Taft Point and The Fissures

Yosemite, California 95389

Taft Point and The Fissures

Taft Point and The Fissures Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Taft Point is the westernmost of several overlooks into Yosemite Valley from the south rim accessible by only a short hike. Don?t miss it, even if you have already been to Glacier Point. In place of rounded domes and polished rocks, this section of the valley wall displays jagged, broken granite crags and soaring spires, as well as a new perspective of Yosemite Falls. On the way, you can peek down into the fabulous Fissures, cracks in the cliff that are only inches wide, but thousands of feet deep, through which you can see all the way to the valley floor. One glimpse is as good as a thrill ride."

More Taft Point and The Fissures Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

"Few places are more spectacular than the knife-edge cliffs at Taft Point and the Fissures. True, nearby Glacier Point is one worthy rival, but Glacier Point is reached by road and Taft Point only by trail—and therein lies the difference. Unencumbered by crowds and fences, this easy out-and-back hike offers a far more thrilling experience."
Top Trails Yosemite (Wilderness Press)
Jeffrey P. Schaffer & Elizabeth Wenk
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"The views from Taft Point down to the floor of Yosemite Valley rival those from Glacier Point. However, because Taft Point is reached by a longer trail, it is less visited than mobbed Glacier Point, and you can sit at the lookout in near solitude. The Fissures, deep slots in the rock, are an added bonus. Generally lacking protective railings, Taft Point and The Fissures are potentially dangerous, so don’t bring along children unless you can keep them under strict control."
Best Easy Day Hikes: Yosemite National Park (Falcon Guides)
Suzanne Swedo
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"This is an upside-down excursion. After an easy cruise downhill to Taft Point, you will be climbing up on your way back. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time, and take water with you. Your reward is a striking set of geologic features that will help you understand how Yosemite got its famous profile, with a magnificent—and spine-tingling—view of Yosemite Valley as a bonus. The trail begins at a sign in a sandy opening in the mixed pine and fir forest. Follow the path to the left (west) fork. Sentinel Dome lies to the right (north). Pass through a flat, fairly open stretch past an odd, isolated outcrop of almost pure-white quartz on the right, then swing left (south) and start downhill where the forest closes in. At 0.4 mile reach Hike 13 Taft Point and The Fissures 53the Pohono Trail junction; continue walking left (west)."
50 Best Short Hikes: Yosemite National Park and Vicinity (Wilderness Press)
Elizabeth Wenk
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"This short walk combines many attractions, most notably the panoramic vista of western Yosemite Valley from Taft Point and the several deep clefts in the granite rim known as the Fissures. En route the trail borders flower-filled creek banks, an unexpected bonus for most hikers. In distance and elevation gain the walk is appropriate for children, but neither the Fissures nor Taft Point offer a barrier, making this a potentially dangerous destination."

Taft Point and The Fissures Trip Reports

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I've been to Yosemite many times, but always had an excuse to bypass this excellent hike, even though I've known about it for years. Take this hike! There's a parking area on the left (a couple miles before Glacier Point). You can either hike to Sentinal Dome or go to Taft Point and the Fissures. The hike is moderate and beautiful. The fissures are incredible - you have to be careful, especially if it's windy if you go out to the edge and look down, which I highly recommend. There are several areas where you can look down 3,000 feet to the valley floor, and you also have great views of El Capitan across the valley. Excellent spot for taking pictures. Not too many people there (Wed. afternoon in the middle of September). Well worth the visit.

Taft Point and The Fissures Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
2 to 4 hours
Spring, summer, or fall, whenever Glacier Point Road is open
Views, Wildflowers
Yosemite National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Half Dome quad
Local Maps

Trail Log