Yosemite Valley has been the site for almost every major development in the sport of rock climbing and continues to be a place where world-class climbers are honing their skills, breaking records and changing our understanding of what is possible for human strength and endurance.
If you are an experienced climber, read the Yosemite Guidelines for Seasoned Climbers before venturing out. Also, familiarize yourself with the area first with these great Yosemite maps, including Yosemite regional maps and trail maps.
As we mentioned above, there’s no better place to start than the Yosemite Mountaineering School & Guide Service. Whether you’ve been climbing for years and are ready to take on the big walls of Yosemite or it’s your first time, Yosemite Mountaineering School & Guide Service is there to help you “learn the ropes.”
Choose from half-day, full-day, multiple-day and customized climbing sessions.
You can also join the “Ask A Climber” program in the summer, where you can meet a real climber, learn about their equipment, and even ask them questions, such as “How do climbers sleep?” Check the Yosemite Guide for details.
While tackling El Capitan is a goal that requires years of training, you can have the experience of climbing in the park with the Yosemite Mountaineering School. In operation since 1969, the Yosemite Mountaineering School has programs for all skill levels and even specialty programs, such as Girls on Granite.
Just want to be a spectator? No problem! Head over to El Capitan meadow with a telescope or powerful zoom lens on your DSLR and watch the climbers as they make their ascent. Climbing is a year-round activity, depending on weather.
Half Dome. It’s perhaps the most iconic symbol of Yosemite National Park. Rising 1,360 feet from an elevation of 8,844 feet above sea level, climbing Half Dome will take you dizzying heights with its sheer face and reward you with unparalleled views you’ll remember for a lifetime.
Alternatively, if you’re up for a strenuous, 17-mile trek, you can also hike Half Dome, where you’ll gain 4,800 feet of elevation while passing Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall.