Chris Henson · United States · July 30, 2017
Very nice hike through the woods out to Taft Point. Breathtakingly beautiful and equally terrifying if you walk right up the guard rail. It took me several tries to muster up the courage to do it and I am not afraid of heights. Fissures are also very scary but extremely cool and right next to the trail. Highly recommend this stop if you visit Yosemite.
DeAnne · Los Angeles · October 2, 2016
Super easy beautiful hike through the woods, trees & humongous rocks that opens to the very top of Taft Point, which is so very high and exillerating and breath taking! Sunset was incredible, was frightened to walk back in the dark so thank goodness we read the reviews to bring a flashlight!!! MUST have flashlight! While taking in the fissures and views 2 guys geared up in their Italian wing suits and parachutes quickly, said 1,2,3 see ya and jumped off!! We could not believe our eyes and glad their chutes deployed properly and they did not hit the walls of the canyons & die!!! Was the perfect hike and we loved it more than Glacier Point as there were less people !
Rose Troy · Alabama · November 14, 2014
There are numerous outcroppings of rock at the fissures and at the actual point to step out onto and feel like you are on top of the world...or about to step off the world! It is amazing to actually be looking down on El Capitan. Not many people can say that so you have bragging rights if you make it to Taft Point.
Amazing View- Easy hike
Bonnie · San Diego · October 26, 2014
We arrived at the trailhead and weren't sure if we wanted to do this one or Sentinel Dome. We picked this one because it mentioned holding children tightly in the fissures. We had a 1 year old and 3 1/2 year old and held them tight. My older one was amazed at the view and it was an easy hike for everyone. Highly recommend it. Similar view to Glacier Point but you can get as close to the edge as you want without a rail. I laid on a rock and looked over. It was dizzying.
Kim · Northridge, CA · July 24, 2014
This is by far one of the most scenic hikes for the least amount of work. Gives you a chance to test your fear of heights while also offering the meek a chance to inch up to the edge and look straight down 3000 ft. Great views of El Capitan. I always recommend this over Sentinel Dome if you have time for only one activity in this area.
If you have small children that you cannot keep under your control, you should skip this.
Hike The Fissures
Barbara Witt · Riverside · July 24, 2014
This is not a hard hike but if you are not used to the altitude or have not gotten much exercise lately, it will take the wind out of you. I gave it a 5 star rating for the beautiful views once you reach the destination. It is breath taking. I would not recommend taking little kids on this hike. If you do, don't let go of their hands and watch every step they take.
Taft Point "AMS" Lesson learned
Steve · Ohio · May 29, 2014
Hi, a week has gone by and I am back in Ohio recovered from my modest 5 mile Taft point hike. I am a moderately conditioned trim hiker in my late 50's who 2 years ago day hiked Sunrise at Mt Rainier, 7300' with no problem. And has skied Colorado without a hint of altitude sickness.
7 days ago Glacier Point road opened up after being closed for 2 days due to snow from an upper level low spinning over the Great Basin. I anxiously left Mariposa where I was staying, altitude 1800' and drove right up to Sentinel dome trailhead 7750' and got there by 8 AM. The two days before I had hiked the Mist trail up to Nevada Falls and down the John Muir and also the Artist point from Tunnel View as well as down the old stagecoach trail to Bridalveil falls and back with only moderate effort and was feeling on top of my game.
It was a beautiful day and I planned to spend the morning hiking first to Taft point and then along the rim on Pohono to Sentinel dome and then back to the trailhead. I made the easy downhill hike to Taft point and was wowed by the view just sneaking up to the railing to peer out.
Funny thing on the way back up the couple hundred feet to Pohono trail I felt very weak and then nausea and some abdominal cramping. I stopped and it all went away. I made my way over maybe the best day hike in America, the Pohono trail, leading to Sentinel dome feeling increasingly weak and ill. Just a mild headache. Now I was stopping about every 100 yards and a passing hiker asked if I was OK. Sure, I lied.
Now even resting did not help and I knew I had a problem. Being a physician I suspected I was getting acute mountain sickness. The headache was still mild, no chest pain. But just incredibly weak and nausea like I been attacked by a very nasty flu bug. As I approached Sentinel dome any thought of climbing to the top was ridiculous as all I could think of was finding the trail back to the car and each 10 yards requiring tremendous effort like I was climbing K2.
I finally reached the car about noon walking very slowly while true senior citizens were passing me. Once in the car I felt a little better and wisely gave up any thought of driving up to Glacier Point. My only thought was to drive downhill and fast. I drove to the valley and parked for about an hour thinking all the symptoms would clear. No luck. Then I left and headed back to Mariposa. Still I was feeling awful, just barely good enough to drive. On a side road in Mariposa I heaved up, chucked it all and felt better. Then I left for San Fran and flight home the next day.
Again nausea, abdominal cramping, muscle aches and profound weakness came back and I stopped in a hotel in Modesto, Ca. elevation 87'. That evening I spent a miserable time in bed throwing up one more time and barely able to get out of bed. "The worst hangover of your life." Fortunately just a mild headache and my thinking was labored but OK so I figured I was not going into cerebral edema, however I did look up the nearest ER on Siri knowing I would have to go there if my vomiting continued. I wondered how I could possibly fly home the next day.
Sleeping a little off and on I finally felt some better about 3AM after 18 hours of misery just like predicted on a blog I read. I forced myself to pick up and go to San Fran airport for 8AM flight which I made and slowly felt better through the day. Although going up to equivalent of 6000' in the pressurized cabin I swear made me feel ill again. Now 7 days later I am 95 % improved.
Moral of the story, you do not have to be climbing Mt Whitney to get AMS or acute mountain sickness. I probably had a moderate case and if I had not come off the mountains who knows how bad it would have gotten. Day hikers have to look out because we quickly drive up to higher altitudes and then suddenly start exerting. This was the sickest I have been in 25 years and frankly I never going to hike over 6000' again. Hello Adirondack's.
My Favorite Hike in Yosemite
Diane · Columbus Ohio · May 23, 2014
I've been to Yosemite 3 times in the past 5 years and this has become my favorite hike. The view is breath taking and if you go before 10 am in May you see few people and this makes it all the more glorious. The fissures are the icing on the cake!
Over 70 years...
Judy · Davis, California · August 22, 2013
...and/or anyone with breathing issues, beware! The description is for younger and hearty hikers with no balance issues. Lots of big-step rocks to negotiate and the last flat-rock push to the railing can be tricky. TAKE A HELPING HAND ALONG, not just those poles.
Looks like I'll have to rely on my imagination... or return to Yosemite
Fred Glasser · Orange, CA · June 30, 2013
On our second afternoon, a day of fog and some rain, we decided on the spur of the moment to try this hike. The first 90% of the hike is not much to speak of. It's that last 10%. Creeping up to the edge of the fissures brought great surprise each time. Then we made it to the handrail, but unfortunately, the fog eliminated just about all of the view. So I can only wonder what a view we missed. Maybe I'll get another chance.
Short but spectacular hike
Tim · Ohio · April 21, 2013
My daughter and I decided to leave our family for a short but rewarding hike to Taft Point. Although it is just a couple of miles round trip, you will be rewarded with some of the most fantastic views and photo opportunities that Yosemite has to offer. The trail was fairly easy, although you had to watch your step around the fissures and as you inch your way toward the cliff edge, you suddenly remember the fissures and wonder when the entire cliff is going to become one with the valley below!
We saw a half dozen others along the trail, but had the point pretty much to ourselves and a lone German tourist. He, my daughter and I each took pictures of the other out on the point and it was good to know that the fear of sudden drops was universal!
This is certainly a destination hike and you should plan on spending some time looking around the point and fissures. You can see into the valley and really can't grasp the sheer expanse and height of the point in your pictures, but peering over the edge gives you the true sense of just how high you are perched...
You will now know the meaning of "breathless"
ed b · Atlantic City · January 29, 2013
This is the most inspiring place I have ever been to in my life.
Best Place to Cure Acrophobia
Debby · Fairview, TN · January 5, 2013
Do not miss this one! The views are out of this world and provided you can get over the apprehension of a 3000 foot drop just 3 feet from your feet, do not miss the views at the railing. If you want to know if you are afraid of heights, this is the place.
The trail is an easy stroll through a beautiful forest. Go early in the morning for the best light for photography.
Most Memorable View of a Lifetime
Kristy · Indiana · October 27, 2012
If your time in Yosemite is limited, keep this hike at the top of the list. I rate this better than Glacier Point. The hike is just OK, but the thrill of the view and unrestricted access to the edge is awesome. Crawling to the edge and peeking over is one of the most amazing experiences - just hold onto your glasses! Always hope to return there some day... Recently went back with young children but opted for relative safety of Sentinel Dome lest a curious and energetic little one fall into a fissure while my attention is fixed on the view.
Just donít go late in the afternoon
Robert & Susan Dunn · Little Rock, Arkansas · September 27, 2012
The trail to Taft Point is quite pleasant, although the bugs were pretty thick in several areas. Unfortunately, we arrived at Taft Point late in the afternoon, when the sun low in the western sky made the views (and photos) quite hazy.
The fissures are fascinating Ė especially the ones with rocks lodged in them. The view straight down from the railing is a singular experience. Taft Point also offers a unique view of Upper Yosemite Fall.
We had considered hiking the segment of the Pohono Trail from nearby Sentinel Dome to Taft Point, but decided not to when we realized it would actually increase the total distance rather than decrease it.
matt · orlando · September 26, 2012
Like the reviews and summaries proclaim, this one will test your anxiety of heights. At first I walked right up to the rail, grabbed on and looked down. After retreating for a rest with my wife who didn't get close to the edge, I tried to repeat, but my mind now knew what was ahead. So I bravely scooched closer on my buttocks, secured a hand to the rail and binoc'd the climbers on El Cap. What a great view. Nice simple hike in and out.
