The Firefall Has Made its Glorious Return to Yosemite National Park

The ‘Firefall’ of Yosemite National Park is back and better than ever as visitors flock to California’s most popular park to get a glimpse of the stunning natural phenomenon.

Horsetail Fall, which only flows during the winter and spring months due to snowmelt, transforms into a glowing stream of “lava” for a few precious moments before sunset, given the right conditions. This natural spectacle, which draws hundreds to Yosemite Valley each year, creates the illusion of a fiery cascade flowing off the eastern edge of El Capitan, thanks to a unique alignment of the setting sun and the waterfall’s mist.

Recently, photographers have shared their stunning videos of the Firefall returning to the park:

The prime viewing window for this phenomenon is from mid-February to the end of the month, with the best light occurring 5 to 15 minutes before the sun dips below the horizon. Visitors hoping to catch this stunning display are advised to arrive in the late morning or early afternoon to secure both parking and a good vantage point.

In the past few years during the Firefall, the surge in visitation has led to full parking lots, parking overflowing into traffic lanes, pedestrian-vehicle conflicts causing safety issues, and damage to natural and cultural resources. This year seems to be no different. If you want to see it on the weekend, you still need reservations through the end of the month.

If you want to see this natural phenomenon, you don’t have much longer until it’s gone for the year.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California
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