• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    2.2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    200 Feet

Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Taft Point offers one of the most majestic views of Yosemite Valley. If you can time it right, make it out there in time for 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.

Pack List

  • TOPO KLETTERSACK 22L
  • Klean Kanteen
  • Camera Equipment (body, tripod, lenses, ect)
  • Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel
  • Gerber Remix Fine Edge
  • Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket
  • Chaco Z/2 Unaweep Sandal
  • Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp
  • Pack a snack and plenty of water
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Reviews

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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!

6 months ago
6 months ago

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!

6 months ago
6 months ago

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!

8 months ago
8 months ago

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.

9 months ago
9 months ago

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.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

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!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Not for the faint of heart once you get to Taft Point, it's a sheer wall straight down. But the views are amazing and the hike itself is moderate to say the least. Go for sunrise or sunset. Definitely worth it!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

One of our favorite hikes in Yosemite--perfect for a dinner hike and sunset watching!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Oh man, this was probably my favorite part of Yosemite. We went in the wintertime, and since this was my first time, it was really tricky to navigate as there is no cell coverage and no clear trail. We followed and old cross country ski marking and a hunch, and set out. The hike itself was absolutely lovely, but nothing could have prepared me for the beauty of Taft. We had the spot all to ourselves and as the rays of light flooded the valley, there was no better time to be alive.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

The trail was really nice. We actually saw a few bears on our way back up the trail. I'm rather afraid of heights, which I became increasingly aware of during my trip to Yosemite. I did eventually make it out to the point to look out at the valley. In all honesty, there are so many lookouts from Glacier Point's Road that this trail isn't necessary for a great view- but it is a different view than you will get in any other place in the park. What's cool is that the rock used to be connected to El Capitan, which is now across the valley.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Hiked this last weekend. It was so serene. Decided to head up for sunrise. Since it's a short hike, it is very doable early in the morning. Although the sun rises on the other side of the valley you still get incredible colors in the sky. Even better... solitude. We were the only ones out there. Not a bad spot to enjoy breakfast. More people started to arrive around 9 am but it was still not crowded like Glacier Pt. Definitely recommend this!

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Possibly the coolest place I've watched the sunset. It's a pretty easy 1 mile hike to the point - there is a small creek crossing. If you're afraid of heights, there is one part of the viewing area that area has a guard rail installed, so rest a little easier.

almost 3 years ago
almost 3 years ago

This is one of the lowest effort/highest reward views in Yosemite. A short hike, suitable for all levels brings you to a spectacular photo op at the sheer Taft Point. Definitely recommend hitting up the nearby Sentinel Dome (a short hike in the opposite direction) as well!

almost 3 years ago
almost 3 years ago

Joel Bear

Joelbear.com // Email: Hello@joelbear.com

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