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Awesome Nature - Horsetail Fall Firefall

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Horsetail Fall, located in Yosemite National Park in California, is a seasonal waterfall that flows in the winter and early spring.
The "Firefall" is one of Yosemite's most amazing spectacles. Around the 2nd week of February, the setting sun hits Horsetail Fall at just the right angle to illuminate the upper reaches of the waterfall. So, when conditions are perfect, Horsetail Fall glows orange and red at sunset.
Several factors must converge in order to trigger the firefall. 1st + foremost, Horsetail Fall must be flowing. This itself relies on several factors, there has to be enough snowpack in February+it must be warm enough during the day to melt it.
2nd, the western sky must be clear at sunset. If it’s snowing, raining, or even just cloudy, the sun’s rays will be blocked and Horsetail Falls will not light up.
Only when this synchronicity is achieved, nature creates a masterpiece, blazing for up to 10 minutes, which is the spectacular Horsetail Fall Firefall.
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It's a real Beaut,isn't it? ; )


This is one of the rare occations where the overused word '' Awesome'' isn't enough!


Yeah, when I was reading about it, they were saying that the day might start out poor with snow+stuff, but the sky can be clear by the time the sun's setting. One of the guys, photographer, was there for a few days toward the end of the optimum time, in late feb. He hadn't had much luck, with lighting+conditions - until his very last day! From the photos + his comments, it was well worth the wait.
I really do hope you get there. Right now is the best time - basically the last 2 weeks of February. If not this year then next. Please let us know if you do go. I'd love to hear a 1st hand account from you madhat!! ; )


Well, with Yosemite only a 4 hour drive it sounds like I need to take another trip. I have missed this one over the years. Sounds like one where you have to watch the weather and then go check it out. Thanks for sharing this one.


I agree Tnov111. ; )
Thanks cappy - you too!!! ; )
Madhat, this isn't the burning "Firefall" of which I think you are refering to, which as you say was a summertime event, started in 1872 + ending in 1968, where hot burning embers were spilled from the top of Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park to the valley. I bet that was amazing to see!!! There's no actual fire involved at the horsetail falls,it's a genuinely natural phenomenon. From my research I don't think it's widely heard of, but is growing in popularity, especially with keen photographers. One photographer's page I was reading said he'd seen the rise in visitors in the past few years that he's been going. Sometimes the conditions aren't right and the small window of time in February is the only time of the year that the sun is in the exact place to hit the falls at the precise angle to create the glow.
I'm glad you mentioned the old "Firefall" event madhat - I had debated mentioning it in my write up. What a super memory to have from your childhood! ; )




I don't believe they do this anymore as it is not part of the "natural" beauty of Yosemite. I remember, as a child, seeing this in the summertime but it has been discontinued. It was an amazing thing to see.

this picture is so beautiful, thank you for sharing. enjoy the rest of your day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thanks for dropping by mert. Our world is truly amazing+like you, I'll probably never see these wonders for myself, that's why I like to do this kind of post, for everyone to enjoy. I learn something new every time I log on here! ; )

thanks for showing me something I will probably never see. Very interesting

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