Yosemite is full of natural wonders that draw millions of visitors every year, making it one of the most-visited national parks in the US. From mountains and lakes to tons of wildlife, there’s always plenty to see here. A visit in February, however, allows for views of the park’s most unique natural phenomenon: the Yosemite “Firefall”. By Jessica Poitevien
If you missed this year’s stunning show, don’t worry, as we have the photos to help you relive it.
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Located on the eastern edge of El Capitan in the Yosemite Valley, Horsetail Fall only flows in the winter and early spring. When the sun sets on a clear evening in mid-to-late February, the waterfall reflects the sunlight at an angle that brings out glowing orange and yellow hues. The effect appears as if the rock formation is expelling fire and lava — hence the name “Firefall”.
This year’s “Firefall” took place from February 13 to 25. As the event grows in popularity each year, Yosemite National Park has had to implement new visitor protocols to protect both parkgoers and the sensitive flora and fauna in the area around Horsetail Fall. This year, visitors were required to make a timed reservation with a few exceptions, including for those camping or lodging within Yosemite grounds.
If you plan on making your way to Yosemite National Park for next year’s “Firefall”, be sure to check the park’s restrictions and visitor guidelines well in advance.
Even better, the National Park Service (NPS) recently released a new app that will make planning your visit to Yosemite (or any of the other 400-plus NPS sites) much easier. The new app, titled National Park Service, is available on Android and Apple devices and serves as a one-stop-shop with all the updated information you need to plan a visit to any NPS attraction.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel+Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but she’s always on the lookout for her next adventure. Besides travelling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.