El Capitan is the largest granite monolith in the world. It arises over 3,000 vertical feet from the Yosemite Valley floor. El Capitan dominates the western end of Yosemite Valley and has been one of the icons of the park since the park's creation. The rock formation is compelling in its sheer size and unique shape. El Capitan is the birthplace of big wall climbing in the United States. From Carlton Watkins to Ansel Adams, El Capitan has been a favorite subject for photography throughout history.