Saying “Hello” From The Edge Of The World!
That’s my wife Alex, perched a thousand feet above Yosemite National Park – just our latest hiking adventure!
And just how dangerous is this trek? Let’s explore together!
Welcome To Yosemite!
For those who are new to it, Yosemite National Park is in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s famed for the massive granite cliffs of El Capitan there on the left – I took this photo in late afternoon as the sun sends dramatic shadows over the mountains – and the iconic Half Dome is in the middle at the far back of the shot.
We could see a much closer shot of it from our Hotel room as the sun set gloriously on it one night:
Today’s adventure is going to take us on a surprisingly easy hike that leads to one of the most dangerous spots in the park – with a thousand foot drop and NO railings!
Let’s head to Taft Point and the world famous “Fissures!”
Taft Point is a very easy hike though flat ground…you see, we are more than a thousand feet above the Yosemite Valley floor – you drive up the mountain to the viewpoint in Yosemite National Park, located west of another famous one, Glacier Point.
Here’s where we are headed: Taft Point is only an easy one mile walk, and it offers wide views of Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls and El Capitan.
Since we are almost 6,000 feet above sera level, there was a trace of snow, but it was in the mid-40’s and a gorgeous day for an easy hike – oh, but don’t leave food in your car:
Bear-resistant food storage containers will keep them from tearing your car apart – which are known to do!
It’s so unique here: note how the lower branches of this tree are turned green with moss!
However, there are two main attractions of Taft Point – the first are the giant fissures in the mile-high granite rock.
As you can see, they are really cool – but since nothing scares me, I bravely stood atop them!
Oh, this was the picture Alex got when I wasn’t looking…
Look, it’s really a thousand feet straight down, and there are NO guardrails of any kind…here is some video to prove my point:
As I said in the video, it’s hard to capture the fissures on film, but here’s a short bit where I zoom in on a narrow sliver in the mountain:
Here is the second reason Taft Point is so amazing:
Alex’s Death-Defying Feat!
How’s the view? Isn’t that incredible? That’s Alex at the furthest point out over the valley below – Taft Point!
Now, About The Name…
This famous lookout point is named after the 27th President, William Howard Taft.
According to newspaper accounts, President Taft came across the point when he visited Yosemite in October 1909.
His staff set up a lavish luncheon for the 300+ pound President’s during the hike, including fried chicken. The lunch spot they chose was near the flat ledge that has since become known as Taft Point – which is where I now stood!
Except, if you get closer, it reveals a wide area to the left, where people gather to watch the view, and I pose for Alex, who expertly frames them out!
As you can see, based on the angle, the point is pretty safe to stand on – as long as you don’t venture out to the edge, like my wife did:
It’s All About The Angles!
Actually, she’s virtually standing in the same place, but I took this shot of her from where the fissures were, and her shot of me is from the large flat area that leads to the point – so this is a very dramatic shot that is only unsafe if you jump off!
Here’s a video from the fissures to Alex:
And from that point, this is your view of the magnificent El Capitan and the Yosemite Valley below:
So there’s the point jutting out on the left, and the fissure over that point on the right…spectacular!
Oh, and one other thing you see from here:
That’s right: there was a waterfall in the distance…we think it’s Sentinel Fall but I could be wrong – don’t worry, if you want to see more waterfalls, they are everywhere in Yosemite!
Here’s a look at the large viewing area overlooking the valley, El Capitan and the waterfall in the distance:
As an added waterfall treat, here is the incredible Upper Yosemite Falls, with a bonus rainbow at the bottom:
The beauty of Yosemite is undeniable, even when the hikes can be grueling – you can see our arduous trek to the Upper Yosemite Falls here:
And we hiked more than just one waterfall:
The Vernal waterfall was worth the VERY STEEP hike – see it all by clicking on my story here:
I hope you got a sense of just how spectacular Yosemite National Park is – one of the many incredible parts of the western US…
And we’ve hikes some of the most exciting parts of it – click here to see our 500+ foot climb straight UP the inside of a rock!
And speaking of the edge of the world:
Yes, this is also the edge of the world – California’s Pacific Ocean shoreline, staring out to the west – what a windy view!
Click here to see more of this adventure!
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