You’ve probably seen the stunning photos and videos of the Yosemite Firefall already. If you haven’t yet, check out ZitherFilmography’s stunning video shot on Monday.
What you’re looking at is Horsetail Fall, a seasonal waterfall at Yosemite National Park. It flows in the winter and early spring. But during February, if the conditions are right, the setting sun shines at just the right angle and lights up the water in a red, lava-like glow.
Because of Horsetail Fall’s seasonal nature, photographers count on a decent snowpack for the perfect picture. And the conditions were perfect this year. “Because #YosemiteValley got a lot of snow this year, the strong flow from Horsetail Falls made this a fantastic year for #Firefall and tonight’s show definitely did not disappoint,” writes Mark Willard on his Instagram.
Did you know there was an actual firefall? Yep, long before the days of Netflix, people would push the burning embers from a campfire off of Glacier Point. Irish immigrant James McCauley started the tradition in the early 1870s. It was then brought back in the early 1900s. But, the National Park Service brought an end to the spectacle in 1968. Yeah, pushing red-hot embers off a cliff in peak fire season probably isn’t the best of ideas.
Here’s a picture of the firefall from Glacier Point. I bet that was an awesome sight to see in-person.