Horsetail Fall (Not Molten Lava)

Horsetail Fall

You are forgiven if you thought that this is lava surging down the mountain. However, this is in fact nature’s best optical illusion as it is nothing but complete water cascading down!

Horsetail fall is unique and ephemeral waterfall that streams over the eastern edge of E1 Captain in Yosemite National Park, California. The sun set strikes the waterfall and creates streaks of deep glowing orange luminance. This firefall phenomenon mostly takes place during the month of February and is 620 m long.

What makes this Yosemite firefall phenomenon work is its prim and proper topography. The elements and conditions should be however in place to cause the glow. A decent and clear sky, sun set at the right angle with a lot of water caused by the melting of the snow is enough to make it happen. As luck would have it, you will be among the few fortunate ones to encounter this momentary spectacle if everything falls in place.

Amusingly, the Horsetail Falls was once a real ‘fire fall’ in the late 1800’s, when a hotel named Glacier Point began a night time show to attract visitors. It followed a tradition of pushing glowing coals down the waterfall, which resulted in a glowing cascade of fire and sparks. Sadly, the hotel caught fire and was never reopened.

Horsetail Fall

The weather there is often very unpredictable which compounds in a photographers disappointment. In case the sun gets blocked by the clouds, then you would have to take pictures of your sorry faces with the waterfall.

Horsetail Fall

Galen Rowell was the first person to snap the light catching Horsetail Fall. This waterfall has long since been getting an overwhelming response from the photographers and tourists from all around the world. This remarkable place is greeted by many visitors with every type of camera known to man. Every February, you would see many onlookers gathering at Yosemite falls at least 3 hours before the dusk to find an unobstructed position, with their photographic equipment, adjusting every technical minutia to catch the first glance of this nature’s wonder. It often becomes a noisy because of the shutter clicks.

However, the resulting pictures you get wouldn’t be as exciting as the experience you would have by watching it in person.

Catch the sight of this immensely beautiful miracle of nature in this video-

1 comment… add one

  • Noah P. Nguyen June 24, 2013, 12:10 pm

    For a few days every February, Horsetail Fall comes to life. A seasonal waterfall which flows only in the late winter and early spring, those short February days bring about a transformation. The waterfall is lit up by the setting sun and ignites in to a fiery spectacle.

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