Why You Should See The Yosemite Firefall In Real Life

Sometimes, nature puts on a show you have to see to believe.

Such is the case with the Yosemite firefall. Every year for about two weeks in late February, it’s possible to watch one of the national park’s most famous waterfalls blaze orange-red like a gushing stream of hot lava:

This is cool! Yosemite’s Firefall in full flow! https://t.co/3e1oBkGrB8 pic.twitter.com/aif8t3iDEb

— Gripped Climbing (@GrippedMagazine) February 19, 2016

Of course, the firefall isn’t fire at all, but an optical illusion of the coolest degree that happens at Horsetail Falls. For a firefall to occur, conditions must be near perfect: Plenty of snow, enough of it melted, sunlight at just the right angle, and clear skies, according to National Park Geek.

It’s a rare natural wonder that’s hard to capture on film and best absorbed with the eyes. And that’s better for you, too: Recent research shows that soaking in awe of nature – in real life, and not on camera — boosts both mental and physical health.

Your best plan for seeing this year’s firefall is to get to Yosemite National Park right about, um, NOW. Head to the park’s El Capitan picnic area (quick, by the end of February!) for your best shot at a view of the sunlight on Horsetail.

If spontaneous trips to national parks aren’t quite your thing, then we advise booking an adventure out to Yosemite for next year. Even if a firefall doesn’t come your way, the glorious sunsets are enough to make everything worth it.

Happy travels!

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