El Capitan detail

El Capitan

Even in Yosemite Valley, home to 2,000-foot waterfalls and half-mile-high walls, a 3,000-foot granite monolith like El Capitan stands out. It features prominently in the Tunnel View (here's a Street View panorama), Yosemite's most iconic viewpoint, which will be your first view of the valley if you're approaching from the south. If you're taking one of the other routes into the valley, El Capitan will first fill up your windscreen just east of Bridalveil Fall. It's visible from all sorts of trails - Little Nellie Falls in the west and Taft Point in the south, for instance - and even from here, a couple miles away, its grandeur is unmistakable.