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Catch A Glimpse Of The ‘Firefall’ At Yosemite National Park

By Sharelle Burt

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The unusual weather is causing a lot of changes on the west coast. First, the desert is set to be filled with flowers and now Yosemite Park is getting a chance to shine.

Famous for the stunningly beautiful waterfalls in the Yosemite Valley, Horsetail Falls is gearing up to put on a show that travelers don’t want to miss. During sunset in the spring and early winter months, the sun hits the waterfall in such an odd way that it causes the water to produce an orange glow, making it look like the fire is streaming down rock formations.

Pretty cool, huh?

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The illusion is known as the “firefall” and will happen roughly through February 24. Besides the name being so obvious,  there is a history behind it.  Campfires were built close to the edge of Glacier Point in the 1800s and were pushed off in order to create the illusion of a flowing fire stream. It later became a popular tourist site until it was eventually stopped because of fire hazards.

Yosemite National Park spokesperson Jamie Richards said while the illusion is set to draw stares from hundreds of tourists, they should be aware that there’s also a possibility of not seeing it at all. Cross your fingers because there will need to be clear skies and enough snowfall in order to let the fall flow. They are also prepared for all the traffic but in order to participate, visitors must be willing to hike, since the closest parking options are about a mile away from the set viewpoints.


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Seeing the “firefall” at Yosemite seems like the place to be but there are some rules. Stopping or parking isn’t allowed at Southside Drive between the El Capitan Crossover and Swinging Bridge or at Northside Drive between Camp 4 and the El Capitan Crossover. If that’s an inconvenience for campers, try heading to the other parking options near the Yosemite Valley Lodge.

There will be a lot of walking so authorities recommend viewers come prepared with warm clothing, boots, and flashlight for safety.

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