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Yosemite National Park: The famous ‘firefall’ is back!

In search of a one-of-a-kind, jaw-dropping natural wonder? Firefall, in California, is an excellent example. A ribbon of 'lava' cascades down the towering El Capitan granite rockface every February, drawing hundreds of photographers and tourists to Yosemite National Park. This well-known natural phenomenon is actually the result of a trick of the light caused by sunlight reflecting off of Horsetail Falls.

But what is this Firefall, and how can I witness it for myself? A stunning light show known as the Firefall takes place in late winter, when snowmelt has filled Horsetail Falls to overflowing. In the late winter, the sun will shine at exactly the correct angle on the lake to create a blazing orange streak every evening for a short period of time. At sunset, when the sun is behind the waterfall, the effect is at its brightest.

Between February 10 and February 27, 2023, rangers predict the Firefall will occur. But it has to be the appropriate time and place. Cloudy or foggy conditions lessen the impact of Firefall. In 2022, a weekend pass system was implemented to reduce crowds and offer the greatest possible viewing experience. First round of park admission reservations have sold out, so if you want to visit on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays you'd better move soon. Beginning at 8 am (California time) on February 8th, the remaining bookings will be made available in a staggered fashion. A ticket may be purchased up to two days before the event you plan to attend.

The Firefall is only accessible with a permission on weekends and holidays; however, during the week, admission is free of such restrictions. The park requires a $35 entrance charge per vehicle. However, despite the crowds, seeing the Firefall on the weekend is an unforgettable experience. To see the amazing Firefall in California, take your cameras and drive to Yosemite National Park. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the beauty of nature.


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