gem icon El Capitan

3 votes


Rising over 3,000' from the valley floor, this granite wall towers over the scenic Merced River below. This sought-after rock climbing destination can be seen from around the park, but there's nothing quite like looking up at the wall from the base, especially if you can spot climbers to put the whole formation into perspective. El Capitan is a favorite destination for many experience rock climber. Be sure to bring some binoculars, too!

El Capitan is located across from Bridalveil Fall and can be easily seen from the roads in western Yosemite Valley. Visit the Tunnel View, Bridalveil Fall area, and El Capitan Meadow for a number of different perspectives of the towering monolith. Visitors looking for a longer day outing can also hike to the top of El Capitan via the North Rim Trail.

Short Hike: There are a few options to get to El Capitan. The nearest parking area is at the Rockslides Trailhead, which provides immediate access to the Valley Loop Trail. Another option is to take the shuttle, which stops at the El Capitan Bridge near the intersection of Northside Dr and El Capitan Dr. Additionally, the Valley Loop Trail passes a number of parking areas and shuttle stops, so this makes for a great hike option that can be done in varying lengths.

Family Friendly: A short walk from the Valley Loop Trail, this is a fun area to explore, especially when there are climbers on the wall.

Gem Type: Rock Formation

Shared by:
Zander Göpfert


Rate Gem


3.7 from 3 votes

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Shared by Zander Göpfert on May 18, 2016. All Page Views: 146. Last Month: 25.