El Capitan

El Capitan

El Capitan is a vertical rock formation located in Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park that has become a popular destination for rock climbers, even though it was once considered impossible to climb.

The name El Capitan translates to “The Captain” or “The Chief.”

What is El Capitan made out of?

It is comprised mostly of granite dating back 100 million years, as are most of the rock features in Yosemite Valley. A different kind of igneous rock called Taft Granite is found on top of the rock. A third, darker, type of igneous rock called diorite veins through some of the rock formations in the area.

What shaped El Capitan?

Glaciation helped to shape El Capitan and many of the rock formations in Yosemite Valley.

Are El Capitan and Half Dome the same?

El Capitan and Half Dome are two different, distinct granite rock formations located in California’s Yosemite Valley. El Capitan stands in the northwest area of the valley and Half Dome is in the east.

Country: United States

El Capitan is in Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, Mariposa County, California.

Mountain Range: Sierra Nevada

Height: 7,573 feet / 2,308 meters

First Ascent: November 12, 1957 by Warren Harding, George Whitmore, and Wayne Merry.

Photos

El Capitan rock close-up in Yosemite National Park Valley at cloudy autumn morning from Tunnel View.
El Capitan towers above the valley floor. Yosemite National Park, California. USA | Gary C. Tognoni
El Capitan granite rock seen from the Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, USA | Filip Fuxa
Yosemite National Park Valley from Tunnel View
Morning light on El Capitan – Yosemite National Park | Shaun Jeffers
Climbing El Capitan – Yosemite National Park | R Jardin
Classic Tunnel View of scenic Yosemite Valley with famous El Capitan and Half Dome rock climbing summits in beautiful golden morning light at sunrise in summer, Yosemite National Park, California
Valley View Yosemite National Park
El Capitan Yosemite National Park | Maricel Quesada
Daybreak El Capitan & Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California | Stephen Moehle
Taft Point overlooking El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, California. | Michael Carni
El Capital and Cathedral cliff | Checubus
Half Dome Yosemite Valley National Park California in autumn | Paul B. Moore
Sunrise on Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California | Shaun Jeffers

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