Key information: Pohono Trail
- A long meander along Yosemite valley’s Southern rim, taking in some of the finest viewpoints.
- Walkopedia rating86
- Natural interest16
- Human interest2
- Negative points4
- Total rating86
- Note: Negs: crowding.
- Length: 13 miles/21 km
- 5-8 hours
- Maximum Altitude: 7,200ft (2,200m)
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.
This 13 mile (21km) meander along/behind the southern rim of Yosemite Valley between Glacier Point and Tunnel View is one of Yosemite’s finest hikes, taking in Sentinel Dome, Inspiration Point, Bridal Veil Creek and Taft Point en route. It is one of the Yosemite walks Walkopedia most wants to do. This is, though, a long, demanding hike, gaining some 3,700ft between the trail heads.
Most people walk the trail east-west, i.e. from Glacier Point (7,200ft / 2,200m) to the Tunnel View (4,400ft / 1,340m), to reduce the amount of climbing (starting with a 2,000ft climb from Tunnel View), although it officially runs the other way and can be completed (by the fit) with a descent of the dramatic Four Mile Trail to The Yosemite Valley floor.
East to west, you'll pass Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome, Taft, Dewey, Crocker, Stanford, and Inspiration Points, and the Tunnel View. You'll have views of all Yosemite Valley's great natural landmarks: Vernal, Nevada, Yosemite, and Bridalveil Falls; Half Dome, Sentinel and Cathedral Rocks, El Capitan, and more. Tunnel View is one of Yosemite’s most famous…er… views, directly up the ‘tunnel’ of Yosemite Valley.
You will have to slog through a less thrilling 4-mile stretch between Dewey and Taft Points where the trail veers away from the valley rim, though, and you'll only have intermittent glimpses of the valley between the various viewpoints.
The trail takes 5-10 hours. Those who want to reduce the length and demands of walk can walk in/out to/from Taft Point.
The trail is only accessible once the Glacier Point road is open, and in most years there will be snow covering the trail for the first few weeks after the road opens.
As a linear route, you will have to plan getting to/from trailheads carefully. A bigger group with 2 cars works; shuttle buses, while excellent in many ways, aren’t always easy logistically. See our Yosemite page for more.
In high season, there will likely be crowds at each end, on Sentinel Dome and at Taft Point, but otherwise the trail will be reasonably empty.
Further practicalities at: https://www.yosemitehikes.com/glacier-point-road/pohono-trail/pohono-trail.htm
See our Yosemite page for more general and practical information (including on getting there) and photos.
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Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.
Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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