Northside Dr, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389, USA
Photo courtesy of National Park Service
Camp 4It’s not much to look at—a dusty, walk-in campground beneath the pines, littered here and there with boulders—but this patch of dirt at the base of El Capitan is on the National Registry of Historic Places for being the birthplace of both modern rock climbing and a counterculture phenomenon. It was here, for example, in between ascents in the 1960s, that a young blacksmith and Yosemite “dirtbagger” named Yvon Chouinard developed climbing hardware that launched the outdoor-gear empire Patagonia. You don’t even need to be an aspiring Alex Honnold (who, in 2017, became the first person to climb El Cap solo without a rope) to spend time at the campground—sites are first come, first served, for just six dollars a night.