November 29, 2022

Yosemite's Famed 'Firefall' Will Ignite This Friday

For a few short days a year something magical happens in Yosemite National Park: A firefall.

As Travel+Leisure previously explained, the natural phenomenon is a sight you simply have to see to believe. For just a few days a year, always in mid-to-late February, Horsetail Fall, located on the eastern edge of El Capitan in the Yosemite Valley, appears to be on fire.

However, it’s important to note it’s not actually on fire, but rather it’s simply a visual trick by Mother Nature. The event occurs because the fall only flows in the winter and early spring when rain is still abundant in the region. When the sun begins to set, and the light hits the fall just right, it engulfs the water in an orange glow making it appear as though it’s on fire.

But, if you want to see this event in real life you better hurry, because it’s expected to happen on Friday, February 22.

\”The 'firefall' effect happens during the second half of February when there is a clear sky and enough snow for the waterfall to flow. Even some haze or minor cloudiness can greatly diminish or eliminate the effect,\” Yosemite National Park reported. According to AccuWeather, the best possible evening to witness the event is expected to be this Friday starting around 5:28 p.m. PST and ending around 5:40 p.m. PST.

If you happen to have a few days this week you could always head up to Yosemite early, as AccuWeather explained visitors may be able to see the firefall on evenings earlier in the week, or even over the weekend. However, none of those firefall events will appear as spectacular as Friday’s expected showing.

Luckily, AccuWeather is reporting mainly clear conditions for the Yosemite Valley for Friday's firefall event, meaning it may be as close to ideal as possible. Saturday evening, the weather service said, will be the next best day to view the event, however, clouds are expected to roll in and could disrupt the view. So, if you can, make your way to Yosemite to experience 12 glorious minutes of Mother Nature at her finest.

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