During the last 2 weeks of February, the Earth tilts at just the right angle in order to create an amazing natural phenomenon, the illumination of Horsetail Fall in Yosemite National Park by the setting sun. You may have heard this sight called the Yosemite Firefall or Lavafall since the water is illuminated with a reddish-orange glow that resembles lava tumbling down Yosemite’s iconic granite cliffs.
The firefall does require a few natural phenomena to be in alignment, sufficient snow or rainfall needs to have taken place in the Sierras so that the waterfall is running. Clear (not cloudy) conditions are also needed so that the setting sun can illuminate the falls. As a “bucket list” item for many photographers, in-park reservations are highly recommended, Yosemite Valley Lodge and The Ahwahnee Hotel are both open year-round.
Here are some of our favorite photos from the 2021 Yosemite Firefall, shared by park visitors:
Yosemite is an amazing destination no matter the time of the year. Start planning your next National Park adventure today.