Can you say CLENCHING?
mrblister · Nebraska · September 25, 2012
5 star ranking is for the destination, not the trail.
Anyplace in Yosemite that features the word "point" provides the hiker with a place to get some air time. Many such points have a metal railing to prevent such a quick return to the Valley floor. Taft Point is such a place.
If you survive the Fissures (and do watch your step), and you find yourself standing at the one and only Taft Point, you'll be very thankful that some ancient craftsman installed the railing that you just checked for stability. Grab on tight, tilt your forehead downward, and consider the words "terminal velocity".
Fetal position, here I come.
Heart thumping views
Michelle · Florida · September 13, 2012
I just hiked this last week and it was amazing! I have a hard time not rating any hike in Yosemite with a 5 star because of the beauty of the Sierra Nevadas. Taft Point at the rail had me freaked out, somewhat anxious and super thrilled! I suggest a peek out over the edge as well as some exploring to the left of the rails. I also crawled out on my stomach to peak over the edge at several other places. Heights equally freak me out and thrill me to the bone!
The fissures were crazy cool and again will get your heart racing. The start of the hike leaving the fissures into the woods was a little steeper than expected but not bad; this is a great hike to do with Sentinel Dome.
May not be my favorite spot....
Bret · Central Florida · July 14, 2012
Yes, I'm the same Bret who wrote the other review. Just got back from another wonderful trip to Yosemite.
The hike is an easy 1 mile hike to great, even greater than great, overlooks. it is an easier hike than Sentinel Dome. Gives you unmatched view of the valley, Yosemite Falls - from top to bottom - and reverse tunnel view. When you get there you can spend an hour or more and wonder where the time went.
This is a hike most people don't bother to take. Don't make that mistake. Take the hike. That is all.
Reward for the effort: 5 out of 5.
Favorite spot in Yosemite
Bret · Orlando, FL · February 26, 2012
My wife and I spent 9 days in Yosemite 4 years ago. (Going back for another week this summer.)
Taft Point is our favorite spot in the park. Easy hike to Taft. But, that isn't the point, pun intended, of the hike. The views are amazing. Full view of Yosemite Falls. Great view of El Capitan.
If you go to Yosemite and don't spend at least one day on Glacier Point Road (Glacier Point, Washburn Point, Sentinel Dome, and Taft Point) then you didn't prioritize your visit properly. Bring a lunch with you to Taft Point. Just enjoy walking around the rim, not only walking out to the "official" overlook (with the handrail). No better way to spend an hour or two than enjoying the gorgeous scenery.
A must see if you aren't afraid of heights!
Jennifer · West Des Moines, Iowa · October 9, 2011
My husband and I hiked to Taft Point during my first visit to Yosemite. It was amazing! We discovered the fissures along the way to the point, which were totally incredible. There were even a few climbers down in between the fissures, which was an added bonus. My husband wouldn't go out to the point because of his fear of heights, so I went it alone. Gazing down and out from behind the metal railing at Taft Point took my breath away. I was in total awe. One noteworthy piece is there is no clearly defined trail out to the point so be sure to do the hike with plenty of daylight ahead of you.
Emily Turner · Lake Mary, FL · August 14, 2011
We went to Taft Point, then hiked to Sentinel Dome. The view was incredible and the fissures were very cool to look at.
4 stars because I was a little too scared and I'm scared of the heights when I'm not rockclimbing !
Anne · France · August 1, 2011
We've been to Taft Point after Sentinel Dome. We've done this hike with our three kids of 7 yrs old and YES you have to be cautious, hold their hands (NO shortcuts, no running around, no off trail...) But once you've reached the view point with the guardrails, they can have a look. Looking at them was more scary I think than to look down... They enjoyed it. They weren't alone OF COURSE, they were with my husband and they were told to HOLD REALLY TIGHT! Anyway, it's good to feel this adrenaline!
The tree that smells butterscotch really smells butterscotch. The hike from the headtrail is really easy. And from Sentinel Dome, it's longer of course, but it's easy too. [Editor's note: Anne's butterscotch comment is likely referring to this tree along the Sentinel Dome trail.]
Not for those with vertigo
Randy and Lauren Wagner · Tulsa, OK · July 22, 2011
Most of this hike is a lovely, easy stroll through the woods. We were lucky enough to see Snow Plants in the shade of the conifers. These weird bright red plants have no chlorophyll and do not photosynthesize, but have a symbiotic relationship with the fungi on the forest floor. You'll know one when you see it.
The fissures are fascinating geological features, but most hikers are interested in the sheer dropoff at the edge of the cliff. There is a guardrail, but I still had to approach with caution. This hike really gives you a sense of how tall those cliffs are.
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