Stanford Point Trail is a 8.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite National Park, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from February until November.
This trail is beautiful but super inaccessible in the winter. I would not recommend trying to hike past inspiration point past October. It ended up feeling like I was following bear tracks with snow up to my knees. Lol. Nonetheless, it offers amazing views of the valley.
We started at the tunnel trail head - difficult going at first - recommend starting early and going all the way to Glacier point and riding the shuttle back - we made the mistake of turning around at Stanford Point and the switchbacks at the end of the hike made me grateful for the last two advil in my pack.
Hiking to Stanford Point is excellent if you want to see Yosemite Valley from a different angle and to escape from people. The hike itself is mostly under tree cover but when you reach the canyon ledge you are slapped in the face with stunning views of El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls, El Cap meadow, Cathedral Rocks, and other features. A friend and I parked at the trail head for McGurk Meadow and backpacked 3.9 to Dewey Point and set-up camp. The hike to Dewey Point is easy if you're a seasoned hiker, not too much elevation gain and it's easy to do with a pack. From Dewey Point it is only 0.5 miles to Crocker Point, and about 1 mile to Stanford Point. The 2 days we were out there we only saw 1 lone backpacker! The trail is listed as difficult, I'd change that to moderate. It is also a great trail for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter.
This is a wonderful trail, not too difficult, and it provides access to some overlooks with spectacular views of El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridal Veil Falls, and the Yosemite Valley. It is really worth the hike if you are looking for an overview of the park. Much of the trail is in the trees but there are many overlooks.