Yosemite National Park’s ‘Firefall’ Happening This Month: How to View

by Will Shepard

Yosemite National Park is adding a new restriction to their “firefall.” This is an annual event that happens during February. During the event, millions of people come to see Yosemite for one of the most special sights.

February is a unique time for Yosemite as people come in droves to see the unique “firefall.” On the edge of El Capitan in the Yosemite Valley, Horsetail Fall flows. It is a special time for the waterfall as the sun sets differently on the falls.

In the evening, the sunlight strikes the waterfall at a particular angle and lights up the water. The fall begins glowing brightly in orange, red, and yellow. The light on the water makes it look as if the water coming out of El Capitan is spouting fire, thus the name “firefall.”

Yosemite National Park’s Amazing “Firefall”

Every year, the event brings more and more people coming to see the event. In fact, in 2019, there were 2,000 people waiting to see the spectacle.

Yosemite National Park began imposing new restrictions for visitor safety. It also was trying to help preserve the vegetation around El Capitan. But, this year, there are restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Consequently, Yosemite is only making Horsetail Fall viewing from February 13-25. Additionally, people can only stay around to watch from noon to 7 at night. Starting on February 8, people coming to the park have to make a reservation to be able to enter.

However, there are a couple of things that make you allowed to not have a reservation. So, according to Yosemite National Park, these are the exceptions.

“You have a camping or lodging reservation, have a wilderness permit. Or you have a vacation rental reservation inside the park. You [must] enter via the local public transit system (YARTS buses). [And] you enter with an authorized tour.”

Additionally, to come and watch the amazing spectacle, you have to walk about a mile and a half to the public viewing spot.