Best time to visit Yosemite

El Capitan Trail in Yosemite

One of most famous trails of Yosemite Park

Best time: May–October

El Capitan Trail
El Capitan Trail
El Capitan Trail

El Capitan is a prominent rock formation located on the north side of Yosemite Valley, measuring about 3,000 ft (900 m) and extremely popular among rock climbers. The rock got its name when in 1851 the Mariposa Battalion explored Yosemite Valley. El Capitan is a Spanish equivalent of the Miwok name "To-to-kon oo-lah" or "To-tock-ah-noo-lah" meaning the chief.

The top of El Capitan can be reached by the help of a 15 mile (24-km) trail with 5,226 feet (1,592 m) of elevation. The climb starts in Yosemite Valley next to Yosemite Falls Trailhead, and then heads west. Climbers go up the sheer El Capitan's granite face. Once on top, hikers can enjoy beautiful views of Taft Point, Half Dome, Clouds Rest, Dewey Point, and North Dome. Depending on how fast the snow melts, this trail is available from May through October.

In the summer El Capitan hike features beautiful wild flowers. You can extend your hike by adding Eagle Peak summit. It will add about 2 miles (3.22 km) to your route, but the views are definitely worth it. If you are hiking in the fall, make sure you start going down no later than 2 pm. since it gets dark rather fast.

Practical info

What is El Capitan Trail?

Located in Yosemite National Park, El Capitan Trail is a hike that is frequented by many tourists. It is around 15 miles long and has a total elevation of about 5,226 feet. Some of the highlights that can be seen from the trail include landmarks like North Dome, Clouds Rest, and Half Dome. Additionally, El Capitan, a popular rock formation popular among rock climbers can be seen from the trail. Show more

Where is El Capitan located?

Located in Yosemite National Park, El Capitan is a popular rock formation in California. The park is known for its serene beauty and striking scenery. To access El Capitan, tourists can use the Yosemite Falls Trailhead, which is situated in Yosemite Valley. Show more

When is the best time to hike El Capitan Trail?

The El Capitan Trail can endure extreme temperatures due to its location in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Thus, the best time to attempt the trail is from May to October because the trail is mostly feasible during these months. Although summertime can be great for a variety of reasons like observing wildflowers, hikers should be cautious while traversing the paths since they can still be slippery due to the melting snow during the month of May. Show more

What is the elevation of El Capitan Trail?

El Capitan Trail is a 15-mile long hike and has an elevation of approximately 5,226 feet. This demanding trail goes from Yosemite Valley to the summit of El Capitan, and it can be accessed by starting on Yosemite Falls Trail. The trail can be exhausting for even experienced hikers due to its steep slopes both uphill and downhill. Show more

What other landmarks can be seen from the top of El Capitan?

El Capitan Trail is known for providing hikers with stunning views of Yosemite National Park. The trail offers hikers the opportunity to view some of the scenic vistas like Half Dome, Clouds Rest, Dewey Point, Taft Point, and North Dome. Eagle Peak can also be accessed from the summit for additional views of the Sierra Nevada hills and bright lakes making the trek truly memorable. Show more

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