The Rare ‘Firefall’ Returns to Yosemite for a Few Weeks This Year


In the heart of Yosemite National Park, a mesmerizing natural phenomenon is making a limited-time appearance that has captured the imaginations of visitors and photographers alike. The elusive ‘Firefall,’ a breathtaking event where Horsetail Fall resembles molten lava flowing down the cliffside, is gracing Yosemite for just a short period this year. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of this rare occurrence and how you can witness it.

The Firefall Phenomenon

The Firefall occurs during a narrow window in late February when the setting sun casts an intense, fiery glow on the waterfall, creating an illusion of liquid fire. This captivating spectacle is a testament to the magic of nature and has become a bucket-list item for many travelers.

When and Where to See It

  • Timeframe: The Firefall typically occurs for a few weeks in February, and the exact dates can vary from year to year. It’s essential to monitor park updates to determine the optimal time to visit.
  • Location: The prime vantage point to witness the Firefall is the El Capitan picnic area in Yosemite Valley. Here, you can set up your camera and enjoy the breathtaking sight as the sun’s rays hit the waterfall.

Tips for an Unforgettable Experience

  1. Arrive Early: The El Capitan picnic area tends to get crowded, so arrive well in advance to secure a good viewing spot.
  2. Camera Gear: If you’re a photography enthusiast, bring your camera and a tripod to capture this remarkable moment. Consider using a telephoto lens to get close-up shots.
  3. Weather Conditions: Keep an eye on the weather forecast, as clear skies are essential for the Firefall to appear at its best.
  4. Respect the Environment: While enjoying this natural wonder, remember to be respectful of the park and fellow visitors. Follow Leave No Trace principles and adhere to park regulations.

The Magic of Nature

The Firefall is a reminder of the wonders of the natural world and the stunning beauty that can be found in unexpected places. Yosemite’s ‘Firefall’ is a spectacle that has left a lasting impression on those lucky enough to witness it. Don’t miss the chance to experience this rare event in one of the most iconic national parks in the United States.


The return of the Firefall is a much-anticipated event in Yosemite National Park, and its fleeting appearance adds to its allure. As you plan your visit to Yosemite to witness this rare spectacle, be sure to take in the breathtaking natural beauty of the park and create memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t miss the chance to see the Firefall – a rare and awe-inspiring display of nature’s artistry.

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