El Capitan is a popular destination for rock climbing enthusiasts which is located in Yosemite National Park and is part of Yosemite Valley. This is a glacial valley that forms the site for Yosemite National Park. Located in Central California and by the western ranges of Sierra Nevada, this valley is about 12 km or 7.5 miles long and spans a depth of 3000 to 3500 feet. The mountain sides have high granite rocks for which El Capitan forms a popular rock formation or challenge for climbers.
The name signifies The Captain or The Chef in Spanish. It is a granite monolith rock formation which extends to 900 m and is a challenge for BASE jumpers and rock climbers. This formation was named as El Capitan by Mariposa Battalion in 1851. The name signified a tribal or rock chief. Those who endeavor to conquer this rock façade usually hike out of Yosemite Valley. There is a trail that leads here from Yosemite Falls. The sheer face of the granite acts as a challenge for the climbers. There are several climbing routes here, which have interesting names as well, such as Sea of Dreams or Iron Hawk.
The challenge of rock climbing is one of the several attractions of this place. The valley area has dense pine forests as well. The Merced River flows through this valley and there are several waterfalls and streams that are located here forming the Yosemite, Bridalveil, Illilouette and Tenaya creeks. The Yosemite falls is another major attraction of this place which is the highest waterfall in this part of the country and the forms centerpiece of the National Park. The valley attracts tourists and rock climbers here mainly in the summer months and is considered a major holiday destination for nature and recreation lovers.