Taft Point is 1.1 miles away from the Taft Point Parking Lot on Glacier Point Road. It’s an exposed rock that overhangs Yosemite Valley below, almost directly across from El Capitan. From the cliffs, cathedral spires and the valley entrance are visible to the west. Across the valley you can see Yosemite Falls. At least you could if you came earlier in the year. During our visit in the fall, it was dry.
The walk is easy, trending slightly downhill most of the way. Naturally, coming back it’s a slight uphill. As the path winds through the woods, be sure to look for wildlife. We were surprised to see deer grazing about 20 feet away at one point, and later, grouse standing stock-still not 5 feet away from the trail. Other hikers passed, talking and not noticing anything, but the animals didn’t seem worried. After almost 1 mile, the trail breaks out of the woods onto rock ledges that make the south edge of the Yosemite Valley wall. Cracks, called fissures, cut into the rock. Sizes vary, but there are some that are maybe 40 feet long and 6 feet wide – and hundreds of feet deep!
At the point, smoke from controlled fires on the valley floor made the cliff top view slightly hazy, but the wood smoke smell was a wonderful tradeoff. Perched on a rock overlooking the valley, the only sound was a soft breeze through the pines, broken by an occasional, "Please don’t go any closer to the edge!" from my hiking companion. Its funny, but after handing her the car keys, she was much more willing to let me explore along the edge.
There’s a railing at Profile Cliff, but it’s the only one. Sheer drops are all around. I wouldn't be comfortable taking kids along on this hike.