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Hiking & Walking: California > Yosemite National Park

Quick Facts

Pohono Trail

Beginning Elevation: 7,200 Feet (2244.4 Meters) Glacier Point
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain, One-way: 2,800 Feet (872.8 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 4,600 Feet (1433.9 Meters) Wawona Tunnel
Length, One-way: 13 Miles (21.67 Kilometers)
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 206 Yosemite National Park
Recommended Season: Summer
Usage: Moderate
Vehicle Accessibility: Passenger Vehicle

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Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This trail begins at the Glacier Point Trailhead and traverses west along the southern rim of Yosemite Valley. There are several opportunities to view the valley along this thirteen mile one-way trail. The path descends a total of 2,800 feet en route to Wawona Tunnel. Hikers may wish to take an easy out or have a car waiting at trails end.

Begin at the Glacier Point Trailhead, walking southward from the parking area. The trail is signed as the Panorama and Pohono Trails. Shortly after the trail leaves the parking area it forks. Follow the right fork, which turns westward and crosses Glacier Point Road. The trail ascends to the base of Sentinel Dome and a spur trail to its summit leads to the left. Follow this trail to the lookout then backtrack to the Pohono Trail.

The Pohono Trail reaches an elevation of 7,800 feet in the first mile and a half. Another option to this ascent is to begin the hike from the Taft Point/Sentinel Dome Trailhead. From Glacier Point Road the trail traverses around the front of Sentinel Dome to the Yosemite Valley Rim. It intersects the Taft Point Trail close to three miles from the road.

Within a half mile of the Taft Point Trail junction the trail passes the spur trail that leads to the Taft Point/Profile Cliff overlook. Bear right and walk a short distance to enjoy the view and breathtaking cliff. From this point the trail leaves the valley rim, descending almost 700 feet in the next two and a half miles. Immediately before reaching the next trail junction, Pohono Trail crosses Bridalveil Creek.

At the trail junction beyond the creek the McGurk Meadow Trail leads to the left. It reaches Glacier Point Road within two miles. The right fork will place you on the path of Pohono Trail toward Dewey Points. The trail climbs 600 feet in the two miles to Dewey Point. Follow the spur trail to the right to gain the view from this cliff area.

Continuing westward along the southern rim of Yosemite Valley the trail begins to descend. Approximately one half mile from Dewey Point is Crocker Point, elevation 7,090 feet. From here the rim begins to turn northward an the view is of Bridalveil Fall as well as the north rim attractions. Nearly one mile from Crocker Point is Stanford Point elevation 6,659 feet. This perspective looks eastward to Half Dome.

Descending along the Pohono Trail from Stanford Point the route leaves the valley rim. The last overlook is at Inspiration Point, as the trail is in mid-descent to Wawona Tunnel. The last three miles of the trail contains several switchbacks and descends almost 2,000 feet, ending at a parking area at approximately 4,600 feet.

Directions from Arch Rock Entrance: Follow Highway 140 into the park. Bear right on to Southside Drive then make a quick left on to Highway 41. Travel 9 miles to Glacier Point Road and turn left on to it. Follow Glacier Point Road 16 miles to the end. Begin the trail from the southeastern part of the parking lot.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: June through October (NOTE: Weather conditions may close the access roads to Sentinel Dome/Taft Point Trailhead before dates noted above.) .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Trailhead Parking Pohono Trail - Wawona Tunnel Parking Area, Glacier Point Parking Area
ICON Backpacking Pohono Trail - wilderness permit required for overnight camping
ICON Dispersed Camping Merced Lake Trail - with wilderness permit
ICON Geology Pohono Trail
ICON Hiking & Walking Pohono Trail
ICON Bird Identification Pohono Trail
ICON Plant Identification Pohono Trail
ICON Wildflower Identification Pohono Trail

More Information

Visitor Information:

Yosemite National Park, P.O. Box 577 , Yosemite, CA, 95389, Phone: 209-372-0200, Fax: 209-372-0220, TTY: 209-372-4726


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