Northside Dr, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389, USA
Photo by Mark Newman/age fotostock
El CapitanThere’s no underestimating the role that El Capitan has played in the development of modern rock climbing—the 3,000-foot granite face is where the sport transformed from technical mountaineering to athletic art form. In good weather, bring a pair of binoculars and set up a camp chair in El Capitan Valley to watch the brave make their ascent; as dusk falls, you’ll see the tiny lights of their headlamps as they tuck into their bivvys for the night. Alternatively, you can unleash your inner Royal Robbins with beginner through advanced climbing classes from Yosemite Mountaineer School, the only outfitter permitted to teach climbing in the park.