Every year in early February, visitors flock to Yosemite National Park to witness the stunning ‘Firefall’ natural phenomenon. The event has become a viral sensation for its spectacular views and one that creates a whirlwind of activity in the park each winter.
Did you know the Firefall is also possible in October? Yes, it’s true. The sunlight hits the same spot during this time of year and when rare fall precipitation come to Yosemite, the Firefall comes alive for an autumn viewing like no other.
The Firefall appears when there is water flowing from Horsetail Falls, which is typically a low-flow waterfall year round. In years when there is a lot of early-season precipitation in the mountains, the waterfall will burst to life and give onlookers the show of a lifetime in the form of what looks to be a waterfall on fire. If there’s no water, there’s no Firefall.
In October 2021, with plenty of water flowing through the park, visitors were greeted with a rare chance to see the Firefall in the autumn. Photographer Scott Oller rushed to the waterfall to see if it would come alive. Sure enough, he found this spectacular scene:
So the question remains, will we see the rare autumn Firefall in Yosemite this year. As of writing this on October 22nd, a light rain is currently coming down in Northern California. Rain is forecast to fall on Yosemite this week, but probably not enough to bring the waterfall to life.
But next week, the rain is expected to pick up in Yosemite. Current 10-day forecasts show a storm coming into the region on November 2-3. Will it be enough to bring the Firefall to the park? Only time will tell.
Needless to say, be prepared if the rain picks up, because you might be able to see a rare natural phenomenon at Yosemite National Park.