Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

California Trails

See a Firefall in Winter

Yosemite National Park, California

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.

Winter’s plummeting temps and low-angle sunlight bring a little extra pizzazz to Yosemite’s iconic waterfalls. To see an ephemeral, flame-red “firefall” pouring from El Capitan’s eastern face, head toward Horsetail Fall in the second half of February. When conditions are right—high water, fair skies, and a clear sunset—the sun strikes Horsetail just so, lighting it up in glowing shades of red and orange that look just like tumbling lava. For the best views, start at El Capitan Picnic Area and stroll east into the snowy meadow for a good vantage. 

Season Mid- to late February Info Yosemite National Park