For a few days each winter, Yosemite’s Horsetail Falls, just east of El Capitan, becomes an astonishing sight. Well, more astonishing than normal, considering it’s a 1,500-foot waterfall. As the sun sets, the angle of light is just so that the tumbling water appears to glow a fiery orange, as though molten lava is pouring over the granite. If there are clouds blocking the sun or not enough water is flowing, the “Firefall” as it’s called, won’t appear. But it’s happening this week, and this weekend is the last chance you’ll get to see it until next February. Interestingly, for decades there was a literal firefall when burning chunks of wood were dumped over Glacier Point crashing to the valley below. This too was called a “Firefall” until the tradition was understandably halted in the mid-1960s. Photo: Jay Huang

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