Craig at Taft Point
Fissures at Taft Point
Starting Elevation:
Ending Elevation:
Total Elevation Gain:
Topo Maps:
2.6 Miles (roundtrip)
Half Dome
Taft Point / Sentinel Dome

The view from Taft Point rivals the view from Glacier Point.  The main difference between the two views is Glacier Point can be driven to while Taft Point must be hiked to (also Taft Point has no view of Half Dome).  In other words, you have to earn your view at Taft Point.  The good news is this is a very short hike over an easy trail.  It amazes us that more people don't go on this trail.  There are many short hikes in Yosemite, but in our opinion only Sentinel Dome offers a grander view.

This trail starts at the restroom at the Taft Point / Sentinel Dome trailhead.  Descend to the sign which will point you left toward the Fissures at Taft Point and Right to Sentinel Dome.  Our trail goes left past a large collection of gray/white quartz and then crosses the seasonal Sentinel Creek.  Eventually we will come to an intersection with the Pohono Trail which originates at Glacier Point, several miles away.  The Pohono Trail also offers a longer trek to Sentinel Dome.

Taft Point and Sentinel Dome 

Fissures at Taft Point

As you approach Taft Point you come across 5 "Fissures" which are cracks in the granite beneath your feet that offer incredible views of Yosemite Valley over 3,000' beneath you.

Near the last fissure is the Profile Cliff overlook.  This view with a safety railing offers safe views of the valley below and most of Yosemite's landmarks.  If you look to your West (left) you can see Taft Point, an exposed overlook with commanding views of Yosemite Valley.  Walk out to Taft Point, but be careful as that last step could be a big one.

Joy at Profile Cliff Overlook

Joy at Taft Point, notice El Capitan in the background,
doesn't it look different?

The views from Taft Point and Profile Cliff are incredible.  You will notice El Capitan looks very different from this angle.  You can clearly see the "Nose" and the "Wall of North America", but the perspective is much different.  You can also see wonderful views of Cathedral Spires and rocks, Mt. Hoffman, the Three Brothers (head-on profile) and Yosemite Falls.

Panoramic View from Profile Cliff Overlook, just scroll to the right to see the image

In summary this trip is a great trip if you only have a short time for a hike or if you are breaking someone new into our sport.  If you do have the time, combine this trip with a trip to Sentinel Dome.  We would recommend going to the Fissures at Taft Point first.

Trip References:
Schaffer, Jefferey P. 1996.  High Sierra Hiking Guide Yosemite.  Berkeley: Wilderness Press, p. 45-47 (day hike #14).

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This page last changed 7 June, 2004