If you want to look at the annual firefall phenomenon at Horsetail Fall in Yosemite this month you need to be aware of a few new restrictions.
The firefall is a natural phenomenon that causes the light from the setting sun to reflect off Horsetail Fall, making the water appear as if it’s glowing in vibrant, fire-like hues—and occurs for about two weeks every February if the circumstances are just right.
Expected dates this year are between February 10–28. A few new restrictions will be in place from noon to 7 p.m. during that window due to the popularity of the phenomenon, which has caused crowding and environmental damage in recent years.
Visitors will be encouraged to park in the lot just west of Yosemite Valley Lodge, which is about 1.5 miles from the viewing area for the waterfall that cascades over the eastern edge of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. Alternatively, parking will be available at Yosemite Village and Curry Village, and a free shuttle will also be on site to transport guests to the viewing area. Southside Drive will still be open to vehicles, but parking, stopping, and unloading passengers is prohibited.
The area between the Sentinel Beach and Cathedral Beach picnic areas will be closed to all entry. On particularly busy weekends, Northside Drive may close entirely after sunset. Guests will be required to wear masks, and flashlights are encouraged.
To take a look at the firefall and get some tips on how to photograph this rare event, go here.