Horsetail Fall - Beautiful Unique Fire-Fall Waterfall in Yosemite Park, CA

Knoji reviews products and up-and-coming brands we think you'll love. In certain cases, we may receive a commission from brands mentioned in our guides. Learn more.
Horsetail Fall is a beautiful waterfall located in Yosemite that catches fire for a few weeks every February as it brilliantly reflects the sun's rays off El Capitan.

Horsetail Fall is a 1,000 foot high seasonal waterfall that drops right down the east face of the massive granite El Capitan rock in Yosemite National Park in central-eastern California. When it is flowing Horsetail Fall is a beautiful site to behold in its own right but for few weeks each year Horsetail Fall becomes one of the most magical and unique waterfall sights in the world.

Image Source by RC Designer

Every year for a few weeks in February as the sun sets it reflects off of Horsetail Fall and El Capitan and creates the illusion that the waterfall is actually on fire. The effect of the setting sun reflecting off the waterfall is spectacular and large crowds of photographers, tourists and nature lovers gather each February in Yosemite to see this amazing and special waterfall sight.

Image Source by TuckerH586

Horsetail Fall is a seasonal waterfall and only flows for a few months each year in winter and early spring. The spectacular fire-fall effect generally only occurs during the last two weeks of February. To see this effect visitors must travel to Yosemite around February 21 give or take a week. Of course the elements play a big role here. The weather has to be just right for the fire-fall effect to occur. Obviously the fire-fall effect cannot occur on cloudy days.

According to the Yosemite Park website the best place to view the fire-fall Horsetail Fall effect from mid to late February is from the El Capitan picnic area which is located along Northside Drive 1.7 miles west of Yosemite Lodge. Visitors can also park in turnouts east of the picnic area to view Horsetail Fall which can be seen right from the road. It is not unusual for rows of tourists, photographers and visitors to be lined up along the road to watch this beautiful waterfall appear to be on fire.

Image Source by Ambitious Wench

From 1872 until 1968 Yosemite Park had another fire-fall only this one was man-made. Each night during the summer a large fire would be built on top of Glacier Point and at 9 pm the fire would be pushed over the edge creating a fire-fall that plummeted down 3,000 feet. The National Park Service put and end to the man-made fire-fall in 1968 saying it was not a natural event.

Image Source (Man-made Fire-fall from top of Glacier Point)

But the fire-fall at Horsetail Fall continues each February as one the most spectacular creations of mother nature.

Image Source by TuckerH586

For more great waterfalls see

Cohoes Falls - Unique Beautiful Largest Volume Waterfall in New York

Burgess Falls Park - Beautiful Scenic Waterfall Park in Tennessee

High Falls Genesee River - Beautiful Scenic Waterfall in Rochester, New York

Spahats Creek Falls - Beautiful Scenic Waterfall in British Columbia

Fall Creek Falls - Beautiful Scenic Waterfall Park in TN

Toccoa Falls - Beautiful Scenic University Waterfall in GA

Opaekaa Falls - Beautiful Scenic Waterfall on Kauai Hawaii

21 Beautiful Famous Castles in California

Beautiful National Parks and Monuments in Northern California



Teresa Schultz
Posted on Dec 14, 2010
Posted on Dec 8, 2010
lucia anna
Posted on Dec 7, 2010