Yosemite’s ‘Firefall’ Will Take Your Breath Away


Visitors to Yosemite National Park are getting a glimpse of the breathtaking yearly phenomenon nicknamed the “firefall.”

For two weeks in February, the California sunset illuminates Horsetail Falls, causing the illusion of a fiery glow along the cliffs.

The first photo I posted was from my iPhone and this is the camera shot. It was an awesome experience to see this happen in person especially with the heart shaped mist to celebrate Valentine's Day. Mother Nature has a sense of humor. This event only happens for 1-2 weeks in February. Horsetail fall at Yosemite national park #horsetailfalls #yosemitenationalpark #naturalwonders #bucketlist #onceinalifetime #waterfall #ig_histogram #californiaholics #igdaily #sunset #sunrise_sunsets_aroundworld #ig_shotz #ig_eurasia #ig_captures #yosemitenps #outdooradventures #igphotoworld #igglobalclub #photowall #ig_shotz_february #abc7now #abc7newsbayarea #backpackermag #yourtake #usatoday #ktvu2 #nationalparkwowspots #optoutside #usinterior #abc7vista

A photo posted by Ray (@rayophotography13) on


“When the fall started glowing, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” photographer Sangeeta Dey shared. “For 10 minutes, all of us sat there mesmerized by this spectacle.”

Happening right now in #Yosemite. #firefall #iphone

A photo posted by Jim Nevill (@jimnevill) on


Social media websites like Twitter and Instagram have been filled with photos of the incredible spectacle. This year, the glow effect is especially strong due to the large amount of snow that melted and made its way into the waterfall.

This photo brought to you by just the right amount of snow melt and just the right angle of the setting sun and just enough clear sky while standing in just the right spot on just the right day. Safe to say the #firefall of #horsetailfalls on #elcapitan in #yosemite was magic. Also safe to say we annoyed every oh so serious photog there with our peanut gallery discussions and our iPhone photo taking though we got there hours before most of them to enjoy each moment. Also safe to say we made most of them laugh inwardly even though they'd never admit it as they were too busy telling each other how to take photos with camera gear so fancy a sale of it all could feed a small nation. But also: it was so magic it didn't even matter. And really: we were funny. Very funny. I saw you all smilin'… # #yosemitenationalpark #findyourpark #getoutside #waterfallmagic #yourewelcome #itoldyouso #denalisweatshirtsforevah #wecantallbeanseladams

A photo posted by Callie Miller (@calliemiller) on


The “firefall” effect was not visible for the past four years due to a drought in the area. It’s return brought hundreds of visitors who squeezed into the national park’s El Capitan picnic area, which is the premiere viewing spot for the event.

Although the illusion did not become visible until 5:30 PM at night, onlookers were camped out in the area as early as 7 AM.

The Yosemite Firefall. #firefall #Yosemite #sunset

A photo posted by Ben Sandofsky (@sandofsky) on


“When it ended, a few of us had tears in our eyes. Some of us were clapping,” Dey recalled. “Others were just ecstatic to finally get a chance to see it after trying for years.”

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Yosemite’s ‘Firefall’ Will Take Your Breath Away