Pohono Trail, Yosemite Park

Notes by piero scaruffi | See Back to Yosemite | See Other California destinations

Hiking the Pohono Trail from Glacier Point to Wawona Tunnel

All along the south rim of the Valley there is a trail that starts from Glacier Point and ends at the Wawona Tunnel (or viceversa). It is 21 km long (feasible in 6 hours east to west). Park one car at the tunnel's viewpoint (the trailhead is very visible) and get a ride to Glacier Point. The view from Glacier Point is legendary. Well, you ain't seen nothing yet: the Pohono trail offers views that beat that one. Alas, the trail is strenuous, if not that long. If you hike from east to west you'll have mostly uphill climbs until Dewey Point, and then a very quick descent towards the tunnel. If you climb west to east, you'll start with one of the steepest trails in Yosemite. The rewards are Sentinel Dome (a 360-degree of Yosemite Park, with Mt Lyell and half Dome very visible), Taft Point (relatively popular because it can be reached from the paved road), Dewey Point (rarely visited and one of the best views in the entire park). The trail also crosses the Brideveil Falls just where they start (although you can't see the falls until much later). The trails on the north rim are very famous (El Capitan, Upper Falls, North Dome), whereas this one is virtually unknown although it has better views (south to north instead of north to south), and the sun is ideal for taking pictures.

Landmarks and 2009 time:

  • Glacier Point: start
  • Sentinel Dome (2450m): 45'
  • Top of Sentinel Falls: 1h30'
  • Big junction: 5.8km, 2h
  • Taft Point: 7.3km, 2h30'
  • Brideveil Creek bridge (2050m): 10.9km, 3h30'
  • Dewey Pt (2240m): 14.7km, 5h
  • Crocke Pt: 5h30'
  • Last Peak: 18km, 6h
  • Inspiration Point: 7h
  • Wawona Tunnel: 7h30'