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Hike to Taft Point

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California

4.9/5
based on 17 reviews

Details

Distance

2.35 miles

Elevation Gain

200 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Joel Bear

Taft Point offers one of the most majestic views in all of Yosemite Valley. If you can time it right, make it to the summit in time for the sunset.

Taft Point is such an amazing and different view of the Yosemite Valley. If you're lucky and you time it right, you'll also experience complete solitude.

While driving Glacier Point Road, just a few minutes before arriving at Glacier Point, you'll see a parking lot for the Taft Point Trailhead. The hike is an intermediate level hike for a little over a mile one way. The hike itself is amazing, showing the diversity of Yosemite with features like ferns, forest, and incredible boulders.

Taft Point is best experienced at sunset, overlooking the beauty of El Capitan. Be sure to start the hike an hour before sunset to experience the sun rays. Remember to bring a flashlight or headlamp just in case you stay a little after dark.

Once the sun sets you'll experience a symphony of stars. Honestly such a gem in Yosemite.

If you're heading there in early spring or late fall, call 209/372-0200 (press 1, then 1 again) for current road info.

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Features

Photography
Hiking
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

I hiked the loop from glacier point. And the views all along the way were incredible. Taft point is a must see no matter which trailhead you get there from. I sat and had lunch there and just enjoyed the view.

Got to the trailhead with 30 minutes left of sun. We sprinted the trail to get to Taft Point right when the sun was setting and it was honestly the best sunset I have seen in my life. Short cool hike where you can avoid the crowds. So cool!

We arrived early and hiked out just before sunrise. There was no one around until after the sunlight had flooded the valley floor below. Easily one of our favorite hikes in Yosemite!

There are few places in Yosemite more beloved by the Instagram community, and a visit here will show you why. Endless incredible sunsets can be found here and it doesn't really get old. Just be sure to visit other gems of Yosemite too!

You just have to go. The pictures do it a good justice but still. When you're up there looking at the valley, it really puts the magic of Yosemite into perspective. The hike is easy, doesn't take long nor is there a challenging elevation gain. Chances are there will be multiple people setting up for sunset photos or time lapses. There is a hike near by that I don't recall the name of but we did a quick 4 miles before returning for sunset.

Love the view from Taft point, and the exposure as you look down the thousands of feet of granite to the Valley floor! Still shocked that I didn't get up to Taft Point until my 7th visit to the valley.

I did some trail work on this trail back in 2012 and 2013 with the Youth Conservation Corps. I great hike and amazing view form the point!

I think a lot of the iconography of Yosemite faces east in Yosemite Valley towards Half Dome and Cloud's Rest, and for good reason. But any amount of time on the south rim will show you the utter beauty of the western valley. El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks, Old Inspiration are all worth seeing—especially from Taft Point at sunset. Don't leave until the sun has gone down. Go beyond the photo-op railing to the un-boundaried rock face where you can experience the open air with nothing between you. It's worth it.

Seriously, I cannot overstate how incredible the views are here. Wake up early or hang out till dark, it will always be worth it.

We did this hike in July in the late afternoon and it was amazing! The trail was nice and there is lots of shade and the boulders everywhere are beautiful. This trail is downhill at the beginning and uphill on the way back. The crevices were dizzying and beautiful to look at, just don't get too close! There are guard rails at one small area of the viewpoint, which I appreciated. The view of the valley and El Capitan are amazing. Overall it was an easy hike for a novice hiker like me. We were going to try to stay until sunset but we didn't want to hike back in the dark so we left a bit early. It was a good idea, too, because it was creepy walking back when it was getting dark. Also the mosquitos were relentless and we had on insect repellant. There is one bathroom at the trailhead, but no water. Also, we had to drive around a bit and wait for someone to leave to get a parking spot. Expect it to be busy at sunset, we saw several people running on our hike back with tripods to try to make it to photograph it before the sun went down.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Hike to Sentinel Dome

Backpack to Clouds Rest from Glacier Point

Illilouette Falls in Yosemite National Park

Photograph Yosemite's Half Dome at Glacier Point

Stargaze and Photograph the Night Sky at Glacier Point

Reverse Summit of Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park