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.

"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."

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.


The "firefall" effect was not visible for the past few 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.

This year, it was especially difficult to make it to the viewing area because of the unusually large amount of rain and snow. Still, hundreds braved the conditions to see the once-in-a-lifetime sight.

"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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