Yosemite Announces Brand-New Reservation System Ahead of Annual ‘Firefall’

Photo by Katie Rodriguez

Yosemite National Park is world-renown for its stunning waterfalls, including the tallest in North America – Yosemite Falls. But for a short period in the winter, one waterfall steals the spotlight as it turns into a rare natural phenomenon.

For two weeks in February, Horsetail Falls amazes onlookers when the sunlight hits it perfectly and it appears the falling water is on fire. The event has gained popularity online and caused significant traffic issues for Yosemite officials. That’s why day use reservations will be required to enter Yosemite National Park beginning on Monday February 8 and lasting through February 28.

Reserve your February Yosemite pass here

Each private vehicle entering the park for day use will need a reservation and they will be valid for seven consecutive days. You do not need a day-use reservation if:

  • you have a camping or lodging reservation
  • you have a wilderness permit
  • you have a vacation rental reservation inside the park
  • you enter via the local public transit system (YARTS buses)
  • you enter with an authorized tour

The Firefall phenomenon usually appears for about two weeks near the end of February and can cause quite the tourist trap for people looking for the rare view. In 2020, Yosemite National Park officials created new guidelines and closed down certain areas of the park to accommodate the growing number of onlookers and photographers coming to see the event.

With late December and early January seeing plenty of precipitation in the Sierra Nevada, there’s a great chance the Firefall could be in rare form this year. Get ready for the experience of a lifetime.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


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