El Capitan
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Challenging, popular rock to climb in Yosemite.
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  • DannyWasserman
    Virginia Beach, Virginia4,450 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Massive Rock Structure!!
    El Capitan is Superior! I mean once you get through the tunnel, and a little further, you run up on this massive mountain just extruding out and its called: El Capitan! This large rock is nothing short of spectacular and stands head and shoulders over everything else. It has photo shots written all over it.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 24, 2023
  • nzwestie
    Hamilton & Waikato Region, New Zealand445 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not to be missed!
    Fantastic. Found a park easy enough, stood in the paddock opposite El Capitan and just enjoyed the view. Best view is by the big log in a paddock opposite, we got to see the climbers on the mountain. It was amazing to find them dotted long and up the mountain and to think they sleep over night up there blows my mind. Spent a bit of time just looking as it was amazing. Def recommend this.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 13, 2023
  • Kentwoolgar
    Brighton, United Kingdom243 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Slippery as hell
    Been watching climbing documentaries for years, fascinated by the sheer brutal appearance of El Cap. Always my goal to visit Yosemite and this monolithic granite slab. Taking the average climber 3-6 days to reach the summit. I looked up at the face after dark, to see lights from sleeping hammocks all over the face. Went to the base and one of the route start points laid back on my rucksack and watched climbers ascending and descending until dusk. I found a new appreciation for these guys. Amazing couple of hours. I tried climbing the first holds, can’t believe how slippery the face is and it’s covered in ants.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 9, 2023
  • Jeffry b
    Essendon, Australia13,405 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of California's prime sights
    The views of El Capital are amazing, especially when people climb these sheer rocks. Yosemite National Park is marvelous place to explore, including the Horsetail Falls. We stayed in a hunting lodge in the forest, it was like a life in nature. El Capitan is eternal, it's one of California's prime destinations.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written June 10, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,387 reviews
Excellent
1,103
Very good
259
Average
23
Poor
2
Terrible
0

AriLa
California114 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020
Not that anything in Yosemite can be rated but this is one of my favorite landmarks in the park. You see it on your entrance and exit driving down the 140 so I fell for it. It has a smooth face like its carved out of clay and a pretty pale pink and golden cream color in the sunset. It looks different and impressive from every angle. Photos of it and Bridalviel together are unreal
Written June 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

johnnnita
Napa, CA2,409 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
Whether you're up close or viewing it from another vantage point, it's still awe inspiring. We viewed it driving in first and stopping along Southside Drive (one way). Pre-covid, you would be jammed up with traffic both on this road and parking to stop and admire. If there's any plus to this dreaded virus that's befallen all of us, it's that now in the park you can take your time and more easily find places to view and stop.

El Capitan is one of those sights. We took advantage and were able to enjoy the view and take some photos, before proceeding into the valley further. It was nice.
Written September 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bidule05
France1,916 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
In Yosemite national park, we were impressed by El Capitan, with its massive bulk and vertical face soaring 3000 feet high. El Capitan is made of hard granite, allowing it to resist the pressures of glaciers and erosion, giving it its typicalpattern!
We learnt that the Ahwahneechee Indian name for El Capitan is “Tutokanula”. According to Ahwahneechee Indian fine legend, this famous rock was created: “As 2 bear cubs slept on a large flat rock close to Merces river, the rock grew until the 2 cubs scratched their faces against the moon. The mother bear called all the animals, but only the little worm (Tutokanula) slowly crawled to the top of the rock and managed to bring the 2 cubs down to the rock to their mother ”!!!
Written May 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wgm51
Albuquerque, NM110 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
On our way out of the valley to our lodge, our last stop was at El Capitan. We parked in the small lot next to the road and walked the short hike to the two trails that climbers use, leading up to the base of this gigantic wall of granite. My wife walked up one of them and got right up to the face of the cliff, putting her hands on the wall, and also talked to a young man who was preparing to do some climbing on this Mecca for rock climbers. I was pretty beat and my knees were complaining after over 14 miles of walking and hiking so I contented myself with craning my neck to look up the 3000+ feet to the top and scanning the wall with my binoculars. I was lucky enough to catch a brief glimpse of a climber rappelling down the cliff face. Photos and words cannot really convey the scale of this giant rock - seeing it in person is almost a surreal experience.
Written July 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WanderingWithUsTwo
Phoenix, AZ796 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
One of the most iconic views of any of the national parks and one of Yosemite's most unique features. Viewing this from anywhere in the park provides a different experience especially when the sunlight hits it at different parts of the day. A good way to view it, along with the entire valley, is from Tunnel View which can add much more dramatic features and textures as the shadows start to set in!
- @wanderingwithustwo
Written June 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL21,804 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
When a rock has a name you know it is impressive. I have only seen El Cap from the valley floor but the words to describe it fall short. We saw it from several places but the best may be from the meadow along the valley road. Here our group marveled at climbers you could actually see ascending as well as the hanging tents they use for sleep. At 3,000 vertical feet of rock, there is really nothing else that compares to it. In additional you will feel it as its shape is like a building wave that looms over you. It is a highlight and you should stop and see it from as many places as you can.
Written April 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheExplorerFamily
Somerset, NJ7,103 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
El Capitan is the most revered of all sites in this National Park. This towering sheer granite monolith rises to a height of 3593 feet above the meadow. The sleek striated surface glows red at sunset and the shadows cast on it by the passing clouds during the daytime are very intriguing.

We took the Shuttle to the El Capitan Meadow Stop Number 9, and a short walk back across a wooden bridge took us to the base of the giant rock. We just stopped and stared in awe.

There was a nice photographer there with a camera on a tripod which had a massive lens, and he let us look inside to try to view the rock climbers on the sheer cliffs. Even with that amazing zoom, the climbers looked like ants.

Nobody leaves the park without a visit to this famous icon.

We captured wonderful photos of this massive and superb rock from several angles throughout our visit.
Written July 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

2BEis2SKI
Charlotte, NC1,294 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
It's hard to get the true scale, even when you are standing near the base but it's impressive none the less. It's so large, you almost lose context of how it compares against other large structures. For example, it's twice as high as the Empire State building.

You drive by it multiple times so it's not hard to see and there are multiple vantage points but my highest recommendation is to get up early and find a place to comfortably sit and watch the sun rise against El Cap. Called the Dawn Wall, it's one of the great sunrises in all of the world and a great way to decompress and just let time happen without interruption.
Written November 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kentwoolgar
Brighton, UK243 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
Been watching climbing documentaries for years, fascinated by the sheer brutal appearance of El Cap.
Always my goal to visit Yosemite and this monolithic granite slab. Taking the average climber 3-6 days to reach the summit. I looked up at the face after dark, to see lights from sleeping hammocks all over the face. Went to the base and one of the route start points laid back on my rucksack and watched climbers ascending and descending until dusk. I found a new appreciation for these guys. Amazing couple of hours. I tried climbing the first holds, can’t believe how slippery the face is and it’s covered in ants.
Written November 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Satyabrata Dam
New Delhi1,760 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Solo
Made famous world wide by Alex Honnold in Free Solo, El Capitan takes your breath away. This time around I hiked to the top of it through eagle's peak. The wall has magnetic pull and reminds us of all the classic big wall routes that started here.
Written February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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El Capitan - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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