and the rock fissures nearby provide a rewarding 2-mile hike. The dirt single track descends just 250 feet to an outcropping on the south wall of Yosemite Valley that overlooks El Capitan and Yosemite Falls.

Taft Point view of Yosemite Fall
Yosemite Fall from Taft Point

From the trailhead, turn left and begin a peaceful walk through a big pine forest bordering a high elevation meadow. Swing down across exposed granite to the edge of Yosemite Valley. Impressive fissures cut into the cliffs leading out to the point. Without getting too close, look down into these vertical chasms that drop what looks like a thousand feet into a trench coursing down into Yosemite Valley.

Taft Point fissure
Peering into a fissure near Taft Point

A railing welded into the rock marks the lookout on Taft Point. The point is named after William Howard Taft, the 27th president of the United States who visited the park in 1909. Perhaps the president was looking for views similar to nearby Glacier Point without all the crowds. This is what you will find today.

The road to the trailhead, Glacier Point Road, closes in the winter, so check road conditions if you are planning to hit the trail before Memorial Day. Taft Point Trail is an excellent summertime hike.

Taft Point Yosemite National Park
Taft Point

To get to the trailhead: From Highway 41, ten miles south of Yosemite Valley and seventeen miles from the south entrance, turn east onto Glacier Point Road. Drive thirteen miles to the well-marked trailhead, located two miles from the end of the road at Glacier Point. The trailhead is shared by Sentinel Dome Trail, which heads northeast. Taft Point Trail heads west to the canyon’s edge.

Trailhead address: Glacier Point Road, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Trailhead coordinates: 37.712354, -119.586448 (37° 42′ 44.47″N 119° 35′ 11.21″W)

Elevation Profile
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Taft Point YosemiteTaft Point YosemiteTaft Point YosemiteTaft Point YosemiteTaft Point YosemiteTaft Point Yosemite

These photos were taken in July of 2006. Click to enlarge.
Nearby Trails
Panorama Trail Panorama Trail
This nearly 10-mile long one-way hike travels from Glacier Point down to Yosemite Valley in the most scenic way possible.
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Tagged with · National Parks · Yosemite Valley
Distance: 2 miles · Elevation change: 250 feet

7 Comments on Taft Point in Yosemite National Park

  1. Greg wrote:

    GPS coordinates seem to be wrong. These coordinates direct to a parking lot in the Valley on Wawona Road.

  2. Loren wrote:

    I’d like to take my mother-in-law out to Taft Point but her knee is really bad and can really only walk on flat ground for any kind of distance. What is the elevation change like? Will she have to do any scrambling over rocks or descend/ascend any steep grades at all?

  3. Jordan wrote:

    Love all the info. on Taft Point. Im doing a report and this totally helps me!!

  4. joe wrote:

    Anyone know the current snow level at taft point/Sentinel dome parking?

    • hikespeak wrote:

      On Mother’s Day Weekend the parking area was open but the trails were covered in snow. A storm after that re-closed Glacier Point Road, so there should still be plenty of snow on the trails.

  5. Crystal Douglas wrote:

    My fiancé and I have been throwing places around to make our special day exactly that. Is it possible to have a small (very small) ceremony at Taft point or any of the other spots at Yosemite? Or any of the waterfall fronts are beautiful as well.

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