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Yosemite 'Firefall' set to manifest in February

When the sunset shines over Horsetail Fall under a certain angle at the Yosemite National Park, a visual illusion appears to show the water fall on fire.

YOSEMITE VALLEY, Calif. — Around the second week of February, the phenomena dubbed "Yosemite Firefall" will be visible to visitors of the national park.

When the sunlight hits the park's Horsetail Fall at just the right angle, under the right weather conditions — the water fall glows orange and red at sunset.

Credit: Courtesy: Felipe Silva.
Horsetail Fall has little to no water.

A restricted zone from Yosemite Valley Lodge to El Capital Crossover holds the best viewpoints of the event, according to the Yosemite Firefall website, and traffic jams have become a problem in recent years.

Yosemite National Park is still currently limiting services like shuttles because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Firefall” is the name given to phenomenon at Yosemite’s Horsetail Fall where, for a short period in February, the backlit sunset shines through the water and makes it seem as though lava is pouring over the cliff.

Horsetail Fall is located on the eastern edge of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley and is about a 1.5-mile hike, each way, to visit. According to NPS, it’s fairly easy to miss, but over the years the location has exploded in popularity. If you are lucky to get a day pass into the park, you do not need special permission to view the fall.

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