Taft Point and the Fissures Hike

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1-1.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
3.7 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
112 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

Hiking the Taft Point and Fissures Trail is a breathtaking adventure in California. Towering 3,500 ft over Yosemite Valley, this overlook exhibits dumbfounding vistas of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, most-notably of El Capitan. The vertigo-inducing lookout will make your knees buckle.

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Route Description for Taft Point and the Fissures Hike

​The Taft Point and Fissures Hike will quickly help you realize if you harbor any fear of heights. Along the trail, you will travel through mixed forests to panoramic vistas of Yosemite Valley and the Sierra Nevada Range. Shaded by lush vegetation in the initial section of your adventure, the exposed overlook is no stranger to hot conditions in the summer months. Though tempting, be sure to keep a safe distance from the cliffside, as much of Taft Point and the fissures are unbounded by fences. Additionally, the fissures in the granite, though intriguing, can be dangerous—again, keep an arm’s distance away and exercise all safety precautions when in the area. Note: Yosemite National Park charges an entrance fee, check out the NPS website for details.

Less trafficked than Glacier Point, the Taft Point and Fissures Trail reveals commanding views of several famous Yosemite landmarks, including Half Dome and El Capitan. Short, sweet, and incredibly scenic, this is a great route to check out if you have limited time to explore. Offering postcard-worthy views, this route presents countless photo opportunities, just don’t get too close to the edge! If you are daring – and not afraid of heights – trek up to the overhanging cliff which exhibits vertigo-inducing views of the valley below.

Setting out from the Sentinel Dome Trailhead off Glacier Point Road, take the leftmost trail to Taft Point. Heading west, you will be guided over Sentinel Creek before dipping below the tree line. Enjoy the sweet smell of the verdant woodlands and the sights of the green moss. As you wander through the forest, you will reach an intersection. Keep left here and continue trekking to Taft Point, following the path as it begins to gradually descend, signalling that you are nearing the overlook.

The path will eventually open and expose expansive panoramas of the granite peaks that line the horizon. As you wander over the rocky terrain, it is important to mind your footing as the uneven terrain takes many rolled ankles hostage. When rainy, the terrain can be incredibly slippery, so exercise caution. Admire the views of the valley through the fissures and climb up to the overlook if you dare, although those who are afraid of heights should probably hang back. From the vista point, you will be at a loss for words as El Capitan, the Half Dome, and Eagle Peak dominate the skyline. After reveling in the impressive scene, retrace your footing along the path back to the trailhead.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the Taft Point and Fissures Hike?

The Taft Point and Fissures Trail is a 2.3 mi out-and-back hike.

Is Taft Point scary?

Though a subjective answer, there seems to be a common consensus that Taft Point, which sits on the edge of a 3,500 ft cliff, is a spine-chilling experience.

Is the Taft Point and Fissures Trail an easy hike?

Yes, the Taft Point and Fissures Trail is a relatively easy adventure in Yosemite National Park.

Insider Hints for Taft Point and the Fissures Hike

  • Note the trailhead is only accessible when the Glacier Point Road
  • Stay away from the edge, a wrong step could prove fatal
  • Charge your camera, you’ll want to remember this view
  • Stay away from the edge on rainy days as the rocks can be slick
  • If you want to extend your adventure, consider adding on the loop to Sentinel Dome

Getting to the Taft Point and the Fissures Hike Trailhead

Taft Point and the Fissures Hike is accessed via the Sentinel Dome Trailhead off Glacier Point Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    March-October

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Taft Point and the Fissures Hike Elevation Graph

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