February 9, 2021
Firefall Returns to Yosemite This Week But You’ll Need a Reservation
Firefall, that ephemeral magic that happens in February, when Yosemite’s Horsetail Falls catches the afternoon sun just so and ignites into a brilliant fuming sweep of reds, pinks, and oranges, a lick of flames shooting down bare granite, looks likely to begin this year on February 12.
If you haven’t seen it in person, it may seem like a quant regionalism. Worth a trip if you live in the Sierra foothills, or maybe an hour or so away in the San Joaquin Valley, but not necessarily worth a trip from outside the area.
That would be wrong.
It’s a phenomenal experience to see a waterfall turn from white to blazing orange just as the sun begins to set out west of the mouth of Yosemite valley. It isn’t a guaranteed event either; if the snowpack is too low, the falls don’t run. This year, however, there should be enough water flowing to produce the fantastic sight.
You will, however, need a permit to enter the park if you’re interested in checking it out. The park is requiring reservations to be purchased in advance prior to entry again, after suspending the reservation requirement for a time, to fend off spreading COVID-19. They went on sale yesterday, so if you haven’t bought one yet, and intend to check out the show, head here, right away.
Photo: Steve Corey