Travel News

Experience Yosemite’s magical Horsetail Falls Firefall

Horsetail falls lit up during sunset in Yosemite National Park,California

In the late 1800s, the proprietor of the Mountain House Hotel in what is now known as Yosemite National Park decided to fling red-hot embers off a cliff to create a spectacle for a group of tourists. Onlookers were so taken with the glowing cascade that the “Firefall” became a regular occurrence. The Firefall ceased in the mid-20th century when ecologists told park officials that dumping flaming material off the side of a mountain wasn’t exactly conductive to averting forest fires.

In 1973, a new Yosemite firefall that didn’t involve actual fire was discovered by Galen Rowell after he photographed Horsetail Falls at dusk. Rowell noticed that reflected light created the illusion that Horsetail Falls was a luminous lava flow. Since its discovery in the 1970s, the Horsetail Falls Firefall has steadily gained popularity and is currently one of Yosemite National Park’s most celebrated attractions.

Horsetail Falls is a slim, seasonal waterfall that spills off the face of the majestic El Capitan summit. Since the Horsetail Falls Firefall is powered by snowmelt, the size of the waterfall is proportional to the snowpack. During warmer winters with very little snow, Horsetail Falls is barely a trickle. When there is a robust snow year, Horsetail Falls resembles a fluffy horsetail.

The Horsetail Falls Firefall is only visible during a short window in the month of February. The Firefall illusion requires a cloudless sky, a cascading waterfall, and just the right moment before sunset. Yosemite National Park officials suggest looking for the Firefall approximately 5-15 minutes before sunset. Because the Horsetail Falls Firefall is a natural phenomenon that requires just the right conditions, there is no guarantee that you will see the Firefall, even if you carefully plan your outing at the right time of year.

The best place to view the Horsetail Falls Firefall is in the El Capitan Picnic Area. The Firefall is wildly popular, so it is best to arrive at least a few hours early to find a comfortable viewing spot. Eastern California can be quite chilly in February. Warm clothes, a thermos full of hot chocolate, and some handwarmers will make your viewing experience more enjoyable.

Yosemite National Park is home to some of the most breathtaking mountains, valleys, and waterfalls on Earth. Viewing the Horsetail Falls Firefall is…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Unusual Places…