Distance view of hikers at the summit Taft Point at Yosemite National Park
Noah Sauve/Shutterstock.com

Taft Point Loop

Updated by Pat Dorri on December 7 2023

Head along Taft Point Loop and you can expect a remarkable hike, leading you to a sheer cliff edge with unrivalled views across Yosemite Valley. This relatively short trail can be challenging, however the exhilarating views from the summit are certainly worth it.

An overview of the distance and difficulty hiking Taft Point Loop
πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈ Distance2.2 miles
⏱️ Time2 hours
πŸ’ͺ DifficultyModerate
πŸ”οΈ Elevation Gain435 feet

Where can I find Taft Point Loop within Yosemite National Park?

Taft Point Loop is within Yosemite Valley, and you'll need to use the South Entrance to access the trailhead. From the entrance, drive on Wawona Road for 17 miles before taking Glacier Point Road, then approximately 13 miles along you'll find the start.

There is parking available at the Taft Point Trailhead, and visitors also used the roadside parking here for the Sentinel Dome Trail.

What makes this hike so special?

As expected with any hike in Yosemite, there are breath taking overlooks, but Taft Point itself offers hikers to get up close with the unique geology of the area and deep cracks in the granite rock. This up close view really sets this incredible trail apart from others.

How we rate the different aspects of Taft Point Loop.
FeatureOur rating
Natural beauty and scenery⭐⭐⭐
Wildlife spotting⭐⭐
Peace and quiet⭐⭐⭐
Accessibility⭐⭐⭐

Deep fissure with stones sitting within it, at Taft Point, Yosemite
Admire the geological wonders of the deep fissures that are spread across Taft Point.
lu_sea/Shutterstock.com

What are the highlights of hiking Taft Point Loop?

The Taft Point Loop leads you to the stunning Taft Point Vista, for unobstructed views of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, and the towering rock formations. You can also enjoy a close up to fascinating geological features like fissures, which make great photo opportunities.

  1. Taft Point - A jaw-dropping view of Yosemite Valley and El Capitan from the edge of a sheer cliff, making it a must-visit viewpoint.
  2. The Fissures at Taft Point - A series of narrow cracks and crevices in the granite, including notable Fissure Tremendous.
  3. Sentinel Dome Extension - You also have the option to extend your hike to include a visit to Sentinel Dome, which offers a 360-degree view of Half Dome, Glacier Point, and the High Sierra peaks.

When is the best time of year to visit Taft Point Loop?

A visit to Taft Point Loop can be enjoyed year-round, however the warmer weather brings great hiking conditions and views, although expect the trail to be busier during the summer months. Fall is also particularly pretty to make a visit here.

When is the best time to visit Taft Point Loop
SeasonConsiderations
Spring🌷 Spring is lovely weather wise, however hikers who prefer solitude might want to avoid this time and the crowds .
Summerβ˜€οΈ Summer is ideal for those seeking warm weather and accessibility, however it can be a busier trail during the warmer weather.
FallπŸ‚ Fall offers pleasant weather and a chance to witness the changing colors of the forest.
Winter❄️ A visit in winter is peaceful and pretty, however winter visits are best suited for those with experience in cold-weather hiking..

Common questions about hiking Taft Point Loop

Taft Point Loop has uneven pathways and steep edges, so it's important to be cautious when making your way along this impressive trail. Whilst the views are defintely worth the effort, check out what else to consider before you make this memorable journey.

Is Taft Point Loop easily accessible for those with mobility issues?

❌ No, Taft is not easily accessible for those with mobility issues.

❗ Keep a safe distance from the edge of overlooks, not only high, but they also lack protective railings, and if you fear heights and cliff edges, then it is best to avoid this hike.

Are there restrooms along Taft Point Loop?

❌ No, there are no restrooms along Taft Point Loop.

Are there refreshments and water stations along Taft Point Loop?

❌ No, there are no refreshments or water stations along Taft Point Loop, so bring your own water and snacks for this hike.

Are dogs allowed along Taft Point Loop?

❌ No, dogs are not allowed along Taft Point Loop.

Are vehicles allowed along Taft Point Loop?

❌ No, cars, electric scooters, and ATVs are not allowed on Taft Point Loop.

Can you camp overnight along Taft Point Loop (or nearby)?

❌ No, you can not overnight along Taft Point Loop.

❗ For those staying overnight, Bridalveil Creek Campground can be found 6 miles away along Glacier Point Road.

Is there anything else to watch out for when I hike Taft Point Loop?

Hungry? While Yosemite Valley is just a few miles north, there are no roads and you'd go back on yourself, so it's best to stop at North Wawona shortly after the South Entrance to get your supplies.

If you do decide to incorporate the additional Sentinel Dome Trail into Taft Point Loop for a longer hike, then as both involve elevation changes make sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes and carry plenty of water.

A rock ledge over the cliff of Yosemite National Park, during sunset
The sheer cliff edge at Taff Point provides some of the most unobstructed views across Yosemite Valley.
Matthew Baugh Photography/Shutterstock.com