A view of El Capitan and part of the western half of Yosemite Valley as seen from Taft Point.
The hike to Taft Point is not long, but it's mostly downhill to get to the turnaround point and mostly uphill on the way back to the trailhead. Just keep this in mind if you're not used to hiking anything other than very short distances.
Just a few paces from the trailhead, veer left at the junction to head to Taft Point. The trail to the right heads to the summit of Sentinel Dome. Not terribly long after that keep on the lookout for an enormous mound of white quartz rock. to the right of the trail.
Coppertone stands near a sheer ledge on the opposite side of one the fissures.
The majority of the trail passes gently through a forested area on either flat or gently descending terrain. As the trail nears Taft Point the trail surface turns to more solid rock and the trail, as much as it can be determined, splinters into several different paths all leading towards the edge. Sprinkled amidst the rock are patches of Manzanita and Jeffrey Pine.
Austin Explorer standing near the edge of Taft Point overlooking Yosemite Valley.
The fissures are large cracks in the rock that provide narrow slot views onto the valley floor, thousands of feet below. The trail tends to pass over them just at a point before the fissure truly opens up. Looking for the easy crossing point of the fissures is highly recommended.
Taft Point is a short distance beyond the fissures and can be spotted by a metal railing on the edge of the sheer cliffs to be found here. The protective metal railing only covers a small fraction of total perimeter of the point that overlooks the valley below.
It really should not have to be said, but care should be taken when walking near the cliff edges at all times whether it be at the fissures or Taft Point. Several people die in Yosemite each year and the enormous vertical rock faces here are conducive to accidents for those not careful. Taft Point saw two people fall to their deaths in October 2018.
The return to the trailhead merely follows the path taken thus far back to the trailhead. From Taft Point there will be a slight decline and then mostly gentle climbing back to the starting point.