Hike the Taft Point Overlook and Fissures
|In This Guide|
|Distance||2.5 miles (4 km)|
|Hike Time||1 Hour (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||250 feet (76m)|
|Highest Elevation||7,730 feet (2356m)|
|Fees & Permits||Park Entry Fee|
|Park Website (?)||Yosemite National Park|
|Stay In Touch||Newsletter - Instagram - YouTube - Facebook|
The 2.5-mile hike to Taft Point Overlook and the Fissures offers a lot of incredible scenery away from the crowds, all for a small effort. After hiking through lush forest, you arrive at the fissures; massive gashes cut into the granite cliffs. And from there, it’s a short walk to Taft Point, which offers sweeping views into the Yosemite Valley. The hike is downhill to Taft Point, and then has a mild uphill back to the start on Glacier Point Road. Do yourself a favor, get away from the crowds along the road and enjoy the pristine wilderness on this hike. You won’t be disappointed.
If you bring children on this hike, please make sure they are supervised when you reach Taft Point and the fissures area; there is no guardrail.
Where is Taft Point Overlook?
The trailhead for Taft Point is on Glacier Point Road, which is closed in the winter. Check the park website for the status of any road closures.
Use this trailhead address:
Taft Point Trailhead, Glacier Point Road, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
The trailhead is about 6 miles after you turn-off onto Glacier Point Road, and the parking lot is on the left-hand side of the road. There is also parking along Glacier Point Road if the lot is full. The trailhead is about 2 miles before the end of the road at Glacier Point.
Gear for the Hike
- There can be muddy portions of the trail, so wear hiking boots or trail runners if you have them. Sneakers will be okay in a pinch but you might have to hop around the muddy spots.
- I use light hiking gear, but you can also get away with fitness clothes or even casual wear.
- Bring 0.5L of water and of course, a camera.
- If you want snacks or supplies, head up Glacier Point Road for a few minutes to Glacier Point which has gift shops, snacks, etc.
The La Sportiva Spire boots feel like comfortable sneakers but offer the protection of hiking boots. They’re great on everything from short hikes to longer hikes of 10+ miles. You don’t want to skimp on your feet.
Reviews & Lowest Prices: Women – Men
I test a lot of gear, and for short to medium day hikes, travel, and everyday use, the Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women) are consistently the best. They’re lightweight, hold a hydration bladder to make drinking water easy, have lots of pockets to organize gear, and most importantly, are incredibly comfortable. Check out the reviews; they are impressive.
Reviews & Colors Here: Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women)
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Mini fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing. Read my review and see the lowest prices and reviews at REI (or Amazon).
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated February 2020.See All of My Best Gear Picks Here
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.
Taft Point Overlook Trail Maps
Hike the Taft Point Overlook and Fissures Map Downloads
Download the Hike GPX File
View a Printable PDF Hike Map
Taft Point Overlook and Fissures Hike Directions
Granite is formed underground, under tremendous pressure. When the granite gets pushed to the surface and the pressure is relieved, the rocks expand and crack apart, forming these fissures.
Taft Point is named after the 27th president, William Taft, who had lunch here with John Muir in 1909. They were supposed to ride on horseback down to the valley, but Taft, at 300lbs, was too heavy, and had to walk instead. After finishing the (downhill) hike drenched in sweat, Taft said “while I am tired from the open-air exercise, I feel greatly the better for it.”
There are no guardrails here and the drop is 3,000 feet. People have fallen to their death here. Please be safe and keep your distance.
From here, just head back the way you came and that’s the hike!
Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.