Yosemite’s “Firefall” is back this year. Here’s when and how to see it

It’s always a good time to visit Yosemite, but the next few weeks will be an especially good time to travel to this popular destination national park in California.

The reason? annual Yosemite”firearm” is an attractive optical illusion that, when several conditions are perfectly synchronized, creates the impression that Horsetail Falls is on fire.

The National Park Service estimates that your chance to see the lights this year is between February 10 and 27, as the angle of light at sunset has to be perfect, which only happens in mid-to-late February.

The weather should be very clear and there should be a lot of water flowing over the stones, which is unlikely in particularly dry weather in winter.

When this alignment occurs, the waterfall will transform into what appears to be a river of fire.

Of course, it’s impossible to guarantee that the lights will happen this year, like most weather-related events. However, this is based on Best guess NPS.

As you can imagine, this event attracts many visitors to a small area, resulting in traffic, parking problems and other safety issues, while disrupting natural and cultural resources.

To manage these, Yosemite will require reservations to enter 24 hours a day, February 10-12, February 17-19, and February 24-26. Reservations at Camp 4, Wawona and Hodgdon Meadow are also required for February as these campgrounds are usually on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations can be made online.

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If you are lucky enough to get in Yosemite if there’s a fire, the El Capitan Picnic Area is your best bet for a good view. It is about a 1 1/2 mile walk each way from the Yosemite Falls parking lot. If the parking lot is full, consider parking in Yosemite Village or Curry Village and take advantage free shuttle to the park to Yosemite Falls parking lot and Yosemite Valley Lodge.

Additionally, there will be an express shuttle between Yosemite Village and the Yosemite Falls/Yosemite Valley Lodge parking lot, according to the NPS, which says visitors should “plan to park far from your viewing area” and “be prepared to walk to and from the viewing area.” . “In the cold and dark.

No matter where you park, be sure to pack comfortable sneakers or hiking boots, a camera and maybe even a chair. You will also need a lot of patience to withstand these crowds.

With or without fire, you can never go wrong with a trip to Yosemite or any of the beautiful national parks across the country. Summer will be here before you know it, and now is the best time to visit the park (or parks!) that’s been on your to-do list.

Be sure to check out ours complete guide hotels near national parks can be booked with points.

Additional reporting by Caroline Tanner.

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